Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Tour and Tasting at Château Angélus – Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France
Led by Annette Schiller, the Bordeaux Tour 2015 by ombiasy WineTours took place from September 15 to 24, 2015. The group comprised 8 wine lovers from the United States, including Annette and Christian Schiller.
I have already provided an overview about the whole tour: Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France
This posting focuses on our visit of Château Angélus in Saint-Emilion.
On that day, we visited three entirely different châteaux and had 3 entirely different experiences in in Saint-Emilion.
The first visit, Château Angélus, was to one of the most prestigious châteaux belonging to the top 1% in the rankings of Bordeaux.
The second visit, Château Beausejour was to one of the 30,000 or so non-classified châteaux in the Bordeaux region that produce 95% of Bordeaux wines; we met a passionate winemaker who makes beautiful every day wines.
During the third visit, at Tertre Rôteboeuf, we met an outstanding winemaker who is a maverick and whose wines have become very expensive; unusually in this price category, he does not sell his wines through the “Place de Bordeaux” system.
Laurent Benoit was our host at Château Angélus.
Tour and Tasting
We started the tour in front of Château Angélus. Laurent Benoit played the American National Anthem for us. We proceeded to the vineyards. From there, we took a look at the cellar and finished the visit with a tasting of the Château Angélus grand vin 2012 in the new reception area.
Château Angélus is one of the only four (Angelus, Ausonne, Cheval Blanc, Pavie) wine producing estates classified as premier grand cru classé A in the Saint-Emilion appellation. It was promoted to premier grand cru classé A status in the 1996 St-Emilion reclassification.
Château Angélus has been owned by the de Boüard de Laforest family since the beginning of the 1900s, when the Domaine de Mazaret was bequeathed to Comte Maurice de Boüard de Laforest. He extended it, adding in particular a 3-hectare enclosure named Angélus in 1920. He left it to his sons Jacques and Christian de Boüard de Laforest in 1945.
Château Angélus sits in the middle of a natural amphitheatre on the south-facing hillside of the famous footslope „pieds de côtes“, just half a mile from the village of Saint-Emilion, with the vineyard area (39 hectares) around the estate.
Cabernet Franc (which makes up 47% of the blend) is grown at the bottom of the slope, where the soil is sandier and warmer, while the Merlot (50% of the blend) is grown in the limestone-rich clay soils at the top of the slope. In addition, there is Cabernet Sauvignon (3% of the blend).
Château Angélus uses an optical sorting machine.
Fermentation takes place in temperature controlled stainless steel vats, concrete and open top, oak vats at 28 to 32° degrees Celsius. After malolactic fermentation is completed, the wine is aged in 100% new, French oak barrels for between 18-24 months.
Château Angélus also produces a second wine, Le Carillon de l’Angelus. The annual production averages 10,000 cases of the Grand Vin and 1,000 cases of the second wine.
Jacques and Christian de Boüard de Laforest ran the estate until 1985, when Hubert de Boüard de Laforest took over. He was joined in 1987 by Jean-Bernard Grenié, then by Stéphanie de Boüard-Rivoal in 2012.
Angélus is henceforward helmed by Stéphanie de Boüard-Rivoal, soon to be joined by her cousin Thierry Grenié-de Boüard. Both represent the eighth generation of the Boüard de Laforest family. After Catherine Sophie de Boüard de Laforest in 1800 and Eugénie Chatenet in 1900, Stéphanie de Boüard-Rivoal is the third woman to preside over the fortunes of this estate, where she was born and grew up. She has an almost physical relationship with Angélus, living with the land and drawing from it the courage and determination she needs to keep on course. It gives her emotional and spiritual strength, and she sees herself as an integral part of this ecosystemic whole.
Owner Jean-Bernard Grenié and Wine Journalist Panos Kakaviatos Presented the Wines of Chateau Angélus and Chateau Daugay at Black Salt Restaurant in Washington DC, USA
2012 Vintage: Special Label
To celebrate its promotion to premier grand cru classé A status in 2012, Château Angélus released the 2012 vintage with a special, black label, embossed with a 21.7 carat gold imprinted script. The special label will only be used for the 2012 vintage.
At our previous visit in 2013, we could observe the final stages of a massive renovation of the property. The project was led by the noted architect Jean-Pierre Errath and included the construction of new cellars, a new reception area for visitors and the bell tower. Reportedly, the costs of the projected amounted to Euro 8 million.
Wine-searcher average prices in US$ per 0.75 liter bottle:
The tour ended in the tasting room. We tasted the Château Angélus 2011.
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.
Harvest : 19th September to 6th October
Blend : 60 % Merlot, 40 % Cabernet Franc
Drink : 2025 - 2040
Postings on the Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France (Posted and Forthcoming)
4 Wine Tours by ombiasy coming up in 2015: Germany-East, Germany-South. Germany-Nord and Bordeaux
Germany-East Wine and Art Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)
Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France
Bordeaux Wine Tour 2013 by ombiasy
Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France
Bordeaux Wines and their Classifications: The Basics
Bordeaux - En Primeur, Negociants, Courtiers, the Quai de Chartons and the Place de Bordeaux – A Short Introduction
How Does the Negociant System in Bordeaux Work? Tour and Tasting at Millésima - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France
Tour and Wine Dinner at Domaine de Chevalier with Director Adjoint Rémi Edange and Owner/Director Olivier Bernard – Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France
Schiller's Favorite Wine Bars in Bordeaux City, France
Schiller's Favorite Seafood Places in Bordeaux City, France
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Tour and Tasting at Château Angélus, Saint-Emilion, Premier Grand Cru Classé A.
Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in St. Emilion, France
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