Chateau Angelus 2003, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
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 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.