| Wine Advocate 96 points (Apr 2009)
I tasted this three separate times, and on two occasions I thought it had the potential to be a perfect wine. The home estate of Hubert de Bouard, this 62+ acre vineyard produced a 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Franc blend in 2009, with yields of 20 hectoliters per hectare, and a whopping alcohol degree of 14.5%. Of course, the latter component is not even noticeable, as that is one of the erroneous myths about high alcohol in some 2009 Bordeaux. It just doesn’t show, thanks to the wine’s extraordinary concentration. This is a fabulous wine, with that tell-tale, dense, inky blue color that Angelus always seems to achieve. It displays an extraordinary nose of acacia flowers (or is it violets?) intermixed with blueberry liqueur, black raspberries, cassis, licorice, incense, and graphite. Full-bodied, viscous, with great intensity , vibrancy, and transparency, this is one of the all-time great wines from Angelus and a 21st century version of their 1989 and 1990. It should drink well for 20+ years – at the very minimum. (Tasted three times.)
Wine Advocate 95 points (Feb 1998)
A superb effort in this vintage, Angelus's opaque purple-colored 1995 is a massive, powerful, rich offering with plenty of ripe, sweet tannin. The wine's aromatics include scents of Provencal olives, jammy black cherries, blackberries, truffles, and toast. A very full-bodied wine, it is layered, thick, and pure. This is the most concentrated of the 1995 St.-Emilion premier grand crus. Anticipated maturity: 2002-2025.
Wine Advocate 91 points (Apr 1999)
A massive, powerful Angelus, this wine exhibits a saturated black/ruby/purple color as well as an impressively-endowed nose of dried herbs, roasted meats, new saddle leather, plum liqueur, and cassis. In the mouth, olive notes make an impression. This sweet, full-bodied, exceptionally concentrated wine is atypically backward and ferociously tannic. It was revealing more sweetness and forwardness immediately prior to bottling, but I would now recommend 7-8 years of cellaring. Anticipated Maturity: 2007-2025.
The finest effort since the 1989 and 1990, this dense purple-colored wine has an extravagantly ripe, concentrated style. The 2000 (in a new engraved bottle) offers up aromas of blackberry liqueur and vintage port. As the wine sits in the glass, graphite, wet stones, smoke, barbecue spices, and olives also make an appearance. It unfolds on the palate in layers, is full-bodied, big and rich yet incredibly poised, well-balanced, and pure. Quite backward, this is one of the greatest Angelus made to date. Yields were a modest 35 hectoliters per hectare. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2030. Bravo!
Kudos to proprietor Hubert Bouard, who has been making brilliant wines at this estate since the mid- to late-1980s. A blend of 58% Cabernet Franc and 42% Merlot, the beautiful 2003 (14% alcohol; 6,500 cases produced) is somewhat tightly knit, but it reveals a perfumed nose of rose petals, blackberries, menthol, and cedar. This broad, sweet 2003's supple attack is followed by a tannic mid-section. The wine does not appear to be as dense or structured as the 2004. Given the high percentage of Cabernet Franc, it is likely to put on considerable weight in the bottle. This beauty is slightly different not only because of the torrid vintage conditions, but also because it incorporates the highest percentage of Cabernet Franc ever utilized at Angelus. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2023.
This 7,500-case blend of 62% Merlot and 38% Cabernet Franc is one of the strongest wines of the vintage. A deep blue/purple hue is accompanied by classic aromas of smoky blueberries and blackberries as well as incense and floral notes in the background. A beautiful texture, opulence, flamboyance, and purity characterize this stunningly deep, full-bodied effort, another great success from proprietor Hubert de Bouard. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2022.
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+. (96-98) points.
A spectacular effort (what?s new?), this brilliant offering from proprietor Hubert de Bouard is another classic. A blend of 62% Merlot and 38% Cabernet Franc, it boasts an inky/purple color as well as a sumptuous bouquet of creosote, blueberry pie, espresso roast, blackberries, and graphite. Extremely full-bodied and stunningly rich with a multi-layered texture, sweet tannin, and a 45-second finish, this exceptional 2006 is one of the great wines of St.-Emilion. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2028.
A super effort from proprietor Hubert de Bouard, this blend of 62% Merlot and 38% Cabernet Franc exhibits sweet notes of chocolate, charcoal, blackberries, and jammy cherries in its round, opulent, fleshy personality. Yields were 35 hectoliters per hectare, and the wine achieved 13.5% natural alcohol. Low acidity and ripe tannin make for a voluptuous style of Angelus to drink now and over the next 10-15 years.
Made from yields of 30 hectoliters per hectare, this blend of 58% Merlot and 42% Cabernet Franc exhibits an inky/blue/purple color as well as a sweet bouquet of blueberries, blackberries, camphor, forest floor, and a hint of spring flowers. Although backward, it reveals great intensity, sweet tannin, a nuanced, lively personality, full body, and a promising style. Like a lot of these wines, the score for this wine is probably low given the late malolactic fermentation as well as a later than usual blending. There have been so many great wines from Angelus since 1989 that it is hard to put the 2008 in the context of some of the other remarkable vintages. My guess is that there are five vintages that will ultimately eclipse it - 1989, 1990, 1998, 2000, and 2005, but not by much. However, the 2008 is not far off the mark of any of those legends. It should drink well for 25-30 years.
A candidate for one of the finest Angelus produced to date (and there have been many, including 1989, 1990, 2000 and 2005), this blend of 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Franc was fashioned from tiny yields of 20 hectoliters per hectare. It boasts a black/purple color along with a gorgeous perfume of blueberry liqueur, spring flowers and graphite. In the mouth, notes of incense and cassis also emerge from this velvety-textured, full-bodied, intensely concentrated 2009. With silky tannins, low acidity and spectacular purity, texture and depth, it is already approachable (although I?m sure proprietor Hubert de Bouard would think drinking it now is akin to infanticide), but should keep for 20-30+ years.
Rich and rather stolid now, this features a wall of roasted apple
wood and charcoal flavors in front of the dense core of black Mission
fig, steeped black currant fruit and espresso notes. Extremely
dense on the finish, but the inlaid spice and tobacco hints are
there just beneath the surface, needing only extended cellaring to
emerge fully. One of the larger-scaled efforts of the vintage. Best
from 2018 through 2035.—J.M