2005 Chateau Caronne Ste. Gemme 6.0 L

Year: 2005
Appellation: Haut-Medoc
Country: France
Wine Spectator: 91
Wine Advocate: 88-90
Wine Enthusiast: 90
Red Wine
Price :

"Offers raisin and dried fruit, with very ripe fruit aromas and coffee and oak undertones. Full-bodied, with velvety tannins and a long finish. This is pumped up, but I like the flamboyant character. Best after 2011. 20,000 cases made." (WS)

"Space limitations did not allow complete tasting notes for this Cru Bourgeois, but 2005 is the finest vintage for these wines since 1982. The range of scores for these wines should give readers an idea of just how consistent this vintage is at this level. Given the style of the vintage, most of these wines should be accessible young yet evolve for a decade or more because of their concentration and tannic structure." (WA)

"Considerable depth of flavor here, with complex ripe tannins, topping the dense black fruits. There’s spice from the wood, some stalky tannins from the fruit, and an edge of youth that will need 3–4 years to show its potential." (WE)


As time moves on the wines, from the fabulous vintage of 2005, not only become scarcer but those still for sale are steadily inching up in price. Therefore, it’s a pleasure to find a most pleasant, delicate ’05 Bordeaux from a top appellation that is still available (all-be-it, in small quantities) for under $24 while on special at L. A. Wine Co.

Chateau Caronne Ste. Gemme lies in the central Haut-Medoc, in the commune of St. Laurent, which is about two miles inland from the Gironde River and not that far from Chateau Margaux. The vineyard covers about 110 acres, producing in the neighborhood of 20,000 cases a year from a cepage of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot and a 2% dab of Petit Verdot. Aging occurs for about 15 months is small barrels of which about a fifth are new each year.

The wines of this Chateau are known for producing stylish, light to medium bodied wines with flavors and aromas of cherries (from the Cabernet), currants and blueberries, with strong hints of herbs like bay leaf and pleasant traces of wild-mushrooms and wet leather. And all of these attributes are certainly present in this 2005, which may be the best wine the Chateau ever produced.

Chateau Caronne Ste. Gemme lies in an isolated area of St. Laurent, surrounding a distinguished Chateau with a great stone terrace. The name derives from St. James Spring (“Caronne” comes from the Latin where it means a small natural spring – and Ste. Gemme is a local corruption of St. James or St. Jaime). And I know you were just dying for this fascinating trivia, which you can blame on the History major that writes this Guide.

RATING: 90/91

PRICE: 750ml $23.95, ***bargain

WHERE: Los Angeles Wine Co.

(Martin's Guide to Wine Bargains)