St Emilion proves a difficult appellation to generalize about in 2009. Clearly some truly great wines have been made here. Angélus, Cheval Blanc, Figeac and Belair Monange are absolute beauties. Many other properties have made forward and delicious wine but quite a few remain as thick, ponderous and extracted as they did early on. Maybe this is as it always is in St Emilion.
Posts Tagged ‘Chateau Angélus’
While it looks like a serious effort from Chateau Angélus in 2012 – plenty of perfume and layers to the nose and density and matter on the palate – the most newsworthy feature of Angélus this year will surely be its price. Announced yesterday, at 180 euros a bottle, Angélus is 30% up on their 2011 release. The subsequent indigestion on Twitter was palpable. Not to be outdone Chateau Pavie, the other recently promoted chateau that joined Ausone and Cheval Blanc in the Premier Grand Cru Classé ‘A’ category, released at a matching price. This was a whopping 58% increase on their 2011 price. Should we laugh or cry? Only in the heady world of St Emilion’s top classification does this price perversity, where price is the guiding rule, make any sense at all, but the logic would surely be enough to make even Joseph Heller’s Captain Yossarian shake his head in disbelief. To anyone outside this St Emilion bubble, prices increases in 2012 are surely ridiculous. Just who will consider buying at these prices?
The vagaries of the 2011 season effected St Emilion in pretty much the same way as it did the rest of Bordeaux. A precocious start in spring got the vineyards off to a flying start. Extremely high temperatures at the end of June, recorded at 44C in the shade at Chateau Figeac, caused problems and would have stalled vine growth. Cooler and wetter weather in July and August helped spur things along but clearly the fluctuating climatic conditions necessitated a huge investment of labour in the vineyards in terms of canopy management and the like to maintain a healthy crop. There was also some localised rain at harvest which would have proved problematic although here, as elsewhere, September was generally sunny and warm.
With the first Bordeaux 2010 releases starting to trickle out [at prices that seem on par to 2009] I’ve culled my tasting notes down by score for the vintage for the top thirty reds, the a dozen likely best value reds and then a dozen best dry and sweet whites as I saw it. It’s a snapshot obviously. Hope it’s helpful. The full notes for each chateau review can be found either by backtracking down the previous posts, through the search box or down under the Bordeaux Vintage 2010 profile.