Chateau Angelus 2021

Chateau Angelus has released at £1560 IB per 6, with William Kelley of The Wine Advocate calling it “A brilliant wine that signposts this estate’s evolution under Stéphanie de Boüard-Rivoal” and awarding 94-96+ points. The new style of Chateau Angelus lends particularly well to this lighter vintage. Angelus is making more restrained wine than ever before and this medium bodied Angelus is notably elegant and toned. There is less alcohol than usual too, with Antonio Galloni stating it is “a bit lower than the recent norm, works quite well in this vintage.” Most interestingly there is a massive proportion of Cabernet Franc in the blend, making up 60% of the final wine this year.

We have been following the immense progress made at this Chateau for the last 4 years, under the management of Stéphanie de Boüard-Rivoal. This is an estate which is producing out some very impressive wine indeed.

From the critics

A brilliant wine that signposts this estate’s evolution under Stéphanie de Boüard-Rivoal, the 2021 Angélus is a blend of 60% Cabernet Franc and 40% Merlot, with fully half of the old-vine Cabernet Franc maturing in foudres rather than 225-liter barriques. The result is a wine of unprecedented purity and finesse, unwinding in the glass with compelling aromas of plums, raspberries, rose petals, vine smoke, blood orange and warm spices, followed by a medium to full-bodied, deep and layered palate with a rich and fleshy core that entirely conceals its structuring chassis of ultra-refined tannins. Bright and sapid, it’s striking for its integration and elegance at this early stage, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it upstage a number of more touted vintages once it’s in bottle. 94-96+ Points, William Kelley (Wine Advocate)

For the first time ever, Angélus is 60% Cabernet Franc and 40% Merlot in 2021. There’s terrific density and power, especially within the context of the year. Black cherry, chocolate, spice, menthol and lavender all build nicely in the glass. The 2021 has quite a bit of richness, and its 14% alcohol, a bit lower than the recent norm, works quite well in this vintage. All it needs is a bit of time to help soften some of the raw contours that are present today. 94-96 Points, Antonio Galloni (Vinous) Drink 2031 to 2061

The 2021 Angélus contains 60% Cabernet Franc, the highest percentage ever, and also reflects an increasing use of wooden foudres (half the Cabernet Franc or 30% of the whole blend). It has a more understated bouquet compared to the bravura vintages of the last three years, demanding gentle coaxing to reveal scents of brambly black fruit, potpourri, hints of orange pith and a little . The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannins, and quite sapid, the Cabernet Franc lending a slightly more chalky texture and a linear, focused finish. Displaying fine tension throughout, though not astoundingly long, this Angelus deserves 4–5 years in bottle to show its true potential. 93-95 Points, Neal Martin (Vinous) Drink 2026 to 2055

BUY NOW

Chateau Leoville Barton 2021

Chateau Leoville Barton 2021 released at £334 per 6 IB, 8% down on the 2020. As ever, Leoville Barton provides long term fans with yet another appealing release in 2021 – it is always one of the best value, top tier St. Julien Chateau. Leoville Barton represents classic great age worthy Bordeaux, but in recent years, under the recent helm of Damien Barton, the wine has become far more accessible in its youth. You no longer have to wait 25 years for it to come round. Scoring 93-95 points with a glowing review from William Kelley of the Wine Advocate who calls it “A terrific success”.

The 2021 vintage is the first to be vinified in the Chateau’s brand new state-of the-art winery, and also the last before the sad passing of the estate’s legendary owner, Anthony Barton. This is classic St Julien that offers elegance and power in abundance. As Neal Martin quite rightly states: “I cannot see any reason not to own a few bottles of this in your cellar”.

From the critics

A terrific success, the 2021 Léoville Barton unwinds in the glass with aromas of blackcurrant, wild berries and plums mingled with hints of pencil shavings, loamy soil and cigar wrapper. Medium to full-bodied, deep and seamless, it’s concentrated and tensile, with beautifully refined tannins, lively acids and all the class that an elevated percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon growing in deep gravel can provide. It’s the first vintage vinified in the Barton family’s new winery, and I suspect that contributes to the ultra-refined quality of tannin this year. The blend is 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc. Tasted three times. 93-95 Points, William Kelley (Wine Advocate)

The 2021 Léoville-Barton was picked from 27 September until 7 October, matured in 60% new oak. The alcohol is 13.12%. It has a clean and pure bouquet with blackberry, bilberry, cedar and hints of shucked oyster shell: focused and very well delineated, classic in style. The palate has a smooth and cohesive entry, very well-knit with beautifully integrated oak. Crisp acidity with the perfect amount of tension on the classically-styled finish, this Léoville Barton demonstrates the advantages of their brand new cellar (even though the reception was not finished in time!) I cannot see any reason not to own a few bottles of this in your cellar. 93-95 Points, Neal Martin (Vinous) Drink 2026-2050

The 2021 Léoville-Barton is a wine of notable intensity, but all of that power is directed inward. Tightly coiled and vibrant, the Léoville-Barton is going to need time to be ready, but that is to be expected. There is terrific energy here, if not the volume of the preceding three vintages. That’s not a problem. 92-94 Points, Antonio Galloni (Vinous) Drink 2031-2061

BUY NOW

Chateau Langoa Barton 2021

Released alongside Leoville Barton is the excellent Langoa Barton at £177 per 6 IB, situated quite literally over the road from Leoville Barton and owned by the Barton family. The 2021 is a very pretty wine indeed with Neal Martin awarding 91-93 points and commenting that “this is quite a gorgeous Saint-Julien that will age beautifully in bottle”. It’s a wine to drink before your Leoville Barton – there are less tannins present by comparison and this could be opened and massively enjoyed in as little as 4-5 years.

Celebrating its 200th anniversary of family ownership with a special commemorative label the price is favourable to other leading vintages in the marketplace. Langoa is also at the top of our recommendations for 2021s under £200 IB per 6. Don’t miss it, it’s wonderful.

From the critics

The first vintage vinified in the Barton family’s new winery, the 2021 Langoa Barton is immensely promising, offering up aromas of cassis, cigar wrapper, loamy soil and black truffle, followed by a medium to full-bodied, velvety and seamless palate that’s deep and complete, its vibrant core of fruit framed by ripe tannins and lively acids. It’s a blend of 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc. Tasted three times. 92-94 points, William Kelley (Wine Advocate)

The 2021 Langoa Barton was picked 27 September until 7 October, matured in 60% new oak. Analysis shows 13.03% alcohol. It has a well-defined bouquet with expressive Merlot this year. Hints of blood orange/orange sorbet percolate through the red fruit. It has a skip in its step. The palate is medium-bodied with a taut and fresh entry. Plenty of sapidity here, oyster shell tinged with a well-defined and quite persistent finish. Lovely length, this is quite a gorgeous Saint-Julien that will age beautifully in bottle. 91-93 points, Neal Martin (Vinous) Drink 2026-2048

The 2021 Langoa Barton is an attractive, mid-weight Saint-Julien that should drink nicely with minimal cellaring. Red fruit, cedar, spice, tobacco and rose petal lend lovely vibrancy throughout. Brightness and energy drive the balance in this understated, classy Saint Julien from the Barton family. 90-92 points, Antonio Galloni (Vinous) Drink 2031-2046

BUY NOW

Chateau Palmer 2021

Chateau Palmer has released at £1,422 per 6 IB. Despite its Third Growth classification, Palmer is considered by critics to be among the best produced wines anywhere in Bordeaux, second only to Chateau Margaux itself in the village of Margaux. This release is no exception, they have made a stand-out wine in 2021. Indeed, Antonio Galloni scores amongst his highest of the vintage with 94-97 points (he awards Chateau Margaux 95-97 points) and notes “The 2021 Palmer is one of the truly epic wines of the year”.

Renowned for its ethereal elegance and alluring perfumed nose, it is always at the top end of Bordeaux connoisseurs wish lists. With a 30% reduction in volume released in 2021, we expect huge demand for their latest release. William Kelley of the Wine Advocate notes that “the 2021 marks a return to the classical proportions of the 1990s” awarding an excellent 95-97 points and praising this “beautifully balanced wine of striking intensity”. Neal Martin is in agreement, calling the 2021 “Superb”. Awarding 94-96 points Martin notes the way this “unfurls with subtle graphite scents, blackberry, hints of cassis”. The 2021 release is a classical Palmer, incredibly refined and elegant, a wine which will certainly take its well-deserved place among the Chateau’s best vintages.

From the critics

The late-ripening, low-yielding vintage has delivered a beautifully balanced wine of striking intensity in the 2021 Palmer. Unwinding in the glass with complex aromas of blackberries, exotic spices, licorice, violets and burning embers, it’s full-bodied, layered and enveloping, with a deep, concentrated core of fruit, ripe tannins and lively acids, concluding with a long, expansive finish. If recent vintages of Palmer have set new records in their power and richness, the 2021 marks a return to the classical proportions of the 1990s—with all the additional concentration and precision that Thomas Douroux’s pioneering viticulture and thoughtful winemaking have brought to the equation at this address in the interim. The grand vin is a blend of 56% Merlot, 41% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Petit Verdot, picked between September 24 and October 15. Tasted twice. 95-97 points, William Kelley (Wine Advocate)

The 2021 Palmer is one of the truly epic wines of the year. It’s not the 2018, but it is in that vein, albeit at 13% in alcohol. There’s tremendous richness and sheer extract here. Blackberry jam, chocolate, smoke, licorice, lavender and mocha notes possess remarkable primary intensity, more like a young must than a wine with a few months of age. Readers will find a Palmer that offers a compelling mix of opulence and energy. 94-97 points, Antonio Galloni (Vinous) Drink 2031-2061

The 2021 Palmer has a discrete bouquet that demands patience. This does not race out of the blocks, rather it unfurls with subtle graphite scents, blackberry, hints of cassis, plus some of the briny aromas that I noticed on the Alter Ego. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins that frame the cedar and graphite infused black fruit. Quite strict for a Palmer, yet fresh with a cerebral, saline finish that is almost Pauillac-like in style despite the majority from old Merlot vines that are situated on some of its finest gravel terroirs. Very long, very suave on the finish. Superb. 94-96 points, Neal Martin (Vinous) Drink 2030-2065

BUY NOW

Chateau Pontet Canet 2021

Chateau Pontet Canet 2021 has released at £445 per 6 IB. Pontet Canet is one of our favourite Chateau, not only in Pauillac, but also the whole of Bordeaux. Pontet 2021 is a brilliant wine, with Lisa Perrotti-Brown of the Wine Independent awarding 93-95 points, noting “it pops from the glass with vibrant blueberries, Morello cherries, and cassis scents, plus suggestions of violets, cinnamon stick, wet rocks, and forest floor with an exotic touch of cardamom.” Antonio Galloni matches this score of 93-95 points and also notes that this “is the most classically Pauillac Pontet Canet I have tasted in modern times” commenting that the 2021 “was impressive all three times I tasted it.” Jane Anson of Inside Bordeaux awards 95 points, as does Decanter magazine, and praises the “lovely precision, good level of spice, earthy, unfussy, rose stem and blackcurrant bud”. The 2021 is an “impressive wine from technical director Mathieu Bessonet”.

From the critics

Bright berry red in colour, nuanced blackberry and loganberry with bitter black chocolate notes from the first attack. Lovely precision, good level of spice, earthy, unfussy, rose stem and blackcurrant bud. This was the third vintage with mildew pessure, but the team are now experienced, and I can attest to seeing the vines during harvest and remarking on how healthy they looked, with no-till farming helping concentration. Plenty of tannins give structure and are shot through with sinew and juice, this is an impressive wine from technical director Mathieu Bessonet, with Pauillac typicity. Harvest 24 september until 12 October. 50% new oak, 35% amphora, 15% one year barrels, 15% press (aged in the amphora). 95 points, Jane Anson, Drink 2026-2044.

The 2021 Pontet-Canet is a blend of 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 6% Petit Verdot. Deep purple-black in color, it pops from the glass with vibrant blueberries, Morello cherries, and cassis scents, plus suggestions of violets, cinnamon stick, wet rocks, and forest floor with an exotic touch of cardamom. Medium-bodied, the palate has very finely grained tannins and well-poised freshness supporting the perfumed black fruits, leading to loads of minerally sparks on the finish of this very bright and shimmery wine. Harvest started on 24 September with Merlot, followed by the Cabernets and Petit Verdot on 4 October, and finished on 12 October. The wine is to be aged in 50% new oak barrels, 35% amphorae, and 15% 1-year barrels. 93-95 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown (The Wine Independent) Drink 2026-2050.

The 2021 is the most classically Pauillac Pontet Canet I have tasted in modern times. Medium in body, with striking aromatic presence, the 2021 screams with character. Grilled herbs, incense, leather, lavender and plum open with a bit of coaxing, all framed by beams of tannin and bright, salivating acids that give the wine shape and real sense of direction. There’s a bit more Petit Verdot in this year’s blend, and that comes through in the wine’s intensely savory profile. Aging is 50% in new wood, 35% in amphora and 15% in one year-old barrels. The 2021 was impressive all three times I tasted it. 93-95 points, Antonio Galloni (Vinous) Drink 2031-2046.

BUY NOW

 

Chateau Berlique 2021

Chateau Berliquet 2021 has released at £228 per 6 IB. This Chateau is for savvy collectors in the know – purchased back in 2017 by Chanel, owner of Canon and Rauzan Segla. Berliquet sits on some serious terroir, so close to Canon it basically could be Canon. It’s also close to Chateau Angelus and Chateau Ausone, both 1er Grand Cru Classe ‘A’ Chateau. The shared factor between these Chateaux is the coveted clay and limestone of St. Emilions plateau. Berliquet has scored 92-93 points from William Kelley of the Wine Advocate who says the estate “continues to go from strength to strength under the administration of Nicolas Audibert” it also scores 91-93 points from Neal Martin who says it is “One to watch” and we couldn’t agree more.

The quality at the Chateau has risen considerably under their new technical director Nicolas Audebert (also the TD at Canon and Rauzan Segla). Thomas Duclot, Bordeaux’s current favoured consultant was also hired. The team believe that Berliquet has the same potential as Chateau Canon to produce some of the right bank’s most stellar wines. Both Canon and Rauzan Segla are enormously over-subscribed year on year, and are sold on allocation, Berliquet is not (for now), so our advice is to start buying this wine now, whilst there is great access. The scores have already started to rise at this estate, and under Duclot, this is a property is one to keep an eager eye on!

 

From the critics

The 2021 Berliquet shows considerable promise, exhibiting aromas of cherries, wild berries, raw cocoa and rose petals, followed by a medium to full-bodied, lively and charming palate that’s framed by powdery tannins and tangy acids. Concluding with a long and saline finish, this estate continues to go from strength to strength under the administration of Nicolas Audibert and his team. 92-93 Points, William Kelley (Wine Advocate)

The 2021 Berliquet was picked September 23 to October 5 at 30hL/ha, and matured in 44% new oak for a planned 16 months. Limpid purple in color. The nose is surprisingly concentrated given the growing season, offering and violet petal aromas. The palate is medium-bodied with quite firm tannins that frame the black cherry and boysenberry fruit. Not a complex Berliquet, yet it possesses admirable substance and ripeness on the finish. One to watch. 91-93 Points, Neal Martin (Vinous) Drink 2029-2050

The 2021 Berliquet is the best wine the new team led by Technical Director Nicolas Audebert has made since taking over the property a few years ago. The purity of the fruit is striking. Red cherry, plum, lavender, rose petal and spice lend nuance throughout. Despite the obviously challenging growing season, the Berliquet team turned out a very pretty wine. Impressive. Tasted three times.  91-93 Points, Antonio Galloni (Vinous) Drink 2029-2036

BUY NOW

 

Chateau Laroque 2021

A perennial favourite at IG Wines, Chateau Laroque 2021 has released at £240 per 12 IB. Scoring 93-95 Points from Antonio Galloni who calls it “a standout” and says “David Suire fashioned a gem. Don’t miss it”, this £20 a bottle claret massively over delivers for its price tag and lays testament to the fact that there is still phenomenal value for money to be found in Bordeaux.

At this price point, Chateau Laroque is a wine to buy in quantity. Galloni comments that with the 2021, “Laroque stakes its claim as Saint-Émilion’s brightest rising star”. We couldn’t agree more and collectors at all levels recognise that Laroque is massively undervalued in the Bordeaux marketplace. Awarding 92-95 points, William Kelley of the Wine Advocate notes that the 2021 Laroque “is very promising indeed” and praises the “excellent concentration, lively acids and ripe, melting tannins”. Jane Anson concurs, awarding an impressive 93 points noting the quality of the 2021 release is “worthy of congratulations. One to look out for”

From the critics

The 2021 Laroque is very promising indeed, and winemaker David Suire and I agree that it is likely to surpass the estate’s 2018 vintage in quality. Unwinding in the glass with aromas of sweet berries, plums and cherries, framed by a discreet patina of new oak, it’s medium to full-bodied, seamless and complete, with excellent concentration, lively acids and ripe, melting tannins. A blend of 99% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc, it represents 45% of the estate’s production and derives from vines more than 50 years old. 92-95 Points, William Kelley (Wine Advocate)

The 2021 Laroque is a standout. Bright and racy, with tremendous persistence, Laroque stakes its claim as Saint-Émilion’s brightest rising star. Bright limestone accents run through a core of red/purplish fruit, rose petal, mint and white pepper. There is a linear intensity to Laroque that is hugely appealing. Technical Director David Suire fashioned a gem. Don’t miss it. 93-95 Points, Antonio Galloni (Vinous) Drink 2029-2036

This is juicy, mouthwatering, has a pumice-stone limestone texture and a slow unrolling of plum and raspberry fruits and smoked spices while maintaining grip. They have been making great wine here over recent vintages, and to keep the quality in 2021 is worthy of congratulations. One to look out for. Beaurmartin family, David Suire director, 61ha size, 41hl/h yield. 45% of production in the Grand Vin. 93 points, Jane Anson (Inside Bordeaux)

BUY NOW

Related Posts