Great year, great wine, and (for a 2005 Bordeaux) a great bargain. The color is still very dark, just starting to lose the bright brilliance of a young wine. The nose is multi-layered, deep black cherries and boysenberry, black currant and tobacco. allspice and nutmeg. It is powerful and young on the palate, leading with red fruit, cherry with a tart shot of cranberry. Layers start showing on the mid-palate, black plum and black currant, mocha, and Christmas spices. The finish is very long. Big tannins and bright acids offer another decade in the cellar before the next taste, if you really feel like waiting. If you don’t, decant it early.

Who: Chateau Lasségue
What: Merlot (60%), Cabernet Franc (35%), Cabernet Sauvignon (5%)
Where: France, Bordeaux, Saint Émilion
When: 2005
How Much: $125