The 2021 Angélus contains 60% Cabernet Franc, the highest percentage ever, and also reflects an increasing use of wooden foudres (half the Cabernet Franc or 30% of the whole blend). It has a more understated bouquet compared to the bravura vintages of the last three years, demanding gentle coaxing to reveal scents of brambly black fruit, potpourri, hints of orange pith and a little sous-bois. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannins, and quite sapid, the Cabernet Franc lending a slightly more chalky texture and a linear, focused finish. Displaying fine tension throughout, though not astoundingly long, this Angelus deserves 4–5 years in bottle to show its true potential.
Anticipated maturity: 2026-2055
Robert Parker 94-96+
A brilliant wine that signposts this estate’s evolution under Stéphanie de Boüard-Rivoal, the 2021 Angélus is a blend of 60% Cabernet Franc and 40% Merlot, with fully half of the old-vine Cabernet Franc maturing in foudres rather than 225-liter barriques. The result is a wine of unprecedented purity and finesse, unwinding in the glass with compelling aromas of plums, raspberries, rose petals, vine smoke, blood orange and warm spices, followed by a medium to full-bodied, deep and layered palate with a rich and fleshy core that entirely conceals its structuring chassis of ultra-refined tannins. Bright and sapid, it’s striking for its integration and elegance at this early stage, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it upstage a number of more touted vintages once it’s in bottle.
Jane Anson 95
This is well textured, plush raspberry and damson fruits, a sleight of hand that turns the high acidities into mouth-watering juice, with waves of graphite, pencil lead, saffron, smoked caramel and cigar box. The highest amount of Cabernet Franc on record at Angélus, largely because so much Merlot was lost to mildew. First full vintage where Benjamin Laforet is technical director, working alongside Hubert de Bouard. It’s serious, takes its time to open, far less exuberant than the past few vintages at Angélus but classy and with presence. They are labelling this Premier Grand Cru Classé A, despite withdrawing from the 2022 classification when the selection process was already underway, and underlines why it’s a loss to the ranking not to have Angélus within in. 23hl/h yield, no chaptilisation on the 1st wine, 100% new oak barrels + 30hl oak casks for the Cabernet Franc.
Anticipated maturity: 2027-2042
The Wine Independent 94-96
Composed of 60% Cabernet Franc and 40% Merlot, the 2021 Angelus is deep garnet-purple in color. Slightly closed to begin, considerable coaxing reveals scents of redcurrant jelly, black raspberries, and fresh blackberries with suggestions of crushed rocks, tar, truffles, and violets. Medium-bodied, the palate has fantastic intensity and energy, with very finely pixelated tannins and wonderful tension, finishing on a persistent ferrous note.
Anticipated maturity: 2027-2050