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Chateau Angelus 2016

  • WE100
  • JS99
  • RP98
  • D97
  • JD97
  • WS96
750ML / 0% ABV
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750ML / 0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Blend: 60% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WE 100
Wine Enthusiast
This is a rich, perfumed wine, with dense tannins and intense layers of black plum and spice. The palate is firmly built yet broadened out by plump dark-fruit tones and honed by a solid, dry core. Drink from 2025.
Cellar Selection
JS 99
James Suckling
Subtle and profound aromas of blackberries, wet earth and sweet tobacco. Hints of spice, too. Full-bodied and so deep. It’s incredibly vertical and long. Just like looking down a well. Firm and powerful tannins, yet polished and balanced. Goes on for minutes. One of the greatest ever. Try after 2025.
RP 98
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2016 Angélus is composed of 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Franc, aged 18 to 22 months in new barrels and foudres. Deep garnet-purple colored, it drifts effortlessly out of the glass with sensuous notes of lavender, candied violets, garrigue, Ceylon tea and iron ore with a core of warm black cherries, mulberries, ripe plums and aniseed plus wafts of cedar chest and cloves. Medium to full-bodied, the perfumed fruit whispers of great intensity and depth, with the vivacious fruit well knit into the plush, seductive frame of velvety tannins and seamless freshness, finishing long and mineral laced. Still very tightly wound with amazing tension at this stage, it truly needs a good 6-8 more years in bottle to deliver the fully expressed layers that this soft-spoken, profound beauty promises.
Rating: 98+
D 97
Decanter
A wonderful Angélus, rich in the character of this vintage. Stunning length on the silky tannins. This extends outwards, and the architecture is very much more linear than circular (as it is in some vintages), with a lovely freshness and power. I just love how effortless this feels, with deeply intense black fruits and a dried herb edge. The flesh isn't overt but absolutely present. Likely to take on some more weight over time and it will certainly take its time to reach its perfect drinking window. Wonderful sense of energy, power and intensity, yet it's so drinkable now. The 100% new oak is very well-integrated, a brilliant success. Blend is 60% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Franc, with the lowest pH for many years at 3.7 (the 2009 more like 3.9), mainly because the wide temperature differences between day and night slowed down the maturing process and kept freshness.
Barrel Sample
JD 97
Jeb Dunnuck
The 2016 Château Angélus is incredibly elegant and finesse-driven, with a soaring perfume of crème de cassis, white flowers, crayon, forest floor, and spice. Compared to the 1996 by the Angélus team, it has a deep, layered style, its oak is beautifully integrated, there are ample tannins, and despite leaning toward the finesse-driven side of the spectrum, it has thrilling depth of fruit and length. It’s a brilliant wine from this estate that will benefit from 4-5 years of bottle age and keep for 30+ years or more. The blend of the 2016 is 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Franc, brought up all in new French oak.
WS 96
Wine Spectator
This goes for the gusto, with a deep and broad swath of well-roasted tobacco, espresso and loam out front. The core of dark currant and fig fruit will have to catch up, but this red has the energy and juicy drive to eventually do so. When it melds fully, this will be a smoky, alluring, tobacco-fueled wine. Best from 2024 through 2040.
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Chateau Angelus

Chateau Angelus

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Chateau Angelus, France
Video of winery

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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