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A candidate for perfection with a few more years of bottle age, this great vintage of Angelus has an almost impenetrable black/purple color and a gorgeous nose of incense, graphite, blackberry liqueur, truffles and spring flowers. The wine is full-bodied, with a voluptuous texture a magnificent concentration and purity of fruit, a stunning finish of close to a minute, and wonderfully sweet, velvety tannins that make for a prodigious Angelus that should turn out to be one of the all-time greats ever made at this estate. Drink it over the next 25-50 years.
The Boüard family, the proprietors of Château Angelus, date from 1544 in St.-Emilion. Located on lower hillsides, with a southerly exposure, their 67-acre vineyard, composed of sandstone, limestone and clay, is planted with 47% Cabernet Franc, 50% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon. Hubert de Boüard, who single-handedly elevated the quality from one of mediocrity (vintages such as 1978, 1982, 1983, and 1985 were disappointing), hit pay dirt with his efforts starting in 1988. Since then, there has been a remarkable succession of great wines. Radical viticulture such as crop-thinning, shoot-positioning and the immensely labor-intensive manual destemming are employed. Both a second and third wine are made, as the selection process for Angelus is severe. All of this resulted in the 2012 Angelus being upgraded, along with Pavie, to Premier Grand Cru Classé A, joining Cheval Blanc and Ausone as one of only four estates in St.-Emilion to receive this accolade. Aging takes place in 100% new oak for 18-24 months, after which the wine is bottled with neither fining nor filtration.
A candidate for one of the finest Angelus produced to date (and there have been many, including 1989, 1990, 2000 and 2005), this blend of 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Franc was fashioned from tiny yields of 20 hectoliters per hectare. It boasts a black/purple color along with a gorgeous perfume of blueberry liqueur, spring flowers and graphite. In the mouth, notes of incense and cassis also emerge from this velvety-textured, full-bodied, intensely concentrated 2009. With silky tannins, low acidity and spectacular purity, texture and depth, it is already approachable (although I'm sure proprietor Hubert de Bouard would think drinking it now is akin to infanticide), but should keep for 20-30+ years. Drink 2012-2042.
I tasted this three separate times, and on two occasions I thought it had the potential to be a perfect wine. The home estate of Hubert de Bouard, this 62+ acre vineyard produced a 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Franc blend in 2009, with yields of 20 hectoliters per hectare, and a whopping alcohol degree of 14.5%. Of course, the latter component is not even noticeable, as that is one of the erroneous myths about high alcohol in some 2009 Bordeaux. It just doesn't show, thanks to the wine's extraordinary concentration. This is a fabulous wine, with that tell-tale, dense, inky blue color that Angelus always seems to achieve. It displays an extraordinary nose of acacia flowers (or is it violets?) intermixed with blueberry liqueur, black raspberries, cassis, licorice, incense, and graphite. Full-bodied, viscous, with great intensity , vibrancy, and transparency, this is one of the all-time great wines from Angelus and a 21st century version of their 1989 and 1990. It should drink well for 20+ years - at the very minimum. (Tasted three times). Drink 2010-2030.
The 2009 Angélus has a very refined bouquet with a mixture of red and black fruit, quite lavish in style with hints of crushed violet developing in the glass. You cannot help but be taken by the purity of this Angélus. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe and supple tannin, well judged acidity, beautifully balanced with supremely well integrated oak towards the finish. This is a wonderful Angélus that should give another two or three decades of drinking pleasure. 2020 - 2045
The Angelus 2009 has around 43% of Cabernet Franc in the blend. The 2009 has a crisp, ripe, blackberry and oyster shell nose that displays fine tension and complexity: focused with hints of red plum developing. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannins. It is nicely poised, quite masculine with a grippy, saline finish. I like the style here, which I discern as becoming more "classic" even with just a few months in bottle. Tasted December 2012.
Tasted at Chateau Angelus. Picked from 21st September until the 14th October, the Angelus '09 is a blend of 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Franc, the Angelus '09 has a well-defined, creamy bouquet with pure black cherry, cassis and a touch of creme de menthe. Very rounded and sensuous. The palate is full-bodied with firm grip, the tannins robust and structured, lending a masculinity to this Saint Emilion. Grippy on the finish with touches of dried herbs and tobacco although a second sample at a négoce was endowed with a more voluptuous finish. I prefer the finesse shown by Hubert de Bouard's Château Bellevue at present. Tasted March 2010.
Blended of 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Franc, the deep garnet colored 2009 Angélus sings of blackberry preserves, warm black cherries, stewed plums and dried herbs with hints of Chinese five spice, fragrant earth, truffles and new leather. Full, rich, spicy and decadent in the mouth, it has a plush, velvety texture and well-knit freshness, finishing very long with tons of spicy layers. Drink 2019-2055.
Gorgeous nose of crushed blackberries with bramble berries and sweet tobacco. Full-bodied, with a solid core of ripe fruit and polished tannins. Compacted texture. Long, long finish. Try in 2020.
From Robert Parker's Hong Kong Tasting, 8th Nov 2011:
Intense aromas of blackberries, dried flowers, mint and hints of dark chocolate. Full bodied, with super velvety tannins and gorgeous fruit. Lots of new wood right now but it will come together. This is top of the line baby St. Emilion.
Concentrated aromas of boysenberry and raspberry jam. Full-bodied and powerful, with beautiful fruit-coated tannins and a long, spicy, rich aftertaste. All there for a top vintage from Angélus.
Very dark crimson. Rather animal on the nose. Thick and sweet but with generosity. Broad and jewelly. Shame we were not allowed to taste it blind with the other grands crus classées. Awfully sweet and concentrated, not relaxed, lots of dryness on the finish, revitalising. Hint of cocoa. Date tasted 30th March 2010. Drink 2016-2030.
Since the 1988 vintage, Angélus, under the dynamic leadership of Hubert de Bouard, has been one of the superstars of Saint Emilion, producing modern-style, deep, concentrated and ripe wines full of richness and fruit. After Ausone and Cheval Blanc, this is widely regarded as being one of the top wines of the region along with rivals such as Pavie. Reserved on the nose with hints Valrohna chocolate. Full-throttle on the palate with intense flavours of Morello cherries, dark chocolate, and cocoa. Strong, solid tannins and lots of new wood match the dense fruit. This is a powerful wine that will require patience. Once all the elements knit together it should be a classic Angelus.
Rich and rather stolid now, this features a wall of roasted apple wood and charcoal flavors in front of the dense core of black Mission fig, steeped black currant fruit and espresso notes. Extremely dense on the finish, but the inlaid spice and tobacco hints are there just beneath the surface, needing only extended cellaring to emerge fully. One of the larger-scaled efforts of the vintage. Best from 2018 through 2035.-J.M.
The final alcohol may be even higher than that on the tasting sheet at the primeurs - some of the Merlot was picked as 16% alcohol apparently. This is a huge wine: concentrated and powerful with masses of ripe fruit. There's a touch of jamminess on the palate, but the tannins are big and bold, the colour saturated, the concentration undeniable . 15+ years.
The hallmark colour, fruit and extract are present but there's an extra edge of elegance this year. Savoury fruit (crushed raspberry and violet notes), velvety texture and powerful but refined tannins. Angélus at the top of its game. Drink 2018-2035.
If you've ever eaten really good British Christmas cake then you know what this lavish 2009 St.-Emilion smells and tastes like. Every bit as rich as it is polished with a long moderately dry finish packed with powdery tannins. Drink or hold. (Horizontal Tasting, London, 2019)