I'm not sure where I read or heard – but the old rule is that in good vintages you can buy cheap stuff and in bad vintages you should splurge on the big boys. 2005 was known as a great Bordeaux vintage and I'll be blunt – I grabbed every under $10 bottle I could find – this one was seven. Let's take a look.
A funky nose – earth, oak, menthol, tobacco, and some alcohol.
Let this wine open for two hours. Before this wine saw a fair amount of air, it was almost like a piece of gum. It had a burst of cherry flavor but the longer you swished and swirled the more the flavor faded. Bright tart cherry, some oak, a bit of cigar box, and a reasonable amount of dried spices – from anise to oregano to eucalyptus. The acid and tannins become more pronounced with air as well – this went from completely dull to quite reasonable. It's a simple wine, even with concentration, and as such – with mild acid, fruit, and tannins – can be deemed little more than a simple quaff.
There are some some dried spices, perhaps some cherry and cinnamon, even a touch of mint.
This has some nice Bordeaux qualities and it's tough to criticize a cheap Bordeaux that actually has some reasonable essence of the region even without the complexity and nuances. If you've never had Bordeaux, this may be a good wine to try. To me, if you just drink this wine – just consuming it with pizza or whatnot – it's fine, good in fact. The more you think about it, the less it stands up – serve this at a party, with a large group of friends, or as the third bottle at a dinner party and you'll be fine.