Robert Parker''s Wine Advocate 30/04/2007 The 2005 La Tache epitomizes the unique mysteries of Pinot (not to mention the character of a great site), with its aromas of game, musk, iris, star anise, vanilla, allspice, and naturally also an abundance of sweet, ripe, implosively tiny-berried fruit. Imagine a black Riesling. On the palate, a vivid freshness of fruit, pungency of spice and flowers, and melting away of what in point of analytical fact are abundant tannins, all engender an almost white wine dynamic of fruit-mineral call-and-response and clear, incisive penetration of flavors to every recess of the mouth. This is a T.R. sort of wine – you just don’t feel the stick. Once the grapes in these fabled vineyards had reached a potential alcohol of 13%, reports Aubert de Villaine, he was ready to pick, because conditions had seldom been so conducive to perfect ripeness (including that of the stems). It was all done in a week, commencing with La Tache and Romanee Conti, and finishing on September 23 with Romanee-St.-Vivant (and Montrachet, on which I shall report at a future date). De Villaine intended to bottle in March or April by gravity in six-barrel lots, as has become general practice here over the past decade. ()
There is only one word to do the nose true justice and that is kaleidoscopic as the aromatic breadth here is simply dazzling with red and black cherry, cassis, plum and subtle earth notes replete with the same Asian spice cabinet aromas as the RSV displays but here the floral aspect, particularly rose petal, is much more pronounced. However, the '05 LT is almost a combination of the RSV's class, grace and sensuality and the Riche's power, taut muscularity and huge length as the overall palate impact is equivalent to a vinous bomb exploding on the cuts-like-a-knife finish that can be measured in minutes not seconds. This is structured to the point of being chewy yet it is never rustic or coarse because the gorgeously detailed palate is buffered by buckets of dry extract. As readers know, I often use the word Zen to describe the kind of inner harmony of a great vintage of Romanée-Conti but rarely with La Tâche yet in 2005, the LT has this element of inner calm and grace as well. In sum, this is a huge but utterly classy and stylish wine that will undoubtedly go down as one of the all time great LT's.
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