Angelus Vertical Tasting
To celebrate the promotion of the estate to Premier Grand Cru Classé A, Hubert de Bouard held a vertical of Angelus' last 16 vintages (October 23, 2012). These were the 15 submitted to the judges' tasting during the classification process, plus the 2010 vintage.
Chateau Angelus, AOC Saint Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé 1995
Some gentle tertiary colours around the rim, getting some soft plum with rich tobacco leaf tints. Deposits forming in the glass, some tears also around the glass. Wonderfully rich plum spices, a touch of bitterness on the finish, which gives definition. Retro-olfaction of stewed victoria plums, spices, some vanilla bean. A touch soft, giving some beautiful tertiary, ageing notes, tobacco, soft leather. Good persistancy, although gentle, more on the retro olfaction. Very enjoyable. 50/50 merlot, cab franc. Harvest finished sept 27. 17/90. Highly recommended.
Chateau Angelus, AOC Saint Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé 1996
Deeper, rich plum colour, and nose still fairly closed, you would clearly consider this still a young wine on the nose alone. Mine needs to settle, the deposits thrown up are a little strong, imagine was the end of the bottle. The acetic acid is a touch hard here on the finish. Very good persistency, and again this rich plum, dried fruits, sultanas and cloves on the retro-olfaction, gives it an enveloping feel. 60 cabernet franc, 40 merlot, harvest finished 4 October. 16.75/89. Recommended.
Chateau Angelus, AOC Saint Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé 1997
60 merlot, 40 cabernet franc. It has held its colour very well for a lighter vintage, although on the nose you see a greater evolution of aromas than in the previous two years, and the rim is dusky pink. Here tobacco leaf, truffle, a touch of sweet ripe strawberries that indicate ageing merlot. A touch of inbalance with the alcohol in the finish, it's a little off kilter, but this is still enjoyable, gourmet, ready to drink. 16/86. Recommended.
Chateau Angelus, AOC Saint Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé 1998
Purple reflections, good rich exotic fruits on the nose, touches of dark chocolate, some nutty aromas. This is still young, absolutely love the way it unfolds on your tongue, plays with you, at that perfect blend of primary and tertiary aromas, just teasing each other out. 60% merlot, 40% cabernet franc, harvest finished 4 october. The alcohol is more evident on the retro-olfaction, where you get some prickling at the top of the nose. But a delicious wine. 18/93. Highly recommended.
Chateau Angelus, AOC Saint Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé 1999
Bright cherry red, heading to garnet colour, deep rim, medium intensity. Good merlot ripe fruit on the nose. The blend is 60% merlot, 40% cabernet franc, harvest 16 october so latest so far (think difficult year, they were holding on).. Less interesting on the palate. Somatic, physical response to this, with some heat coming off so a touch out of balance. Enjoyable though on the retro nasal and the aftertaste is gentle, with good persistency. Getting ready to drink. 16/86. Recommended.
Chateau Angelus, AOC Saint Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé 2000
The rim is still fairly well coloured here, a more fleshy purple colour. This one I really want to swallow, not spit. 2000 was a late harvest, with a difficult early year, like 2012, but with weather that eventually turned perfect and held right to harvest. I can feel the alcohol on this, there is a touch of heat that throws this out on the attack, but almost immediately the intensity of the flavours is such that you forget about the alcohol. Plums, dried fruits, smoky touch, hazlenuts, wonderful retronasal, wonderful intensity in the finsih. Still a long life ahead of it. 60 merlot, 40 cabernet franc. 18/93. Highly recommended.
Chateau Angelus, AOC Saint Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé 2001
Colour spectrum moving from reds to purples here, as things tighten and brighten. Different aroma profile also, clearer exotic spices, some wonderful toasted oak, but all with restraint. Again, they have extracted fully here, the tannins are more insistent, you get a pleasant astringency, and good mouth-tightening, get some caramel toastng on the retro-nasal, some oak indications that again tighten things up, feel it breathing some extra complexity in to the wine. Love this wine, love the promise that it holds. 60 merlot, 40 cabernet franc. Great persistency, yet slowly and elegantly fades away. 18.5/95. Highly recommended.
Chateau Angelus, AOC Saint Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé 2002
45% merlot, 55% cabernet franc. Very little deposits thrown here, and a medium intensity plum red colour. Here get some cranberry and redcurrant, not as far as gooseberry but the fruits have a livelier acidity to them. Less balance on the palate here though, clearly some dark black fruits, this feels younger, even a touch of chalky tannins, they are clearly present, but the acidity is just a touch intrusive. 16/86. Recommended.
Chateau Angelus, AOC Saint Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé 2003
50/50 merlot, cabernet franc. Wonderfully rich plum colour. Quite a different nose, there are clear dried exotic fruits. Dried tobacco leaf, all signs of a hot vintage. Cabernet franc would have held up well however, and it has kept a beautiful seam of acidity, which is somehow made all the more delectable by the ripe exotic fruits that contrast with it. There are tertiary aromas, the fruit very definitely losing its primary flavours, and there is a clear dominance of toast, smoke, and the arrival of new tertiary aromas - it will take on these ageing markers soon. Soft, but very enjoyable. 16.5/88. Recommended.
Chateau Angelus, AOC Saint Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé 2004
Again, a step change in colour, can discern the cabernet franc here, there is a freshness, even a touch of vegetal aromas, but pleasantly so, just very different in terms of spectrum of aromas than the 2003. Nose much more closed, needs a good aeration to open up. The structure is tight, tannins very present. Quite croquant, like how the acidity holds and grips this wine. Imagine ph quite low, would like to know. They have held the extraction at the perfect moment here. Feel that another inch would have been too much. 60% merlot, 40% cabernet franc. 17/90. Highly recommended.
Chateau Angelus, AOC Saint Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé 2005
62% merlot, 38% cabernet franc. Very different again, have some very ripe flavours, which are heading over to strawberry preserve, touch of solvent. Things really kick in on the palate, this is such a different vintage from the others, really feel here a build up of intensity in fruit, acids, alcohol, tannins, and flavours which tease out, brambly fruits, rich ripe crushed raspberries, again that lovely smoky toast. Cranberries and blackberries. Like is enormously, but it is young, needs time, and it needs to lose perhaps a touch of bottle reduction. 18/93. Highly recommended.
Chateau Angelus, AOC Saint Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé 2006
Entering primary young wine colours here, the purples, the deep rich reds. On the palate, some pear drops, just all very young. The retronasal is more about oak and primary fruit, has not yet gone through to the softening of the fruit flavours yet. The tannins are big, they are even a touch hard still, touches of fresh peas. Clearly this wine has a long life ahead of it, needs to unfurl, great potential. 62% merlot, 38% cabernet franc. 16/86. Recommended.
Chateau Angelus, AOC Saint Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé 2007
Medium intensity, a deeper colour than many 2007s that I have seen from the Right Bank recently. Interesting nose, get some matchsticks. Strong toast, empreumatic flavours, coffee, all oak aromas very dominant although cleverly done, with great skill so they add a complexity and interest that perhaps was not there with the fruit alone. Again 62% merlot. 30% cabernet franc, harvest until 12 october. On the palate, this is very pretty, it's better than I expect from the vintage, and clearly a great estate to have produced this, Think more in cellar this year than in the vineyard. Impressed with the winemaker. Just tannins chalky on the finish. 15.75/85+. Recommended.
Chateau Angelus, AOC Saint Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé 2008
Nice surprise, although very young - again have the slightly solvent smell perhaps a touch of bottle reduction which will fade over time. Toast, smoky oak, adding complexity, but here the fruit is also there, some really good rich plums, smoky, vanillin, definitely great potential to unfurl, but not there yet. 58% merlot, 42% cabernet franc. A little shorter perhaps than some of the others, not quite as persistent, but these are young, tight flavours that we are dealing with, and on the retro olfacrtion the caramel and the flesh comes through. Can imagine good polyphenols, well extracted. There is a little tightness on the finish. 16/86. Recommended.
Chateau Angelus, AOC Saint Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé 2009
Still some bright vibrant purple here. Fleshy, unbelievable tight fruit, this is good. In the glass, this is rich, ripe, exotic damsons, ripe blackberries, sensuous, utterly delcious. 60% merlot, 40% cabernet franc. Must have been a merlot year! This is fleshy, exotic, inviting, still with that Angelus smoky touch. 18.5/95. Outstanding.
Chateau Angelus, AOC Saint Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé 2010
Bright, ripe, rich red, not left bank violet purple, more of a rich deep cherry-blood red. Some wonderfully tight, pure tannins, very precise, 55% merlot, % cabernet franc. Good acidity, some lovely mouth-watering qualities, and the tram tannique is so tense, it's lovely. Love love love this wine, it is just holding on tight, still tastes almost as it did en primeur, at the very very beginning of its life, gorgeous. Clearly the alcohol is high, you can feel it, and there is astringence from the tannins, but it is so well balanced by the primary fruit, approaching perfection! 19.25/97. Outstanding.