The Bouard de Laforest family history can be traced back in Saint Emilion on Bordeaux’s right bank to as early as 1544. Although wine has been produced here since the 18th Century, it wasn’t until the turn of the 20th century that Maurice de Bouard de Laforest inherited and, subsequently, extended his family’s Mazerat estate; an extension which included a 3 hectare plot named Angelus.

In the first ever Saint Emilion classification, Chateau Angelus gained Grand Cru Classe status in 1954. The vineyards of Chateau Angelus are set within a natural amphitheatre which amplify the tolling bells of three local churches. Upon hearing the bells, those working in the vineyards would be reminded to stop their work and pray. The historical significance of the bells is still clearly seen through the design on the Chateau Angelus label.

Hubert de Bouard de Laforest joined the family business in 1976 after having studied at the Faculte d’Oenologie in Bordeaux. He set about modernising the Chateau which resulted in their first wine to break the 90 Parker points in 1988. The continued improvements made over this period led to the Chateau’s reclassification in 1996 to a Premier Grand Cru Classe (B). An additional, astute change made in 1990 under Hubert’s tenure was to drop the L’ from the original name of the wine, therefore allowing it to show up first on alphabetical lists (such as ours!).

Throughout the second half of the 20th Century the estate continued to expand and now exceeds 20 hectares, yet it still a family-led Chateau with the eighth generation of the Bouard de Laforest, Stephanie de Bouard-Rivoal, at the helm. The dedication and perseverance of the Chateau Angelus team was again rewarded in 2012 when the estate was reclassified as Premier Grand Cru Classe (A). Stephanie is the third woman to oversee the estate and has said she approaches her almost “priestly vocation” with “faith, passion and gratitude”.

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