The 2017 Angélus was bottled later than many Right Bank wines, in fact just 10 days prior to my visit in late September '19. Proprietor Hubert de Böuard reminded me that there is less Cabernet Franc in the blend (30%) due to the frost, the estate electing to use the first generation fruit from their historical parcels. It has a very pure bouquet that is totally different from the Deuxième Vin, as you would expect, with scents of black cherries, wild strawberry, cassis and black truffle. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins. The 100% new oak is nicely integrated into the black fruit laced with chestnut, tobacco, bay leaf and clove. There is decent body to this Angélus. It feels a little tight and constricted towards the finish, but I appreciate the contribution of the Cabernet Franc. It will age with style. 2022 - 2045
|Score: 93||Neal Martin, vinous.com, February 2020|
The 2017 Angélus has a crisp, direct and very pure bouquet that is almost Burgundy-like in style. Crushed blackberry, hints of cassis, just a suggestion of bell pepper emanating from the Cabernet Franc and a faint estuarine scent all come through although unusually for this Saint-Émilion, they take three or four minutes to coalesce. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, but quite firm in the mouth. There is a marine-influence to this Saint-Émilion with a chalky, lightly spiced and, relative to 2015 and 2016, quite conservative and linear style. It feels very saline on the finish, perhaps more than I have encountered in recent years. It foregoes the roundness of recent vintages, perchance an Angélus that will be best shown on the dinner table instead of on its own. That's not a bad thing. Excellent. Drink 2022-2045.
|Score: 94/96||Neal Martin, vinous.com, May 2018|
A blend of 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc, the deep purple-black colored 2017 Angélus is a little closed to begin, opening out beautifully to notes of baked plums, fresh blackberries and chocolate-covered cherries with hints of mocha, bay leaves, beef drippings and wood smoke plus a touch of roses. Medium to full-bodied with a great density of mid-palate fruit and firm, fine-grained tannins, it finishes long and earthy with a compelling lift.
|Score: 94/96||Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (236), April 2018|
This is so pure and aromatic with a level of complexity and refinement for the vintage that few have. Sweet tobacco, flowers, herbs and stone with underlying richness of fruit. It opens on the palate to a full body that is tight and reserved with an extremely focused tannin mouth feel. Length and excitement at the end. Very polished Angélus. A blend of 70% merlot and 30% cabernet franc. Drink in 2024 and onwards.
|Score: 97||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, January 2020|
A layered and fine-grained young Angelus with very focused and integrated tannins that give the young wine form and focus. Full body and a subtle and fascinating fruit character. Should turn out beautifully.
|Score: 95/96||James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2018|
The 2017 Angélus is impeccable. Bright and energetic, with terrific lift from the 30% Cabernet Franc, Angélus is super-expressive today. There is lovely depth and density to the fruit, even if the finish narrows just a touch. In 2017 Angélus is less powerful than it typically is, with less overt oak influence. Whether or not that is a reflection of the vintage alone, or indicative of a slight evolution in style is a question that can only be answered in the future. In the meantime, there is plenty to like about the 2017. The Merlot saw 3-4 weeks on the skins, while the Cabernet was macerated about a week longer. Aging is in 100% new French oak, with slightly lower toast levels than in the past. Production will be about 20% less than normal because of frost damage.
|Score: 92/95||Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, May 2018|
Inky crimson. Redolent of classy and spicy oak but the fruit fragrance is there too, waiting to emerge after the chocolate dies back. A fine note of graphite and Cabernet Franc leafy (but fully ripe) freshness. Spicy and fresh on the palate. Rich and finely textured, with the oak giving way to the fruit on the palate. Very good balance even at this early stage. Savoury dark-chocolate, clean finish.
|Score: 17.5+||Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, April 2018|
In 2017 some of the lower parts of the vineyard were hit by frost - especially Cabernet Franc - so the production is much lower than normal at only around 2000 cases. The blend is more strongly Merlot (70%) than usual. Hubert de Bouard told us that it remains him of the 2001 vintage here and also a bit like 2008. Deep in colour, with a rich and ripe nose of kirsch, cassis and roasted coffee. The palate is ripe, and warm for the vintage, with a rich tannic structure. Though the structure is full bodied and chewy, it is not over-extracted. The muscular style is in balance due to the ripe core of black fruits and the still-bright acidity. The finish is long and marked at this stage by smoky, sweet oak.
|Score: 16.5||Farr Vintners, April 2018|
Brooding depth the fruit on the nose is rich and ripe the start of the palate sweet with fleshy black fruits. There is an underpinning freshness balance the bilberry bramble mix gives brightness at the back but it fills out on the finish sweet and ripe. 2027-40
|Score: 92/95||Derek Smedley MW, DerekSmedleyMW.co.uk, April 2018|
Emmanuelle has been making wine here for 22 years now. The freshness of the Merlot in 2017 reminds her of 2001 - I would certainly agree, and maybe with a hint of 2014 too. It's a beautiful wine, voluptuous but elegant. These vines were not frosted, but the Cabernet Franc produced less than usual, and they also made an extremely careful selection overall, leading to a yield of 30hl/ha. The wine has great complexity, which is a standout character in 2017, with bilberries, charcoal and plush damson - the Angelus signature of power and glamour. There is good tannic density here and it will clearly merit long ageing. 85,000 bottles of Angelus produced representing around 80% of total production. Matured in 100% new oak.
Drinking Window 2027 - 2040
|Score: 96||Jane Anson, Decanter.com, April 2018|
A very plush nose explodes from the glass with oak and fruit both working in tandem. This is another welcome example of a wine with superb flavour and colour, but without excess muscle and testosterone. Angélus has embraced the vintage rather than trying to imprint its own character on the wine. There is a dark and daring espresso and chocolate edge to this wine which adds to the appeal and it also manages to work extremely well with the oak, too. A relatively forward-drinking vintage, which will also keep well, this is a huge success for this property and with the stunning, but strikingly different, second wine as part of the offering the 2017 vintage is complete for this estate.
|Score: 18.5+||Matthew Jukes, Matthew Jukes' Blog, April 2018|