Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
This second bottle showed absolutely no trace of oxidation, but did offer plenty of crushed, chalky minerality, notes of plum, blueberry, black raspberry and cherry fruit, a dense purple color, a full-bodied mouthfeel, and fabulous structure, purity and length. It should drink well for at least another 20+ years. (RP)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright ruby-red. Sweet cherry dominates the nose. Suave, sweet and spherical; a slightly high-toned fruit bomb, with flavors of cherry, blackberry, currant, crushed rocks and blackberry. An intriguing floral quality gives this very ripe wine a light touch and excellent back-end lift. Very easy to taste today, but this superconcentrated wine is likely to close down in the bottle. (ST) 91+
Powerful aromas of coffee, licorice and blackberry follow through to a full body, with soft, velvety tannins, a long, flavorful finish and a mineral, chocolate and aniseed aftertaste. Has a balanced, caressing texture. (JS)
Robert Parker offered this, more detailed wine note in 2008: "Bellevue has only been making terrific wine since 2000, which probably explains why they were not upgraded to a grand cru classe in St.-Emilion’s most recent reclassification. This small (15.5 acres), south-facing hillside vineyard has such outstanding neighbors as Angelus and both Beausejours. Additionally, it boasted Nicolas Thienpont and Stephane Derenoncourt as managers, who represent uncompromising viticulture and winemaking at its best. The winemaking team is likely to change as the estate was recently sold to Angelus. The 2005, a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, is a wine for true connoisseurs. It possesses a dense purple color to the rim along with a huge perfume of camphor, charcoal, graphite, blackberries, cassis, raspberries, and a liqueur of rocks-like component. Super-concentrated with chewy richness as well as enormous tannins, it, along with Ausone and Clos de Sarpe, may be St.-Emilion’s most backward wine. More of a long distance runner, it will provide little near-term pleasure."
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