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Chateau Giscours 2005

Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaux, Bordeaux, France
  • WE95
  • JS95
  • WS93
  • RP92
  • CG92
13.5% ABV
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13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes


#94 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2008
Blend: 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WE 95
Wine Enthusiast
This chateau gets better and better. The wine has power, but it is harnessed by the intense fruits, the blackberry flavors, the density and the wood. With the power, though, comes elegance, resulting in a wine that is ready to develop over many years.
Cellar Selection
JS 95
James Suckling
This is a beautiful Giscours with tension and finesse. It's full-bodied and shows plenty of berry and spice character, not to mention a long, silky-textured finish. It seduces you with each sip. Why wait?
WS 93
Wine Spectator
Displays blackberry, cherry and hints of sweet tobacco. Full-bodied, with soft, velvety tannins and a long, caressing finish. Very pretty and solid. This is structured and chewy. Needs time.
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Tasted at the Château Giscours vertical, the 2005 Château Giscours is a blend of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon and 38% Merlot picked between September 22 and October 6. Conspicuously deep in color, both the aromatics and palate replicate the strong performance from earlier this year. The bouquet offers very fine intensity with blackberry and cedar, here a tinge of cassis that becomes accentuated with time. The palate is medium-bodied with fine, slightly grainy tannin. It is very well balanced and almost Saint Julien in style. It is clearly very focused with a sustained, mineral-rich finish that (as I said before) contains real energy. This is an excellent Giscours that will age nicely over the next 20-25 years.
CG 92
Connoisseurs' Guide
Just a bit different in its slight bows to mint and tar, but wholly on point otherwise with concentrated cassis-like notes and hints of dried violets, new leather and toasted vanilla beans, this wine is fairly full and rounded on the palate to start and follows with extracted flavors that a bit on the chewy side but are not overly burdened by youthful tannins. Time is very much on its side, and a wait of some five to eight years seems in order.
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Chateau Giscours

Chateau Giscours

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Chateau Giscours, France - Other regions
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Located on a beautiful 300 hectare estate, the 83 hectare Giscours vineyard is located in the famous Margaux appellation. Though the estate was first mentioned in a document dating back to 1330, it was not until 1847 that Count de Pescatore laid the cornerstone of the remarkable château that now overlooks the vines. Giscours' quality was confirmed by its inclusion as a Third Growth in the 1855 classification.

The estate was purchased by Nicolas Tari after World War II. He made major investments in modernizing Giscours. In 1995, Eric Albada Jelgersma acquired the right to grow vines and make wine on the estate. He continues to lavish the care and attention that are necessary to maintain Giscours' standing as a world-famous great growth.

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Silky, seductive and polished are the words that characterize the best wines from Margaux, the most inland appellation of the Médoc on the Left Bank of Bordeaux.

Margaux’s gravel soils are the thinnest of the Médoc, making them most penetrable by vine roots—some reaching down over 23 feet for water. The best sites are said to be on gentle outcrops, or croupes, where more gravel facilitates good drainage.

The Left Bank of Bordeaux subscribes to an arguably outdated method of classification but it is nonetheless important in regards to history of the area. In 1855 the finest chateaux were deemed on the basis of reputation and trading price—at that time. In 1855, Chateau Margaux achieved first growth status, yet it has been Chateau Palmer (officially third growth from the 1855 classification) that has consistently outperformed others throughout the 20th century.

Chateau Margaux in top vintages is capable of producing red Cabernet Sauvignon based wines described as pure, intense, spell-binding, refined and profound with flavors and aromas of black currant, violets, roses, orange peel, black tea and incense.

Other top producers worthy of noting include Chateau Rauzan-Ségla, Lascombes, Brane-Cantenac, and d’Issan, among others.

The best wines of Margaux combine a deep ruby color with a polished structure, concentration and an unrivaled elegance.

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Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

MSAJOA08705R12750_2005 Item# 96213