2005 Chateau Angelus 1.5 L

Year: 2005
Appellation: Saint-Emilion
Country: France
Wine Spectator: 96
Wine Advocate: 100
Vinous Media: 97
Connoisseurs' Guide: 95
Wine Enthusiast: 93-95
Red Wine
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Price :
$999.95

"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." (WS)

"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.

The Boüard family, the proprietors of Château Angelus, date from 1544 in St.-Emilion. Located on lower hillsides, with a southerly exposure, their 67-acre vineyard, composed of sandstone, limestone and clay, is planted with 47% Cabernet Franc, 50% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon. Hubert de Boüard, who single-handedly elevated the quality from one of mediocrity (vintages such as 1978, 1982, 1983, and 1985 were disappointing), hit pay dirt with his efforts starting in 1988. Since then, there has been a remarkable succession of great wines.

Radical viticulture such as crop-thinning, shoot-positioning and the immensely labor-intensive manual destemming are employed. Both a second and third wine are made, as the selection process for Angelus is severe. All of this resulted in the 2012 Angelus being upgraded, along with Pavie, to Premier Grand Cru Classé A, joining Cheval Blanc and Ausone as one of only four estates in St.-Emilion to receive this accolade.

Aging takes place in 100% new oak for 18-24 months, after which the wine is bottled with neither fining nor filtration." (WA)

"The 2005 Angélus is the most tannic and forbidding of the three wines in this last flight. Deep, massively concentrated and youthful, the 2005 is going to need at least a few more years in bottle to start drinking well. Even so, its pedigree and class are quite evident. Next to Pavie and Cheval Blanc, Angélus has broader shoulders, larger-grained tannins and more overt ripeness, while the Cabernet Franc is quite evident, especially when compared with the Cheval." (VM)

"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." (CG)

"A spicy, densely sweet wine, all ripe purple fruits bursting out of a straitjacket of tannins, with the wood flavors quite dominant at this stage. The wine is firm, but the fruit is so big that the dryness is lost." (WE)