Chateau Angelus

Chateau Angelus has one of the longer histories in the St. Emilion appellation. The de Bouard family has a long history in the region. In fact, the de Bouard family has been in Bordeaux for more than 700 years. They arrived in St. Emilion in 1782.

However, even though Chateau Angelus has been around for quite a while, the chateau does not have the same track record as the family. Compared to the current owners, Angelus is mere baby having been born in 1782. That was the year when Georges de Bouard began purchasing vineyard land in the Saint Emilion area.

This chateau was known as L'Angelus until the early 1990's when the owner decided to rename it simply, 'Angelus'. The reason was that in the computer age it was appearing on price lists under the L's rather than near the beginning of the lists (in the A's) as it had historically been placed. Among the largest of the Grand Crus of Saint Emilion, L'Angelus was for many years rather underrated. However, since Hubert de Bouard took control in the early 1980's, everything about the estate has improved -- most importantly, the wine. Today L'Angelus has a justifiably fine reputation.

Most common varietal blend of Angelus:

  • 50% Merlot
  • 47% Cabernet Franc
  • 3% Cabernet Sauvignon

The data above shows a continuing increase in the amount of Cabernet Franc in the vineyard and of course in the final blend as well.

As you would expect, the Merlot is planted in soils with more clay and limestone, while the Cabernet Franc is planted in the gravel, limestone and sand terroir. Chateau Angelus was one of the earliest proponents of Cabernet Franc in Saint Emilion.

The grape was added to the vineyard not because it was thought that it would increase the quality of the wine. The original French name of Cabernet Franc was Bouchet, the maiden name of Elisabeth Bouchet, the grandmother of Hubert de Bouard. The vines average close to 38 years of age.

In total, the vineyard is divided into 54 separate parcels. The vines are planted on two unique types of soil. They have terroir with clay with limestone and clay with sand and limestone soil that is located on the sloping hillsides.

The estate has old vines dating all the way back to 1918. While the oldest vines are Merlot, the estate has 10 hectares of Cabernet Franc that are more than 60 years of age. The vineyard is planted to a vine density that ranges from 6,500 to 8,000 plants per hectare. Newer plantings are the higher level of vine density.

Starting with the 2009 vintage, Hubert de Bouard’s pursuit to obtain the finest possible Bordeaux wine inspired him to add a line of 60 people to manually destem berry by berry. Hubert believes manual destemming helps the berries remain intact, while retarding oxygenation and retaining freshness”.

FOOD PAIRINGS AND SERVING

Chateau Angelus is best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift. Perfect with lamb or veal.

TASTING NOTES

Still deep in color, the wine exudes anise, chocolate, plums, coffee bean, blackberry, spice and floral scents. Produced from a blend of 62% Merlot and 38% Cabernet Franc, this intense, concentrated, full bodied, opulently textured wine.

Find this wine online here.