Could this be the most profound Angelus yet made by the brilliant Hubert de Bouard since he turned this once under-achieving estate around in the mid-eighties? A blend of 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Franc, the spectacular, inky/blue/purple-hued 2005 (7,080 cases; 14.5% natural alcohol) exhibits an extraordinary projected nose of blueberries, blackberries, liqueur of minerals, flowers, and subtle, toasty new oak. Magnificently concentrated, displaying a seamless integration of acidity, wood, tannin, and alcohol, a soaring mid-palate, and a finish that lasts over 60 seconds, this is a wine of compelling potential. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2030+. RP Jr. 96-98
Deep crimson. Lovely wine with intense liquorice/ blackcurrant/ plummy/ cedar aromas. The palate is dense and powerful with sweet juicy blackcurrant/ brambly/ aniseed fruit, chalky firm tannins and marvellous persistency. One of the best St Emilions of the vintage. 2016-2024. AC 94-96
St.-Émilion is the star of Bordeaux’s Right Bank, north of the Dordogne River. The rich red wines produced in St.-Émilion, based on Merlot and Cabernet Franc, are less tannic and generally more fruit-driven in flavour than the Cabernet-based wines of Left Bank. Merlot thrives on the plateaus high above the Dordogne, where the soil is filled with sand and clay, a perfect medium for creating opulent, fruit-forward wines. With a typically savoury character, St.-Émilion wines are sometimes called the “Burgundies of Bordeaux.” These refined reds, with loads of finesse, are elegant companions to beef, chicken, pork and duck.
The wines of St.-Émilion were not included in the famous 1855 classification of Bordeaux, which ranked wines of the Left Bank. In 1955, St.-Émilion published its own classification, based on soil analysis, wine quality and reputation of the properties. Unlike the 1855 classification, St.-Emilion’s system requires properties to continuously prove themselves. The list is revised regularly, most recently in 2012. There are two tiers within the classification, Premier Grand Cru Classé and Grand Cru Classé. There are currently just 18 Premier Grand Cru properties and 64 Grand Cru Classé properties.
The St.-Émilion appellation is home to hundreds of individual producers, enhancing the variety of wines made there. Many of the properties remain small, family-run enterprises, unlike the large châteaux of the Left Bank. The area is also the base of France’s controversial micro-châteaux or garagiste wine movement; these innovative winemakers operate outside the traditional classification system, making very high quality (and very expensive) highly extracted wines.