Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2018 Balestard la Tonnelle bursts from the glass with opulent scents of stewed black plums, Black Forest cake and Indian spice, followed by notions of kirsch, cedar chest, cracked black pepper and eucalyptus with a touch of lavender. The medium to full-bodied palate is still wearing a lot of oak in the flavor profile and tannin texture at this stage, offering glimpses at an impressive array of black fruit preserves and exotic spices, finishing with great length. Forget it in the cellar for another 4-5 years and drink it over the next 15+ years.
92+ points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate (Apr 2021)
Intense aromas of plum, mushroom and orange peel follow through to a medium to full body, firm and silky tannins and a tight, linear finish. Nice spice and cedar at the end. Try after 2023.
92 points, James Suckling (Jan 2021)
The 2018 Balestard La Tonnelle is a super-attractive, lithe Saint-Émilion lifted by gorgeous aromatics. Crushed raspberry, sweet red cherry, spice, blood orange, cedar and spice are all laced together in this delightful 2018. All the elements are impeccably balanced. Balestard La Tonnelle is one of the more understated wines of the year on the Right Bank.
91 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous (Mar 2021)
Soft, fruity and already delicious, this wine is open and only lightly structured. An attractive wine with black-currant flavors, it’s fresh with balanced acidity. Drink from 2024.
90 points, Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast (May 2021)