Angelus 2010

SubregionSt Emilion

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Tasting Notes

This is another magnificent wine. How much fun will it be to have the 2000, 2005, 2009 and 2010 in future tastings to see which vintage comes out on top? They are all candidates that will flirt with perfection, depending on the state of their evolution. The 2010 has a similar color to the 2009, but is perhaps even more opaque, which seems almost impossible. Subtle barbecue smoke, graphite, blackberry liqueur, licorice and chocolate jump from the glass, and the wine hits the palate with a thunderous cascade of sweet, velvety, full-bodied, concentrated black fruits, nice definition from the tannins and decent acidity. The wine has a majestic, multilayered finish that goes on for a minute. This magnificent wine is still frightfully young and still somewhat unformed, but every bit as prodigious as its older sibling, the 2009. This will probably end up evolving on a slightly slower evolutionary track. However, it has 50 years of longevity in it.

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.

Score: 99+Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (220), August 2015

An absolutely spectacular wine from this estate, run with meticulous precision by Hubert de Bouard, the opaque bluish/purple 2010 Angelus offers up a beautifully sweet smorgasbord of aromas ranging from blueberry pie to espresso roast, white chocolate, creme de cassis, licorice, truffle and a touch of lead pencil shavings. There is even a floral underpinning to this extraordinary, highly-scented, full-bodied wine. Rich, layered and built like a skyscraper, this multi-dimensional Angelus has lavish concentration and moderately high tannin, but it is sweet and well-integrated, as is the oak. Just enough acidity provides focus and delineation to this exceptionally well-endowed wine, which should hit its prime in 7-10 years and last 30-40. Drink 2020-2060.

Score: 98Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (205), March 2013

A blend of 55% Merlot and 45% Cabernet Franc cropped at 32 hectoliters per hectare, the 2010 may not hit the peaks of the extraordinary 2009 or 2005, but it is another fabulous wine from proprietor Hubert de Bouard. It boasts an inky/blue/purple color along with abundant aromas of acacia flowers, blueberry liqueur, black raspberries, licorice and subtle toasty oak in the background. A notion of graphite emerges as the wine sits in the glass, which tends to be a characteristic of Angelus. Long, rich, dense and full-bodied with high but well-integrated tannins, it will rival the 1989 and 1990 as well as the 2009 and 2005 as one of the finest wines made at this estate. At present, the 2009 has a slight edge because of its more sumptuous texture. Nevertheless, the 2010 is a great wine with a future of at least 30 years!

Score: 94/96+Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (194), May 2011

The 2010 Angélus seems to be improving in bottle year after year. It has a detailed and precise bouquet with ample black fruit, sous-bois, black truffle and light humidor aromas. It is incredibly complex and involving. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins. This is very cohesive and exerts just the right amount of grip. Great precision towards the finish with a judicious sprinkling of white pepper and sage. This is the best bottle of 2010 Angélus that I have met. Tasted blind at Farr Vintners 10-Year On Bordeaux horizontal. Drink 2025 - 2048.

Score: 98Neal Martin,, April 2020

Tasted blind at the Southwold Bordeaux 2010 tasting. The Angelus 2010 has a rounded, more feminine bouquet that its peers with vivacious red cherries and wild strawberry scents. There is well-integrated creamy oak all with an alluring seamlessness and focus. The palate is medium-bodied with fine acidity and slightly powdery tannins. It is very well focused with super tension and structure on the finish. Excellent. This Angelus seems to be settling down nicely. Tasted January 2014.

Score: 95Neal Martin,, February 2014

Tasted at the chateau. Bottled in September, this sample was opened an hour before and decanted upon my request to allow it to settle as much as possible. The 2010 is a blend of 55% Merlot and 45% Cabernet Franc raised entirely in new oak for around 21 months. The nose is very pure and nicely defined, the fruit very concentrated and handling the alcohol well (15.6%). The palate is full-bodied with firm, very structured tannins. There is plenty of dense dark cherries, crème de cassis and boysenberry fruit with a touch of spice. Like Troplong-Mondot, it is towards the finish where the alcohol becomes tangible - begins to nag, which makes me worry that the wine might become fatiguing in quantity. Tasted November 2012.

Score: 92Neal Martin,, February 2013

The Angelus 2010 has a very ripe, quite opulent, dense bouquet with dark cherries, cassis, dark plum/Hoi Sin with good definition and a lot of ambition. The palate is full-bodied with very thick, bold tannins lending enormous structure to this Angelus. Layers of ripe blackberry, dark cherries and boysenberry with well integrated new oak. As usual, very modern in style, but very dry and tannic on the finish at the moment. Drink 2016- Tasted March 2011.

Score: 92/94Neal Martin,, April 2011

Composed of 55% Merlot and 45% Cabernet Franc, the deep garnet colored 2010 Angélus has an open-for-business nose of baked plums, Black Forest cake and blueberry pie with touches of hoisin, Marmite toast and eucalyptus. Full-bodied, rich and oh-so-sensuous, the palate is jam-packed with decadent fruit and framed by firm, ripe, and rounded tannins, finishing with epic length. 2020 - 2055

Score: 99Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (March 2020), March 2020

The nose is impressively rich with an opulence and sexiness with earth, berry, spice and chocolate character. Black truffles! Full body, with seamless tannins and beautiful richness. It goes on for minutes. The layers of fruit and ripe tannins are phenomenal. This is the greatest Angelus ever for me. Try in 2018.

Score: 99James Suckling,, February 2013

Wild aromas of blackberries, dark chocolate and hints of toasted nuts. Very intense. Full bodied, with super integrated tannins and a fabulous finish. Goes on for minutes. This takes off on the palate. Really impressive. 45 percent Cabernet Franc and 55 percent Merlot

Score: 97/98James Suckling,, March 2011

Very dark crimson. Manages to be both savoury and luscious on the nose. Thick and dense and very sweet on the finish. All stops pulled out to make an impression! Very firm finish after great riches. Dry, slightly tarry finish.

Score: 17.5Jancis Robinson MW,, April 2011

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 appellation. The 2010 is made from 50% Merlot, 47% Cabernet Franc and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon. There is a jet black colour and a soaring nose of roasted meat, black cherry fruit, black olive tapenade and licorice. Very dense but balanced. Dark chocolate, vanilla, spice and a thick , glycerol mouth-feel. A real powerhouse but it doesn't suffer from the over-extraction and harsh finish of some of its Saint Emilion rivals. Huge and impressive

Score: 17.5Farr Vintners, April 2011

Rich ripe black fruits give depth on the nose and richness on the palate. Layers of flavour all add to the complexity and the sweetness of the fruit is well balanced by an underlying freshness. There is a firm structure but the tannins are rounded and the fruit underneath ripe and sweet.

Score: 92/96Derek Smedley MW, April 2011

Score: 96Tim Atkin MW,, April 2011

In the same league as the amazing '09 but an even bigger structure here. Tell-tale saturated colour. Busy, complex nose with spice, cacao and violet (45% Cabernet Franc) notes. Ripe, succulent fruit on the palate but not overblown. Lingering freshness behind. Powerful but refined tannins. Long, persistent finish. Drink 2020-2035.

Score: 18.5James Lawther MW,, April 2011

Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.