Angelus has released their 2014 vintage this morning at £141 per bottle, a 6% discount on the 2013, which released at £150 per bottle and a 15% discount on the 2012. Angelus 2014 was well received during Bordeaux en primeur tastings in April scoring 93-96 from the Wine Spectator’s (WS) James Molesworth, 93-94 from James Suckling (JS), 95 points from Tim Atkin and 97 points from the Wine Enthusiast. This puts the 2014 in an interesting position, it is the lowest release price since 2011, which was released before Angelus was promoted to Grand Cru Classe A.
Since then prices of Angelus have soared and it has performed well from barrel to bottle, with the 2012 rising over 42.5%. The 2013 has retained its value of £1,800, despite the ambitious price in a poor vintage. In fact, Angelus has performed very favourably over the last ten years of en primeur with an average release price of €119 rising to an average bottle price of €213.50, providing an average return of 38.7%. The 2014 is the best vintage since 2009 and 2010 which both trade above £2,300. In fact at £1,700 on release the 2014 stacks up well against the average current case price of the last 10 years, which is £2,050. While Angelus 2014 is priced close to left bank First Growths its historical performance and the current trading prices of older vintages suggest that £1,700 per case of 12 bottles is something the market will be willing to pay.
Angelus have also released their second wine Carrillon d’Angelus which at £36 a bottle allows collectors to savour the delights of the Estate at a much lower price point. We tasted Carrillon alongside Angelus and it closely resembles its elder sibling. James Suckling calls it the ‘Best second wine from here for a long time. May be ever.’ As such it is certainly a Carrillon to buy, store and enjoy.
The History of Angelus
George de Boüard started buying up land in Saint-Emilion in the 1560s and it was in the 18th century that Catherine de Boüard de Laforest began living on the property in Château Mazerat. Comte Maurice de Boüard de Laforest inherited Mazaret in 1909 and extended the Estate with the purchase of Clos de L’Angélus in 1926 and part of Château Beau-Séjour-Bécot to form what became Château L’Angélus. The name of the estate is so called from the sound of the daily bells that come from three local churches.
Hubert de Boüard de Laforest, the current owner, started working for the Château in 1976 and implemented modernisations of both the chai and vineyard practises that improved L’Angélus from a wine that did not stand out from the crowd to one that broke 90 Parker points in 1988, moved to 96 points in 1989 and has achieved high 90’s in all the classic Saint-Emilion vintages since. In 1990 Hubert de Boüard cleverly dropped the L’ from the name of the wine to allow it to show up first on alphabetical lists and his vision and hard work was rewarded when Angélus was promoted to Premier Cru Classe (B) during the 1996 reclassification of Saint-Emilion and then in September 2012 to Grand Cru Classe A.
Angelus 2014, 6×75 – £850 or 12×75 – £1,700 EP
Wine Spectator 93–96
Features base notes of bittersweet ganache and smoldering tobacco, with dark plum, currant and fig fruit flavors. Despite the charcoal thread, this is lush and integrated, showing no aggressive edges at all. The tobacco accent chimes in at the end.
James Suckling 93-94
This is dense and compacted with pretty fruits, ultra fine tannins and a pure and intense finish. The excellent quality of the cabernet franc really shows here. Lightly salty with citrusy acidity. Chalky undertone. Half cabernet franc and half merlot. So about 10% more franc than normal.
Carrillon d’Angelus 2014, 6×75 – £215 or 12×75 – £430 EP
James Suckling 91-92
An aromatic and balanced red with currants, plums and light chocolate. Medium to full body, fine tannins and a bright finish. Best second wine from here for a long time. May be ever. 70% merlot and rest is cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc.
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