Cellar Management

Pick My Next Bottle – 2005 Washington Cabernet Sauvignon

The March Installment of Pick My Next Bottle focuses on Washington Cabernet Sauvignon from the 2005 vintage. As I mentioned in the first installment, the purpose of this series is to provide insight into specific wines or producers you may currently have in your cellar. The winning bottle will be opened this Sunday and a Bottle Note will be published later that week.

I chose Washington Cabernet Sauvignon as March is Taste Washington Wine Month. Taste Washington Wine Month is an annual celebration of Washington State’s award winning industry. The culmination of Taste Washington Wine Month is Taste Washington, a massive tasting of food and wine held at the CenturyLink Field Event Center.

2005 was a very good vintage in Washington. The hot Summer was followed by cool weather in September and although the crop was smaller than normal, the wines have aged beautifully.

The Contenders:

  • 2005 Betz Père de Famille Cabernet Sauvignon – 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, and 2% Malbec. Good deep, bright ruby-red. Sappy aromas of crushed blackberry, licorice, minerals, and spices. Wonderfully sweet but less pliant and open today than the Clos de Betz; more affected by the bottling. With aeration, this showed subtle cabernet notes of cassis, Belgian chocolate and fresh herbs. This dense, thick wine boasts outstanding structure and dimension, and finishes with terrific persistence. Betz used his highest percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon to date in this wine, and the lowest amount of Merlot. 93 points from Stephen Tanzer.
  • 2005 Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Galitzine Vineyard – The 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Galitzine Vineyard comes from the fifth leaf of this estate vineyard and in this vintage contains 4.5% Merlot. The wine was aged for 22 months in 100% new French oak. Opaque purple-colored, its distinctive aromatics leap from the glass. Toasty oak, scorched earth, a hint of truffle, black cherry, black raspberry, and blackberry liqueur aromas are quite mesmerizing. On the palate, this sizable effort is firm, full-bodied, and structured, demanding 6-8 years of cellaring. It should be hitting its stride by 2015 and remain at that level through 2035. 97 points from the Wine Advocate.
  • 2005 Leonetti Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley –  The Cabernet is sharply defined, with interesting citrus flavors defining the borders of the fruit. Lemon peel, candied pineapple and even grapefruit add lovely grace notes indicative of rich, clean, natural acids and a wine with plenty of glycerin. The stunning red fruits are polished and backed with details such as dried herb, and a tiny hint of mint. This may well be the most ageworthy Leonetti Cabernet ever made. 96 points from the Wine Enthusiast.

Which 2005 Washington Cabernet Sauvignon should I open?

  • 2005 Leonetti Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley (39%, 20 Votes)
  • 2005 Betz Père de Famille Cabernet Sauvignon (37%, 19 Votes)
  • 2005 Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Galitzine Vineyard (24%, 12 Votes)

Total Voters: 51

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Thanks for voting! I’d love to see a comment below on why you picked one bottle over another. Also, let me know if you have any suggestions for the April installment of Pick My Next Bottle.

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2 thoughts on “Pick My Next Bottle – 2005 Washington Cabernet Sauvignon

  1. 2005 Betz is my pick. Don’t know much about this vintage of Betz but I’m thinking it might be earlier drinking than the other two candidates. Cheers Tom!

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