Kirwan 2005


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Tasting Notes

I remember tasting a number of Kirwans from the 19th century that had held up surprisingly well for over 100 years. While the 2005 will probably not last that long, it may be one of the finest wines this estate has made in the last fifty years. This brilliant, full-bodied, powerful, broodingly backward Margaux exhibits a dense purple hue along with notes of charcoal, licorice, blackberries, and graphite. Exceptionally concentrated, possessing high tannin, zesty acidity, and a 45-second finish, it should be purchased only by patient connoisseurs. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2035.

Score: 92+Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (176), April 2008

Although significantly more closed than it was a year ago, the 2005 Kirwan is unquestionably the most impressive offering this estate has produced in over one-hundred years. The dense purple color is accompanied by aromas of graphite, black currant jam, espresso roast, truffles, asphalt, and subtle toasty oak. Full-bodied, powerful, and backward, with high tannin, good acidity, and a superb finish, this Medoc should only be purchased by patient connoisseurs. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2030+.

Score: 91/94Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (170), April 2007

Here we go again! This extraordinary wine is the greatest Kirwan made since some of the estate’s historic offerings of the mid-1800s. An inky/black/purple color accompanies a gorgeous perfume of incense, creme de cassis, licorice, and subtle wood. It boasts thrilling levels of richness, full body, layers of concentration, high glycerin as well as tannin, and a fabulous 60-second finish. This compelling effort possesses 50 or more years of aging potential. Kudos to Sophie Schyler, the charming proprietress who gave such a graceful performance while under attack in the disingenuous movie Mondovino. The 2005 Kirwan will be at its finest between 2014-2050+.

Score: 93/95+Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (164), April 2006

Score: 93James Suckling,, February 2008

I like the mineral, lead pencil and berry aromas to this. Full-bodied, very silky and refined. Long finish. Compact and tight, with lovely structure.

Score: 92/94James Suckling,, March 2006

Tasted blind. Dark crimson. Fresh nose, though no great concentration. Savoury/vegy finish. Not compelling concentration but attractive current drinking. Meat-extract flavours.
Drink 2014-2028

Score: 16.5Jancis Robinson MW,, March 2017

Very dark crimson. Extremely sweet and ripe - lacks a bit of energy although there is quite a bit of green acidity on the finish. A little bit awkward at the moment

Score: 16Jancis Robinson MW,, February 2009

Very exotic, sweetly floral notes - not the purest. The strength of tannins deadens the fruit and the finish. A bit furry and over the top. This is for sipping not drinking. Drink 2013-19

Score: 15.5Jancis Robinson MW,, April 2006

Bright, deep red. Expressive, full-blown aromas of currant, coffee and mocha. Sweet, round and ripe, with sexy flavors of ripe berries and licorice. Quite full for Margaux, and finishing with sweet tannins and lovely lingering fruit.

Score: 91Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, June 2008

Deep, richly extracted, good solid wine with fragrance and finely grained tannins to back up the rounded, rich fruit. Drink 2009-20.

Score: 17Steven Spurrier, Decanter Magazine, April 2006

Finely perfumed; coffee, chocolate, spice and ripe plum notes. Tightly wound, deep yet still offers Margaux 'joie de vivre'. Drink from 2016. Awarded 3 stars.

Score: 16.4Decanter Magazine, Decanter Magazine, July 2008

Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.