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  • Country ranking ?

    924
  • Producer ranking ?

    10
  • Decanting time

    3h
  • When to drink

    from 2025
  • Food Pairing

    Rib Eye Steaks with Demi-Glace and White Bean Purée

The Tb points given to this wine are the world’s most valid and most up-to-date evaluation of the quality of the wine. Tastingbook points are formed by the Tastingbook algorithm which takes into account the wine ratings of the world's 50 best-known professional wine critics, wine ratings by thousands of tastingbook’s professionals and users, the generally recognised vintage quality and reputation of the vineyard and winery. Wine needs at least five professional ratings to get the Tb score. Tastingbook.com is the world's largest wine information service which is an unbiased, non-commercial and free for everyone.

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The Story

Château Angelus is one of the largest and most prestigious St-Emilion estates and was promoted to1er grand cru classé status in the 1996 St-Emilion reclassification. Since 2012 ranked Premier grand cru classé (A) in the Classification of Saint-Émilion wine. Passionately managed for over four generations, Angelus is owned and run by two cousins, Hubert de Boüard de Laforest, andJean-Bernard Grenie and is located in the centre-west of the St-Emilion appellation, due west of St-Emilion town.

 Chateau Angelus, which has been making wine in St-Emilion for almost 250 years, is still considered "new" for that appellation. It was founded by, and has always been run by, the de Bouard family. The name "Angelus" means the ringing of bells to commemorate a catholic devotion, and the workers in the Chateau Angelus vineyards can hear the bells ringing from three nearby churches...thus how the winery got its name. Although the quality of the wine has had some rough years, the quality of the terroir is one of the best in St-Emilion. And with some key education and talent emerging from the de Bouard family in the past 40 years, the winery is now realizing its potential and has rocketed to one of the top, most sought-after labels in the region. A blend of the merlot and cab franc, from perfectly balanced soils of limestone and clay, the real Cindarella story of Chateau Angelus in not the world class terroir or fruit, but of the winemaking practices that have been put in place over the past 40 years. Hubert de Boüard de Laforest joined the family business at Angélus in 1976 and proceeded to make several modernizing changes to the vinification that allows him more control over the quality. Under his management, and the consultancy of oenologist Michel Rolland, the estate has been consistently moving up in its classifications, eventually attaining Premier grand cru classe A in 2012. The style of Chateau Angelus is lush, dense and creamy, but also elegant, classy and pure with lots of freshness. There is a second wine, called Le Carillon d’Angélus, and a third wine, called No. 3 d’Angélus. You can see the bell, the Angelus, represented in the Chateau's label, cork, case and capsule markings, as well as in the elaborate sculpture that installed in the back of the main building. It makes it easy for you to imagine being transported to this majestic Bordeaux vineyard, hearing the bells ringing, smelling the sweet grapes, and feeling the sun warming you and the soil under your feet.

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Wine Information

After a very favourable start to the growing season with a very early bud-break, the vine cycle was delayed at the end of April by a frost which hit the Bordeaux region very severely. At Angélus, where nature was kind, we were mostly spared this sad episode. However, over the small area affected by the frost, substantial selection work was carried out.

The rest of the season went wonderfully smoothly with an excellent flowering, followed by a very hot month of June which boosted the vines’ energy levels and gave them the strength they needed to develop high quality grapes. A quite cool but dry summer allowed the grapes to ripen slowly and evenly, which favoured fresh fruit aromatic expression. The end of summer weather was a little rainy; however, with the grapes already ripe we decided to begin harvesting on September 13th!

The wines have deep colour, while on the nose they show immediate charm and pure aromatics bursting with fruit. On the palate, the tannins are tight-grained and silky, precise and in good balance with flesh and great freshness that brings energy and mouth-watering length of flavour.

2017 at Angélus is both harmonious and bursting with fruit flavour.

 

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Vintage 2017

Bordeaux 2017 - A year of contrast 

Life isn’t fair and neither is nature. As the earth gets warmer, flowering gets earlier, and the risk of frost damage becomes greater. Not many winemakers can recall the frosts of 1991 first hand, but their legacy is still haunting. When the meteorologists predicted a cold blast on the nights of the 27th and 28th of April, there was a genuine sense of panic. Most with the means deployed bougies, wind turbines, helicopters, lit hay, took whatever measures they could - the rest left it to chance. 

The best protection was provided by nature; proximity to the Gironde and altitude. These by no coincidence at all are the best terroirs. The grand estates of the Medoc such as Leoville Las Cases, Pichon Comtesse and Montrose reported virtually no frost damage at all. Likewise in Pomerol, Chateau Lafleur, Petrus, Vieux Chateau Certan and all the other big names on the plateau of Pomerol were unscathed. There were a few notable casualties such as Cheval Blanc and Figeac, but the damage was far from catastrophic and the resulting wines are both spectacular.

Those situated on low lying vineyards in St Emilion or further away from the Gironde estuary in the Medoc had no natural protection. Here the mercury dipped below the critical level and frost damage was devastating. In places the whole crop was lost. Vignerons had to wait patiently and hope for a second generation bud. In most cases the second generation was futile.

Those partially affected by the frost predominantly lost their least auspicious terroirs and plots planted with young vines, normally designated into second wines and generics. A natural selection if you like… Statistically, 2017 does not make good reading for Bordeaux as a whole; appellations that produce bulk wine were hit hard.  Total output was 3.5m hectolitres, some 40% lower than 2016. However, yields at the top Chateaux are relatively normal and if they are down, it is generally attributed to the small berries caused by the drought conditions in July and August.

 

2017 is best summarised as an early vintage with significant hydric stress. Bud break, flowering, veraison and harvest were all two weeks ahead of the norm. Thankfully there was sufficient rain in June to carry the vines through the drought that was July and August. Average temperatures in July and August were not remarkable, although some Chateaux pointed out that alternating temperatures from warm days to cold days aided ripening. September brought much needed rain and cooler conditions. The nights were particularly cool which helped prevent botrytis and helped retain low pH levels. The latter part of the month saw a return to dry conditions which allowed the Cabernets to attain full maturity.

And what of the wines? Statistics can provide rationalisations, but they can’t tell you what the wines taste like. As Baptiste Guinaudeau says, the 2017s clearly fit into the trilogy of vintages affected by hydric stress, 2015, 2016 and 2017. There is wonderful, refreshing acidity and vitality to the fruit. Alcohol levels very moderate, much like in 2016. The wines are vibrant and aromatic. Due to the small berries, there is good colour and the quality of the press wines is very interesting. As 2017 didn’t have the warmth of 2015 and 2016, they are generally not as broad as their predecessors, however, the key was to extract gently and then use the high quality press wines to fill out the mid-palate. There are scores of successes. Vignerons who have been sympathetic and allowed their terroirs to speak have triumphed. Olivier Berrouet’s Petrus is absolutely outstanding, Chateau Lafleur and Pensees de Lafleur speak of purity and breed, Canon, Ausone, Cheval Blanc, Figeac and Tertre Roteboeuf have all produced worthy successors to their 2015s and 2016s. On the Left Bank, Chateau Margaux is perhaps a class apart, but Mouton Rothschild, Haut Brion, La Mission Haut Brion, Montrose, Pichon Comtesse and Leoville Las Cases are all out of the top drawer, and there are numerous others worthy of mention: Grand Puy Lacoste, Smith Haut Lafitte, Haut Bailly, Leoville Barton, Lynch Bages, Ducru Beaucaillou, Calon Segur, Palmer, Pichon Longueville, Brane Cantenac and Rauzan Segla.

 

One hesitates to use the term ‘classical’ as this expression has been hijacked as a euphemistic idiom for a wash out. 2017 certainly isn’t weak, which will no doubt disappoint those superstitious about vintages ending in seven! There is nothing excessive, they are perfectly mannered, understated yet handsome, rather like a perfectly tailored Saville Row suit. They ooze charm, grace, sophistication and elegance. Some would say they are somewhere between 2014 and 2015, but we didn’t really detect the flamboyance of 2015 in many wines. Perhaps they are more in the image of 2014 with a little bit of the class of 2016. As with the 2016s, there aren’t any real reference points. 2017 is uniquely 2017. Nature has done its own selection, and the results are rather special.

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

12 tasting notes

Tasting note

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Written Notes

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.

“Everything started very quickly in 2017 and we thought it would be a very early vintage,” Angélus winemaker Emmanuelle Fulchi commented. “We got just a little bit of frost—a small part on the southern end of the vineyard, but this did not go into Angélus. We were lucky that August was not so nice, which slowed down the ripening and kept the acidity.” The final 2017 blend has not physically been made, but the representation I tasted is “pretty much there." Readers should bear in mind that Le Carillon d'Angélus is not a second label per se, but another label with grapes coming from other terroirs in Saint-Émilion. It can be cellared, but the aim is to make it approachable when young.

  • 96p

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.
Barrel Sample: 94-97

  • 97p

Ruby. Blackberries, anise, spices, blueberries, floral high notes, nuanced, scented, detailed and layered nose. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, fresh, fruity, dark berries, anise, spices, blueberries, detailed, long. 96-98

  • 97p

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. 94-96p

Deep purple red with violet hue and black core. Complex and aromatic nose with excellent structure. Distinct toasting aroma in balance with succulent fruit. Dark cherries, blackberries, dark chocolate and fresh ground coffee beans. On the palate well structured with ripe tannins, elegant fruit and fine oak flavour in the background. A very well structured wine with great length. 96

  • 96p
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Information

Origin

St. Emilion, Bordeaux

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