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Chateau Angelus 2005

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Winemaker Notes

This vintage also belongs on the list of great, legendary Bordeaux vintages. At Chateau Angelus, the vintage was crowned with outstanding scores by the great wine critics and acclaimed by all the professionals. Harmony, balance between power and freshness, and aromatic precision are the features of this unique vintage.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 100
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Truly great stuff, this wine performed at a three-digit level both in the horizontal tasting of 2005s in Baltimore, as well as in Montreal at this mini-vertical. This sensational, opaque, bluish/purple wine offers up notes of vanillin, spring flowers, blueberry and blackberry liqueur, plus a touch of licorice. The wine hits the palate with a thunderous cascade of ripe, rich, concentrated fruit. It is full-bodied, multidimensional and layered. The tannins are beautifully integrated but still present, and the wood, acidity, alcohol, etc., are all beautifully assimilated in this magnificent, majestic vintage of Angelus. It can be drunk now, but it is still an adolescent and that suggests it has at least another 25-35 years of longevity.
JD 100
Jeb Dunnuck
The 2005 Angelus is as good as it gets, and despite having 2-3 decades of prime drinking ahead of it, is as profound a drinking experience as money can buy even today. Offering off the hook notes of blackcurrants, smoked herbs, blackberries, toasted spice, espresso and scorched earth, this beauty is unctuous and opulent on the palate, with incredible depth, yet never seems heavy, cumbersome or over the top. It has more depth and concentration than the 1990 (and I suspect any vintage in the 1990s or 2000s) and will keep for another 30 years or more.
WS 96
Wine Spectator
Black purple in color, with coffee, blackberry and currant on the nose. Full-bodied, with supervelvety tannins and a long aftertaste of toasty oak and ripe fruit. Very close to the 2000. Superb. Best after 2018. 7,000 cases made.
W&S 96
Wine & Spirits
Angélus has both beautiful richness and shape in 2005, the sensual touch people hope to find in merlot that it so rarely and exquisitely delivers. The spice, the beeswax, the chocolate and black fruit are all there, but the focus is on the wine's subtle power, not any particular flavor. This had appeared black and superripe en primeur. Now there's a dark, earthy vibration in the tannin, a reverberation in the middle that touches senses beyond taste. This should live for decades.
CG 95
Connoisseurs' Guide
Among the top St. Emilion bottlings in recent years, Angelus rings the bell once again with its rich and opulent style. Full, ripe and plush with more than a slight resemblance to Napa's best, it is a deeply fruited and unabashed proponent of the new "international" model. Its juicy intensity moves it to the head of the class now, but it has the tannic substructure to grow for a good many years.
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Chateau Angelus

Chateau Angelus

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Chateau Angelus, France
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The vineyard of Chateau Angélus is situated in a natural amphitheatre overlooked by the three Saint-Emilion churches. In the middle of this special site, the sounds were amplified and the angelus bells could be heard ringing in the morning, at midday and in the evening. They cadenced the working day in the vineyards and villages, calling the men and women to stop their labours for a few minutes and pray.

Less than a kilometre from the famous Saint-Emilion bell tower, situated on the much-vaunted south-facing “foot of the hill”, Angélus has been the life work of eight generations of the Boüard de Laforest family.

In the first-ever classification of Saint-Emilion wines in 1954, Chateau Angélus was a Grand Cru Classé. Already at the time, it benefitted from a solid reputation, which helped it survive the Bordeaux wine crisis of 1973 and take part in the oenological renewal of the 1980’s. This was the context in which Hubert de Boüard de Laforest, a graduate oenologist from Bordeaux University, took advantage of this marvellous wine’s illustrious past, while being resolutely turned towards the future and launched and continued to implement an ambitious, innovative policy in favour of achieving excellence in wine growing and making.

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St-Émilion

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Marked by its historic fortified village—perhaps the prettiest in all of Bordeaux, the St-Émilion appellation, along with its neighboring village of Pomerol, are leaders in quality on the Right Bank of Bordeaux. These Merlot-dominant red wines (complemented by various amounts of Cabernet Franc and/or Cabernet Sauvignon) remain some of the most admired and collected wines of the world.

St-Émilion has the longest history in wine production in Bordeaux—longer than the Left Bank—dating back to an 8th century monk named Saint Émilion who became a hermit in one of the many limestone caves scattered throughout the area.

Today St-Émilion is made up of hundreds of independent farmers dedicated to the same thing: growing Merlot and Cabernet Franc (and tiny amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon). While always roughly the same blend, the wines of St-Émilion vary considerably depending on the soil upon which they are grown—and the soils do vary considerably throughout the region.

The chateaux with the highest classification (Premier Grand Cru Classés) are on gravel-rich soils or steep, clay-limestone hillsides. There are only four given the highest rank, called Premier Grand Cru Classés A (Chateau Cheval Blanc, Ausone, Angélus, Pavie) and 14 are Premier Grand Cru Classés B. Much of the rest of the vineyards in the appellation are on flatter land where the soils are a mix of gravel, sand and alluvial matter.

Great wines from St-Émilion will be deep in color, and might have characteristics of blackberry liqueur, black raspberry, licorice, chocolate, grilled meat, earth or truffles. They will be bold, layered and lush.

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Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

DOB96144_2005 Item# 96144