2017 1er Grand Cru Classé Saint Emilion

Grapes Cab Franc, Merlot
Colour Red
Origin France, Bordeaux
Sub-district Saint Emilion & Satellites
Village Saint Emilion
Classification 1er Grand Cru Classé

70% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc. The wine was still on the lees at the time of tasting, but, had not been racked yet. 100% new oak used. Lots of toasty oak on the nose along with dark fruit. Obvious creaminess from time spent on the lees. Packed full of flavour which is similar to the nose. Lots of rich dark fruit, vanilla, toast and mineral pebble. The acidity adds a touch of elegance. The finish is long and impressive. Rating: 94 L&S (Apr 2018)

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The 2017 Angélus has a crisp, direct and very pure bouquet that is almost Burgundy-like in style. Crushed blackberry, hints of cassis, just a suggestion of bell pepper emanating from the Cabernet Franc and a faint estuarine scent all come through although unusually for this Saint-Émilion, they take three or four minutes to coalesce. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, but quite firm in the mouth. There is a marine-influence to this Saint-Émilion with a chalky, lightly spiced and, relative to 2015 and 2016, quite conservative and linear style. It feels very saline on the finish, perhaps more than I have encountered in recent years. It foregoes the roundness of recent vintages, perchance an Angélus that will be best shown on the dinner table instead of on its own. That's not a bad thing. Excellent. Drinking range: 2022 - 2045 Rating: 94-96 Neal Martin, 2018)

A blend of 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc, the deep purple-black colored 2017 Angélus is a little closed to begin, opening out beautifully to notes of baked plums, fresh blackberries and chocolate-covered cherries with hints of mocha, bay leaves, beef drippings and wood smoke plus a touch of roses. Medium to full-bodied with a great density of mid-palate fruit and firm, fine-grained tannins, it finishes long and earthy with a compelling lift. Rating: 94-96 Lisa Perrotti-Brown, 2018)

One of the darkest colored wines in the vintage is the 2017 Angélus. Its final blend is 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc, which includes more Cabernet Franc than usual. It's a polished, elegant, layered wine that has beautiful notes of crème de cassis, spice, graphite, and minerality. It has medium to full-bodied richness, fine, silky tannin, beautiful purity and more elegance and charm than normal. I suspect it will put on weight with time in barrel and have two decades or more of longevity. Rating: 94-97 Jeb Dunnuck, 2018)

70% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc. Inky crimson. Redolent of classy and spicy oak but the fruit fragrance is there too, waiting to emerge after the chocolate dies back. A fine note of graphite and Cabernet Franc leafy (but fully ripe) freshness. Spicy and fresh on the palate. Rich and finely textured, with the oak giving way to the fruit on the palate. Very good balance even at this early stage. Savoury dark-chocolate, clean finish. Drinking range: 2027 - 2040 Rating: 17.5+ Julia Harding MW, 2018)

Emmanuelle has been making wine here for 22 years now. The freshness of the Merlot in 2017 reminds her of 2001 - I would certainly agree, and maybe with a hint of 2014 too. It's a beautiful wine, voluptuous but elegant. These vines were not frosted, but the Cabernet Franc produced less than usual, and they also made an extremely careful selection overall, leading to a yield of 30hl/ha. The wine has great complexity, which is a standout character in 2017, with bilberries, charcoal and plush damson - the Angelus signature of power and glamour. There is good tannic density here and it will clearly merit long ageing. 85,000 bottles of Angelus produced, representing around 80% of total production. Matured in 100% new oak. Drinking range: 2027 - 2040 Rating: 96 Jane Anson, Decanter(Apr 2018)

This is jazzed up a bit, with dark anise and black tea aromatics leading off, followed by juicy blackberry, boysenberry and bramble notes. Has some flashy spice on the finish and some expensive-feeling toast, but everything is in lockstep as this moves along. Rating: 93-96 James Molesworth, The Wine Spectator(Apr 2018)

A layered and fine-grained young Angelus with very focused and integrated tannins that give the young wine form and focus. Full body and a subtle and fascinating fruit character. Should turn out beautifully. Rating: 95-96 James Suckling, 2018)

Hubert de Boüard de Laforest was a veritable mine of information on how the frost hit the various right bank appellations. With specific regard to Angélus, he lost two parcels of Cabernet Franc to the frost, both parcels near the foot of the vineyard and thus more vulnerable. This had a significant effect on the blend, as it reduced the amount of Cabernet Franc available for the grand vin. These days there is 47% Cabernet Franc in the vineyard, and in recent years the blend of the first wine has been quite close to this figure, but in 2017 the reduced volume available after the frost was pushing the blend downwards to just 20% Cabernet Franc. Hubert and his team didn’t feel this brought the Angélus style to the wine, so they chose to declassify some Merlot, bringing the Cabernet Franc up to 30% of the volume, the other 70% all Merlot. Aromatically this shows plenty of high quality oak, as is often the case here, with praline, cinnamon and toast coming in ahead of the fruit. The palate shows a very elegant repose, with a supple, broad and almost juicy-fresh character to the structure, with red cherry fruit wrapped in oaky praline and spices, dancing around some very grippy but controlled tannins and fresh acidity. Bright and medium-bodied, with plenty of grip, this is long, spiced, defined and focused. Overall it is a very imposing but elegant example of Angélus, with a long thread of tannic energy in the finish. Very good. Rating: 94-96 Chris Kissack, 2018)

Château Angélus

The name Angélus supposedly derives from that of a particular vineyard where devout winemakers could hear the Angélus bell tolling from all the town’s churches.

The estate was brought by the present owner’s great-grandfather, Comte Maurice de Boüard, in 1921. He also owned another property Château Mazerat, and after World War II his sons united the two estates under its present name.

The next generation took over in the form of the dynamic Hubert de Boüard, a graduate oenologist from Bordeaux university, in 1985. Hubert felt that the Château was underperforming, and he has worked hard since to re-energise the property, aided by his cousin Jean-Bernard Grenié. Their commitment and investment was rewarded in 1996, when the Château was promoted to a Premier Grand Cru Classé.

Hubert's daughter, Stéphanie de Boüard-Rivoal, joined the team in 2012, and his nephew, Thierry Grenié de Boüard in 2016. Together they represent the eighth generation of the family to run Angélus.

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