Significant vintage variation is alive and well in Bordeaux. After the outstanding 2009 and 2010 vintages, collectors had to wait until 2015 to experience another good vintage. In all this discussion, previous good vintages seem to get forgotten. And they are the important ones now as far as drinking is concerned. As I have mentioned many times before, cellaring Bordeaux wines for a minimum of 10 years is really required to get the best from these wines. The last strong vintage before 2009 was 2005.
One of my favorite mid-tier producers, and flying somewhat under the radar, is Chateau Pieuré-Lichine. As I opened a bottle of the 2005 Chateau Pieuré-Lichine, and after two hours of decanting, a beautiful bouquet rose from the glass. I smelled blackcurrant fruit, even a bit of peat.
On the palate, this is a medium bodied wine of a lot of complexity and harmony. Blackcurrants, forest berries, mushroom, pomegranate, smoky flavours, and in particular tamarillo combine to an elegant and smooth mouthfeel, which drops off a little bit on the mid palate, before soft tannins pick up the flavours for the finish.