This morning marks the beginning of the 2018 en primeur campaign, an early and exciting start with Chateau Angelus, the first out of the blocks. In releasing so early, this Grand Cru Classe A has been able to set the tone. We posited in our en primeur report that with the 2018 vintage being venerated as great, often trumping 2016, the formula will be simple: where 2018s score on aggregate par or better than the 2016s, yet are priced at a discount, there will be demand. In 2018 we felt Angelus made a stunning wine, one of their finest ever and James Suckling agrees, awarding 99-100 points, which promises more than 2016 and 2015 as can be seen in the table below.
The most important thing is that the release price today £1,530 per case of six or £3,060 per case of 12 is a 10% discount to the 2017’s release price and 17% to 2016. This instantly makes it appealing as it has one of the lowest Price Over Points (POP) score of any modern vintage with 157. We really did not expect to be saying this and it is a superb move from Angelus, providing a discount on release, the very essence of en primeur, allowing those who can get an allocation to benefit by buying early. Indeed, today’s price offers an 8% discount to the current trading price of the 2009 and 2010 and a 45% discount to the 2005. The average price of the leading vintages since 2005 is £3,443, to which the 2018 provides a 11% reduction. This is a great Angelus in the context of its vintage premium it is an excellent price on release. This could mark the beginning of an exciting en primeur campaign.
Angelus has also released their second wine Carrillon d’Angelus for £474 per case of six or £948 per case of 12. James Suckling has awarded it 94-95 points, the highest ever along with the 2016 and at £79 a bottle it allows collectors to savour the delights of the Estate at a much lower price point. We tasted Carrillon alongside Angelus and it closely resembles its elder sibling. 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 Mazerat. 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 Saint-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.
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