A candidate for one of the finest Angelus produced to date (and there have been many, including 1989, 1990, 2000 and 2005), this blend of 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Franc was fashioned from tiny yields of 20 hectoliters per hectare. It boasts a black/purple color along with a gorgeous perfume of blueberry liqueur, spring flowers and graphite. In the mouth, notes of incense and cassis also emerge from this velvety-textured, full-bodied, intensely concentrated 2009. With silky tannins, low acidity and spectacular purity, texture and depth, it is already approachable (although I’m sure proprietor Hubert de Bouard would think drinking it now is akin to infanticide), but should keep for 20-30+ years. [Robert Parker Feb 2012, Rating 99]
Château Angélus, on its renowned south facing "pied de côte" (foot of the hill) site, has been looked after over four generations by the Boüard de Laforest family. The estate’s name derives from a particularly ancient plot of vineyard, from which the men tending the vines were able to hear the angelus ringing out from all three of the village churches, chapelle de Mazerat the church of Saint Martin de Mazerat and the church of Saint Emilion. At the turn of the century Maurice de Boüard de Laforest acquired this three hectare plot, adding it to the adjacent vineyard - Château Mazerat - which had been in the family since 1850. His sons Jacques and Christian expanded the holding by buying adjoining plots of land, until stopping in the 1970s. Today the property is run by Hubert de Boüard de Laforest and his cousin Jean-Bernard Grenié. Angelus, a 1er Grand Cru St Emilion, is now one of the region’s great names, known particular for producing wines with a high Cabernet Franc content.
St-Émilion is a very different region to those of the Médoc, dominated by small-holding farmers and estates rather than grand Châteaux. Merlot is widely planted as is Cabernet Franc in some parts. The wines are enormously variable in style depending on the terroir, the grape variety make-up and winemaking style. Loosely the region is divided between the limestone Côtes, Graves or gravelly limestone plateau or the sandy alluvial soils nearer the Dordogne. Traditionally Médoc wines were trade from Bordeaux and St Emilions from Libourne so they have their own classification system separate to that of 1855. The classification is revised every ten years and falls into four categories, St Emilion, St Emilion Grand Cru, St Emilion Grand Cru Classé and St Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé
Most of the district's best properties are either on the steep, clay-limestone hillsides immediately below the town or on a gravelly section of the plateau west of St Emilion itself abutting Pomerol. There are several high profile estates in the region, including Cheval Blanc, Ausone, Figeac, Le Dôme, Valandraud and Pavie.