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Chateau Angelus (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017

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750ML / 0% ABV
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750ML / 0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2017 has deep color, while on the nose it shows immediate charm and pure aromatics bursting with fruit. On the palate, the tannins are tight-grained and silky, precise and in goodbalance with flesh and great freshness that brings energy and mouth-watering length of flavour. 2017 at Angélus is both harmonious and bursting with fruit flavor.
Blend: 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc

Critical Acclaim

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WE 97
Wine Enthusiast
Big tannins and powerful fruit go together in this finely perfumed wine. It has a smoky backdrop, with intense fruits and juicy acidity. It is so fruity and juicy now, though the tension behind the fruit suggests that it will mature quickly and then be at its peak for many years.
Barrel Sample: 95-97
JD 97
Jeb Dunnuck
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
TA 97
Tim Atkin
Saturated glass-stainingly deep colour. Already lots of sweet spicy oak aromas. Warm black fruit and blueberry scents. Very rich approach with deep black fruits, some damson and plum. If there was anything green going on in the vineyards, then it went into the Carillon, because it is not present here. Black and concentrated fruit. Depth and power, but with freshness. A really good example of a success in the vintage. Mouthcoating grainy tannins on the finish suggesting a long life ahead, but super-complex and deep.
Barrel Sample: 95-97
JS 96
James Suckling
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.
Barrel Sample: 95-96
WS 96
Wine Spectator
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.
Barrel Sample: 93-96
D 96
Decanter
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.
Barrel Sample
RP 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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.
Barrel Sample: 94-96
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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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