2005 produced a high quality harvest in the Douro region that has given rise to some outstanding Single Quinta port wines. The big producers did not declare the vintage and concentrated on producing Single Quinta ports from selected vineyards. The 2005 vintage ports are generally built for early consumption; the wines are already approachable but would benefit from further cellaring.
In Tuscany and Piedmont climate conditions have been erratic, with many producers saying 2005 has been a tough and difficult vintage. These tough weather conditions often mean that only the best producers will have the best results. The best wines will be Brunello, Barolo or Barbaresco.
2005 was an outstanding vintage in Bordeaux, one that produced wines that are rich in substance, flavour and tannin, and from which most have good acidity. 2005 Bordeaux wines were built in many cases for the long haul. The flavours are fresh and certainly cool climate in style, despite the character of the vintage; many show delightfully lively cranberry, redcurrant, red cherry and crunchy blackcurrant leaf character, and yet have a depth, substance and richness. These would make a great 14 year old wine gift for an anniversary this year.