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Bordeaux 2016: Château Angélus

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

Hubert de Boüard is understandably delighted by the quality of the wine at Château Angélus in 2016. It is remarkable St Emilion that rivals the prodigious 2015. With price up 16% [33% in Sterling terms] on the ’15 the de Boüards clearly think they have something even better on their hands. Yet it is the quality of the other wines here that dazzled particularly this year. Carillon d’Angélus is no slouch. It is nicely layered with wonderfully refined tannins. Château Bellevue showed brilliantly. It has lots of beautiful perfumed fruit and a great texture. Château Daugay is enticing and open. It is all satin and black cherry tones currently. Château Roc de Boisseaux comes fully loaded with black fruits and is lots of fun. 2016 looks impressive across the range here.

There is no doubt that the magnificent 2016 summer and harvest conditions really suited the Cabernet Franc in particular at Angélus. Three months of drought was ameliorated by useful day-night temperature fluctuations [2:1] which allowed the grapes to retain freshness and perfume despite the sunny, dry conditions. A generally beautiful September and October, with two important bouts of rain, enabled unhurried, plot by plot harvesting. Picking began on October 4 and continued until October 21. The resulting wine is magnificent. It has fabulous depth and body, remarkable purity and enticing perfume. Released at 294 euros a bottle I think even James Bond will be pinched to afford it now [though perhaps not Daniel Craig himself], beauty though it is.

Château Bellevue, Château Daugay and Château Roc de Boisseaux were as good if not better than they have ever been before. All were beautifully flattering to taste back in April. I was also impressed with Clos de Boüard, a 30ha property in Montaigne St Emilion. It’s a big number that needs to settle down during elévage, but looks pretty promising nonetheless.

The following wines were all tasted at Angélus on 2nd April, 2016.

Château Angélus, St Emilion Grand Cru Classé A, 2016

Deep and arterial looking; violet lift; seam of black fruit purity; seriously deep by the feel of it; black cherry; seam of fruit is laser like in precision; wonderfully polished Angélus; pure entry; very big; lots of saturation and scale; sublimated style; rather epic; needs some time to work its magic; wonderful Cab Franc here; real class; scale and class are terrific. Epic levels of extract but sweet and refined. Wow. Epic length too. Needs a decade but the voluptuousness of the fruit suggests it will be drinking well sooner perhaps. Potentially perfect in its own way. [39 ha 60% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Franc]. Drink 2024-2040+ 97-100

Carillon d’Angélus, St Emilion Grand Cru, 2016

Saturated look; earthy red purple at edge; legs; focused and precise on the nose; some minerality; some violet lift alongside the black fruits [black cherry, kirsch]; very polished in terms of cellar treatment; fresh and pure; cool fruit; palate feels somewhat unadorned; there is alcohol here but nicely managed; some chew and coffee notes; works well. Some chew at the back. Layered wine. Length. [75% Merlot; 25% Cabernet Franc]. Drink 2022-2035. 92-94

Château Bellevue, St Emilion Grand Cru Classé, 2016

Deep and saturated; glossy; colour tight top the rim; lovely perfume and depth; black fruits; legs; layers and depth; terrific stuff; little mineral quality; complex and layered; really solid seam of fruit; textured and very nicely composed; great material; seemingly supple yet also intense; nice chew and chocolate notes. [6.8ha, 100% Merlot]. 22-2030. 93-95+

Château Daugay, St Emilion Grand Cru, 2016

Fraction looser and more earthy purple; more emphasis on the black cherry and the violets [indeed this is even more perfumed than Bellevue]; satin quality to the fruit; lifted; very attractive; really good stuff; [deep on the nose]; open and beautiful; enticing and sexy palate; this is lush and has wonderful fruit; open; some forest floor notes. Like this very much. Georgeous stuff! You can drink this already. [6.9ha, 50% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon]. 2020-2030. 93-94+

Château Roc de Boisseaux, St Emilion Grand Cru, 2016

Deep and saturated; right up to the edge; purple at edge; violets and attractive lift; black fruits but really attractive; quite joyful wine; has lots of perfume and joy; very nicely done overall; with some freshness; extract and detail; perhaps lacks a bit at the very end but should fill in. [8ha, 70% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon]. Drink 2020-2030. 90-92+

Dame de Boüard, Montaigne St Emilion, 2016

Deep and saturated look; little red at the edge; pain grillé notes; black cherry; bit of kirsch; liquorice; some mocha; slightly looser on the nose than below; plenty of matter; depth; falls away a little; second wine of Clos de Boüard. Chewy finish. Tannins here. Little extracted. Drink 2020-2015. 86-88

Clos du Boüard, Montaigne St Emilion, 2016

Tighter to the rim; bold colour; more precise and focused; lifted violets notes with black fruits; very focused and precise; flattering; layered and intense; inky and deep; rather extracted feel currently; needs to settle; chewy and extracted on the finish. Needs to settle. Gutsy style. [30 ha, 66% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc, 9% Cabernet Franc] Drink 2021-2028. 89-91+

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