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  • Jancis Robinson
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  • Jancis Robinson
8 Oct 2007

Château Angélus, one of the best and most well-known properties in Saint-Émilion (see Twenty vintages of Ch Angélus), has just acquired a 50 per cent stake in its neighbour Château Bellevue. If the first reason was proximity, the second was 'the exceptional quality of its terroir'. The other 50 per cent is owned by the de Lavaud family. According to Hubert de Boüard de Laforest, Angélus's current owner and director and president of the Saint-Émilion growers' association, his grandfather Maurice wanted to buy Bellevue as far back as the late 1930s.

Château Bellevue's 6.2-hectare (15.3-acre) vineyard is situated on Saint-Émilion's southern flank on clayey limestone soil. The vines are 85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon and the property produces between 20,000 and 25,000 bottles a year. It will be interesting to see how the gloss of Angélus rubs off on Bellevue and how the new owners will continue or change the direction given to the property since 2000 by Nicolas Thienpont and oenologist Stéphane Derenencourt, whose enthusiasm for biodynamic wine growing can be seen at many Bordeaux properties.