1990 Chateau Angelus, Saint-Emilion, Bottle (750ml) RP99

Château Angélus – The Shining Light Of Saint-Émilion

In Saint-Émilion, on the right bank of the Bordeaux wine region in France, the renowned Château Angélus stands as a shining beacon of light and has brought forth centuries of winemaking, producing the most exceptional wines. This prestigious estate has a rich history, a dedication to quality, and a unique approach to winemaking that has earned it a place among the elite châteaux in the world.

A Spiritual Heritage

The very soul of Château Angélus is rooted in the Angelus prayer, a tradition dating back to the fifteenth century. Nestled in a natural amphitheatre dominated by the majestic spires of three churches in Saint-Émilion, the vineyards resonate with the echoes of bells ringing the Angelus in the morning, at noon, and in the evening. This sacred rhythm sounded during the laborious days of those toiling in the vineyards, creating moments of reflection and meditation. The great French impressionist painter, Jean-François Millet, perfectly captured this spiritual interlude in his masterpiece, "The Angelus," now displayed at the Musée d'Orsay.

The tradition, instituted by Pope Callistus III in 1456 after a triumphant battle, mandated that all bells across Christendom toll daily to mark the Angelus prayer. This practice, a moment of gratitude and reflection, became the inspiration behind the symbolic bell that graces the label of Château Angélus bottles—a poignant reminder of the estate's spiritual heritage.

The Following Chapters

Classified as a Grand Cru Classé in 1954, the estate weathered the storms of the Bordeaux wine crisis in 1973 and spearheaded oenological innovation in the 80s under the visionary leadership of Hubert de Boüard de Laforest, a qualified oenologist from the University of Bordeaux.

Stéphanie de Boüard-Rivoal

Within the rich history of Château Angélus, Stéphanie de Boüard-Rivoal emerges as a central figure, embodying the eighth generation of the Boüard de Laforest family. The third woman to take the reins, Stéphanie's connection to the land is pure and profound. Born and raised amidst the vineyards, she draws courage and determination from the terroir, seeing herself as an integral part of the ecosystem that sustains Château Angélus.

Assuming the role of Chairman and CEO in 2012, Stéphanie carries the weight of familial responsibility with grace. Committed to upholding the founding values of integrity, hard work, humility, and a sense of duty, she is dedicated to ensuring the continued brilliance of Château Angélus. She takes great pride in her promise to preserve the legacy crafted by her forefathers and to allow the name of Angélus to shine for generations to come.

The Wines Of Angélus

The Grand Vin

The pinnacle of Château Angélus's winemaking mastery is the grand vin. Crafted with precision and care, this wine undergoes an elaborate aging process in new oak barrels for approximately 18 months before it is bottled. However, the journey doesn't end there—once bottled, the grand vin patiently matures for at least five years before it is released. The remarkable concentration, weight, and structure of Angélus's wines allow for further aging, with some bottles evolving gracefully over decades. Each sip tells a tale of meticulous craftsmanship and the unique terroir that defines Château Angélus.

Le Carillon d'Angélus

Introduced in 1987, Le Carillon d'Angélus serves as the château's second wine, contributing to approximately 30 percent of the total production. This blend showcases the estate's commitment to delivering a refined and approachable expression of its terroir. While it may be a second label, Le Carillon d'Angélus stands on its own, offering wine enthusiasts a delightful journey into the nuanced flavors and characteristics for which Château Angélus is renowned.

No.3 d’Angélus

For those seeking a wine with predominantly Merlot character, Château Angélus presents No.3 d’Angélus. Comprising around 85 percent Merlot, this third wine upholds the estate's commitment to quality. With a careful blend that marries the opulence of Merlot with the structure of Cabernet Franc, No.3 d’Angélus is a testament to the versatility and artistry of the winemaking team.

Tempo D’Angelo

In 2017, Château Angélus expanded its reach with Tempo d'Angélus, a wine crafted from vineyard plots acquired in the neighboring regions of Castillon-la-Bataille, Saint-Magne-de-Castillon, and Sainte-Colombe. This venture into new terroirs is a testament to the estate's innovative spirit and its dedication to exploring the diverse expressions of the Bordeaux region. 

The Terroir That Shapes The Wine

The vineyards of Château Angélus cover approximately 39 hectares, predominantly planted with Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and a smaller portion of Cabernet Sauvignon. The unique terroir of Saint-Émilion is characterized by its limestone and clay soils.

Situated in a natural amphitheatre on the coast and at the foot of the south coast of Saint-Émilion, the vineyard benefits from concentrated summer temperatures. The slope naturally drains the soil, and the well-balanced distribution of limestone and clay (ranging from 8 to 20%) ensures a consistent supply of water and minerals. This intricate dance between geography and geology shapes the identity of Angélus, a terroir that sets the stage for the vineyard's exceptional wines.

At the heart of Château Angélus's winemaking philosophy lies a deep passion for a bold grape variety—Cabernet Franc. Represented strongly in the vineyard, Cabernet Franc thrives on warm soils characterized by sandy-calcareous scree resting on clays. This specific terroir naturally provides a regular water supply, allowing Cabernet Franc grapes to reach their pinnacle after 20 years, with vines over 40 years old yielding particularly spectacular results, albeit with low yields.

Winemaking Philosophy

Château Angélus is known for its meticulous approach to winemaking, combining traditional methods with modern techniques to create wines of exceptional quality. The estate's commitment to sustainable and environmentally friendly practices ensures the longevity of the vineyards and the preservation of the surrounding ecosystem.

The winemaking team, led by Hubert de Boüard de Laforest, brings passion and expertise to the crafting of each vintage. The estate's philosophy revolves around expressing the unique characteristics of the terroir while embracing innovation to continually improve and refine their winemaking processes.

Angélus Within The Arts

Whether it be in famous paintings, photography, music or on the big screen, the iconic bottle of Angélus has become a symbol of distinction and refinement. 

Directors of various films have consciously placed the bottle as a symbol of prestige. In the hands of James Bond during a decisive encounter or featured in films like La Vie en Rose, Dialogue avec mon jardinier and L'Immortel, Angélus has become more than a prop — it's a central character in moments of emotion, elegance and beauty. Appearing in over thirty French and international films, the bottle of Angélus transcends the vineyards and plateaus, offering a taste of eternity, even if only for a fleeting moment on the big screen.

Wines As Holy As Its History

Château Angélus stands as a symbol of unwavering commitment to excellence, a passion for winemaking, and a deep respect for the land. With a legacy that spans centuries and a vision that looks toward the future, this iconic estate continues to enchant wine lovers around the world with its exceptional wines and timeless elegance. Trying the wines of Château Angélus is nothing short of a religious experience. Every sip leads to gratitude and reflection as once did the bells of the Saint-Émilion churches.

Written by: Arabella Maislinger

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