- Vines benefited from August rain after hot summer months
- Harvest conditions allowed grapes to gain extra maturity
The 2015 wines that Chateau Angelus will present to merchants next month along with other Bordeaux estates benefited from “beautiful conditions” during harvest that enabled grapes to be picked with extra ripeness, according to Angelus Managing Director Stephanie de Bouard-Rivoal.
A very hot June and July in Bordeaux was followed by rain in August that helped the vines, and then favorable weather from the start of the harvest in mid-September through to the end a month later, which gave the flexibility to pick grapes at the optimum time, she said in an interview during a visit to London last month.
“We were able to get extra maturity when necessary,” she said. “That really made a difference. We will have a truly great vintage.”
Chateau Angelus is a Saint Emilion wine estate that traces its origins back to 1782, when Jean de Bouard de Laforest settled in the town. The current property took shape during the 20th century, when the family’s Chateau Mazerat estate absorbed a neighboring plot of vines known as L’Angelus. It was run for the past three decades by Hubert de Bouard de Laforest, with his daughter Stephanie returning in 2012 to take charge.
While Bordeaux wine estates generally suffered a run of tougher vintages between 2011 and 2013, with improved conditions in 2014, de Bouard-Rivoal said the 2015 vintage has the potential to be the best for several years.
“I would at this stage think of the quality of 2009, 2010,” she said in the interview. “I don’t want to rush. It seems to be presenting extremely well. I forecast a vintage similar to 2005, quality-wise, but with its own style.”
Angelus was promoted to the top status of Premier Grand Cru Classe A in the Saint Emilion classification of 2012, elevating it with Chateau Pavie alongside Chateau Ausone and Chateau Cheval Blanc to recognize it as one of the top four producers in the appellation. The new rankings replaced a classification in force since 1996.
Angelus’s 2012 vintage was priced at 180 euros ($203) a bottle from Bordeaux wholesale merchants, up from 138 euros for its 2011, according to data from the London-based Liv-ex wine exchange. That reflected the estate’s promotion, which also instantly boosted prices of back vintages.
Its release prices for the 2010 and 2009 vintages, both highly rated in the region by international wine critics including Robert Parker, were 225 euros a bottle and 210 euros respectively from Bordeaux merchants, according to Liv-ex data.
De Bouard-Rivoal, who presented the estate’s 2008 and 2006 wines at a tasting in London during her visit last month, said the 2008 was “quite unusual, and difficult to find on the market,” with freshness, a nice balance and “very silky tannins.”
As for 2006, it’s “one of the greatest vintages produced on the right bank,” she said. “It’s really evolving nicely. It’s wine with huge complexity; a large aromatic palate with a very long finish.”