Galloni dives back into 2005 Bordeaux

Antonio Galloni has released a fresh retrospective of Bordeaux 2005 on Vinous, finding a “treasure trove” of great wines but also much to ponder on the direction of winemaking in the Gironde since their creation.

  • The new retrospective includes five new 100-point wines and upgraded scores for many estates, calling them “epic” and “dazzling”.
  • Galloni examined the style of these wines in the context of how Bordeaux has evolved since and concluded there have been dramatic improvements.
  • But the best wines remain “thrilling” and their secondary market performance has remained steady. He said the vintage represented a “treasure trove” for collectors.

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New scores, new faces

His re-tasting evolved as a happy accident during lockdown, one bottle following another until, “I had a good number of reference points”.

When Galloni tasted the 2005s in-bottle last it was in 2015. Just two wines then were rated at 100, Cheval Blanc and Haut-Brion. Following his re-tasting there are now six; Ausone, Cheval Blanc, La Mission Haut-Brion, Latour, Petrus and Valandraud – several of which were not tasted in 2015.

Haut-Brion has slipped a little to 99+. “A magical wine,” said Galloni, “if a bit less accessible than most other 2005s at this stage”.

Margaux at 99 and Mouton-Rothschild at 98 points both remained unchanged from his 2015 assessment. L’Eglise-Clinet at 99 was not tasted in 2015 and Angélus and Palmer at 98 all represent upgrades on their previous scores (97 and 96 respectively).

Now and then

A large part of Galloni’s article examined how the 2005s “stack up” versus their counterparts today. The best wines are “epic” he concluded but away from great sites and estates quality is much patchier.

Overall, he said, comparing the 2005s to recent vintages from 2015 to 2019, “the reality is there is no comparison… Today’s wines are just consistently better across the range”.

The best 2005s are still “phenomenal” he added, but Bordeaux’s wines in the “middle and lower tiers” have shown immense improvement over the years.

A ‘treasure trove’

Galloni also touched on the place of this vintage in the market at present. Although their high alcohol levels and “aggressive release pricing” were surprising at the time, “looking back with today’s perspective, many 2005s offer an appealing combination of quality, drinkability and price”.

He said the vintage remains, “a treasure trove for the consumer looking to build a cellar filled with superb wines that can be easily bought and enjoyed now, and that also offer terrific value in today’s world”.

Liv-ex’s own insights (see chart above) show that the vintage has indeed kept its value since release. Although it hasn’t out-performed the Bordeaux 500, since 2016 it has made steady gains and is currently nearing its previous 2008 high.


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