A surprise release this morning is the mighty Cheval Blanc, one of the jewels of Bordeaux. Incredibly and divergent from their recent pricing strategy they have released at a 31% discount to last year. This sees £2,088 discount per case of 12, down from £6,588 to £4,500.

Their pricing on release has been erratic since 2010, though the secondary market pricing for great vintages confirms the wine is adored by the global market, as can be seen from the table below. The average trading price of the leading vintages is £6,350, so today’s release offers a 29% discount to this and is therefore hugely appealing.

Cheval Blanc is one of the great wines of the world and their move today is to be applauded. At £4,500 a case of 12, or £2,250 per case of six, this is an unmissable opportunity for Cheval Blanc lovers. We expect an exceptional score, akin to the 2018 and surpassing the 2017. A score of 97-98 would provide £500 upside per 12 from barrel to bottle, while a 98-99-point score, would see the price rise to £5,500 on secondary bottle trading, with collectors able to gain a potential £1,000 upside by securing a first tranche allocation. This is what the market needed from Cheval Blanc and it will be met with huge demand. Bravo!

Cheval BlancWAJSReleasePrice
2019n/an/a£4,500£4,500
201897-9998-99£6,588£6,588
201796+97£5,020£5,300
201610099£6,400£5,550
201510099£5,200£5,575
2010100100£9,800£7,900
200910099£7,750£6,700
200510098£4,300£6,900

Cheval Blanc is one of the two original Grands Crus Classes A of St. Emilion and one of the greatest wines of the Right Bank. In 1998 it was purchased by the Chairman of Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy and owner of Chateau d’Yquem, Bernard Arnault and a Belgian businessman, Albert Frère. Pierre Lurton was appointed as estate manager and under his considerable talent the property has continued to flourish.

The estate is situated near Petrus and even encroaches into the Pomerol commune. The vineyard has three distinct soil types: gravel, clay and sand, giving Cheval Blanc’s terroir the distinction of having the best characteristics of Pomerol, Graves and its native Saint-Emilion. Cheval Blanc is blended using a preponderance of Cabernet Franc over Merlot and this leads to a distinct freshness with high concentrations of fruit and a rich, enveloping bouquet.

This morning also sees the release of Angelus, who were first out of the blocks in 2018, setting a superb tone with a 10% discount to 2017, something few others followed. They have therefore less room to drop significantly in 2019, but have reduced the price on the 2018 another 7% to £2,844 per case of 12 or £1,422 per case of six. It is therefore a very favourable price to market with a 98-99 point score from James Suckling. It represents a significant 24% discount to the similarly scored 2016 release price and a 15% discount to the far inferior 2017 vintage. The average price of the leading vintages since 2005 is £3,393, to which the 2019 provides a 15% reduction. So in the context of its vintage premium, it is an excellent price on release, as can be seen in the table below.

Chateau Angelus has really refined it’s house style in recent years, careful tannin management, gentle extraction and a move to sustainable agriculture has meant that the modern Angelus is refined, silky and effortless, with its signature richness and concentration. James Suckling, the only major critic to have scored Angelus declares it to have “super fine tannins” (a hallmark of the vintage), and calls it “polished, silky and very subtle”.

AngelusWAJSReleasePrice
2019n/a 98-99£2,844£2,844
201897-10099-100£3,060£3,060
201794-9697£3,360£3,360
201698+99£3,580£3,400
20159799£2,650£2,800
20129493£2,000£3,475
20109999£2,500£3,300
20099996£2,350£3,300
200510097£1,400£4,500

 

Angelus has also released their second wine Carrillon d’Angelus for £372 per case of six or £744 per case of 12. This marks a reduction of 12% on the 2018 release price. In 2019 it has been awarded 94-95 points from James Suckling, who says ‘A really succulent, refined second wine with berries, chocolate and light toasted oak. It’s full and completely integrated with seamless tannins and a fresh finish. Lovely, sweet ripe fruit in the center palate. Extremely refined. 90% merlot and 10% cabernet franc. Carrillon closely resembles its elder sibling and for those who love the style and the label of Angelus, this is a strong buy and it will provide beautiful drinking within a few years.

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 Mazeret. 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 St. 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.