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?
Posts Tagged ‘Groupement de Premiers Grands Crus Classes de Saint-Emilion’
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.
This appellation has had a fantastic vintage in 2010. Yes some wines have too much alcohol but in most cases the wines have incredible balance because of the freshness of the vintage. Also over-extraction is seemingly less problematic here than usual, although again that is a relative thing. There are a host of terrific wines this year but it seems that those that have a high proportion of Cabernet Franc, and even Cabernet Sauvignon as in the case of Chateau Figeac, have made the very finest wines. Amongst these, Chateau Cheval Blanc, Chateau Angélus, Chateau Figeac and Chateau Trottevielle have made truly extraordinary wines which are approaching perfection in my book.