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Chateau Angelus 2011

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750ML / 14.5% ABV
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750ML / 14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The weather patterns of this vintage were quite unusual and forced the estate's teams to adapt continuously, while never letting up with grass cover crop management, tilling and early leaf removal and thinning out. These wines start with pure ripe fruit aromas. After a precise attack they display fine, silky, tight-knit tannins and a lovely mouth-filling feel. Very elegant finish.

Blend: 60% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Franc

Critical Acclaim

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JS 95
James Suckling
This is a racy, elegant Angelus with super-silky, caressing tannins and a fabulous depth of fruit, including blackberries, chocolate and light espresso. Such length and beauty. It needs at least four of five years of bottle age. Try in 2019.
RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2011 Angelus is another winner from Hubert de Bouard. Supple and sexy with lots of blueberry and black raspberry fruit intermixed with licorice, barbecue smoke and camphor, this medium to full-bodied, supple-textured, sexy effort offers delicious drinking now, and promises to become even better over the next decade. It should keep for 15 or more years.
JD 94
Jeb Dunnuck
From a vintage that is slowly coming around and drinking well, the 2011 Angelus offers a beautiful elegance and purity as well as the ripe, sexy style of the estate. Based on 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Franc brought up in new barrels, it's still ruby colored and offers ample blackcurrants, spice box, dried earth as well as medium to full body, beautiful balance, sweet tannins, and a great finish. A terrific wine from this estate, it will continue drinking nicely for another two decades or more.
WE 93
Wine Enthusiast
Very dry, firm and hard, this is heavily dominated by new wood. It's only the underlying weight that suggests the black fruit potential.
Barrel Sample: 92-94
WS 92
Wine Spectator
The dark plum, raspberry and red currant fruit has a very sleek feel, lending a forward profile to the wine. Shows well-coiled grip underneath, with dark tobacco and briar hints echoing through the finish and emerging more with aeration. Should expand with cellaring. Best from 2016 through 2028.
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Chateau Angelus

Chateau Angelus

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Chateau Angelus, France
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The vineyard of Chateau Angélus is situated in a natural amphitheatre overlooked by the three Saint-Emilion churches. In the middle of this special site, the sounds were amplified and the angelus bells could be heard ringing in the morning, at midday and in the evening. They cadenced the working day in the vineyards and villages, calling the men and women to stop their labours for a few minutes and pray.

Less than a kilometre from the famous Saint-Emilion bell tower, situated on the much-vaunted south-facing “foot of the hill”, Angélus has been the life work of eight generations of the Boüard de Laforest family.

In the first-ever classification of Saint-Emilion wines in 1954, Chateau Angélus was a Grand Cru Classé. Already at the time, it benefitted from a solid reputation, which helped it survive the Bordeaux wine crisis of 1973 and take part in the oenological renewal of the 1980’s. This was the context in which Hubert de Boüard de Laforest, a graduate oenologist from Bordeaux University, took advantage of this marvellous wine’s illustrious past, while being resolutely turned towards the future and launched and continued to implement an ambitious, innovative policy in favour of achieving excellence in wine growing and making.

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St-Émilion

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Marked by its historic fortified village—perhaps the prettiest in all of Bordeaux, the St-Émilion appellation, along with its neighboring village of Pomerol, are leaders in quality on the Right Bank of Bordeaux. These Merlot-dominant red wines (complemented by various amounts of Cabernet Franc and/or Cabernet Sauvignon) remain some of the most admired and collected wines of the world.

St-Émilion has the longest history in wine production in Bordeaux—longer than the Left Bank—dating back to an 8th century monk named Saint Émilion who became a hermit in one of the many limestone caves scattered throughout the area.

Today St-Émilion is made up of hundreds of independent farmers dedicated to the same thing: growing Merlot and Cabernet Franc (and tiny amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon). While always roughly the same blend, the wines of St-Émilion vary considerably depending on the soil upon which they are grown—and the soils do vary considerably throughout the region.

The chateaux with the highest classification (Premier Grand Cru Classés) are on gravel-rich soils or steep, clay-limestone hillsides. There are only four given the highest rank, called Premier Grand Cru Classés A (Chateau Cheval Blanc, Ausone, Angélus, Pavie) and 14 are Premier Grand Cru Classés B. Much of the rest of the vineyards in the appellation are on flatter land where the soils are a mix of gravel, sand and alluvial matter.

Great wines from St-Émilion will be deep in color, and might have characteristics of blackberry liqueur, black raspberry, licorice, chocolate, grilled meat, earth or truffles. They will be bold, layered and lush.

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Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

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