Château Angelus Hommage a Elisabeth Bouchet 2016

Special Price $1,523.95 Average US Price $2,450.00
Out of stock

Other Vintages We Offer:

• Domaine: Château Angélus
• Appellation: Saint-Emilion
• Classification: Saint-Emillian Grand Cru
• Origin: Right Bank, Bordeaux, France

A Tribute & A Love Story

Hommage à Elisabeth Bouchet is a tiny-production cuvée that will only be released in the greatest vintages.  The first release comes from the already almost mythical 2016 vintage.  It is made from old-vine Cabernet Franc (or Bouchet, as it has always been known on the right-bank) from two small parcels in the South-West corner of the Angélus vineyard on the famous pied de côte (the foot of the slope).  The vines themselves are of 60-80 years of age, drawing the intense minerality that characterises the wine from the clay-limestone and clay-scree-limestone terroirs on which they are planted through their profound root-systems.  

The wine honours Elisabeth Bouchet, great-grandmother of Stéphanie de Boüard-Rivoal, co-owner and CEO of Chateau Angélus – and it is inspired by a rather beautiful history.  For it was to honour his beloved Elisabeth Bouchet that the vineyard of Angélus came to be so extensively planted with Bouchet (Cabernet Franc) by her husband, Stephanie’s great-grandfather, Maurice de Boüard de Laforest.  

The 2016 was aged for 22 months in carefully selected and exceptionally fine-grained new oak from the Vosges forest so as not to mark the wine in any noticeable way.  There are just 9 barriques of the 2016 and there will be just 5 of the 2018.  Later vintages will be aged, at least in part, in larger volume foudres.  No 2017 will be produced due to frost damage.  

There are only 1200 bottles and a few larger format bottlings of the 2016, all offered in individual wooden cases.


The Château

On the label of every bottle of Château Angélus is the picture of a bell.  This Saint-Émilion Premiere Grand Cru Classé A estate is situated in a natural amphitheater, surrounded by three local churches. The property’s namesake is derived from the close proximity to these spiritual houses of worship.  During the harvest, vineyard workers can hear the church bells toiling while they tend to the vines.  But there’s a deeper meaning to the symbol of the bell: it also represents the spiritual and priestlike devotion the eight generations of the Boüard family have to the vines at this property.  The Boüard who currently runs the estate - Stephanie de Boüard-Rivoal - puts it best.  She says, “We are only the guardians of a history that presided us and will survive us, so our role is to sustain it in the best conditions we are able to achieve.”

Château Angélus is one of the few estates in Bordeaux that has been run by the same family since its inception.  The Boüard family has an even longer history than Château Angélus, as their legacy spans 700 years.  Château Angélus was always a respectable property in Saint-Émilion, but once Hubert de Boüard took over after graduating from Bordeaux University and studying under the famed professor Émile Peynaud, quality skyrocketed. Throughout the generations, the Boüard family business was always deeply entrenched in the wine trade.  So much, in fact, that one of the original names of Cabernet Franc was Bouchet, the maiden name of Hubert de Boüard’s Grandmother, Elizabeth Bouchet.

Admittedly, the quality of the wines at Château Angélus were underperforming in the early 1980s. But once Hubert de Boüard brought forth some revolutionary techniques from Burgundy, things started to change.  Hubert made adjustments to the fermentation process, choosing to ferment whole berry in open top vats and conduct malolactic fermentation in small barrels instead.  He made sure the estate would harvest parcel by parcel – like the vignerons of Burgundy did – and encouraged periods of ageing their wines on the lees.  This would mean the wines would have more exposure to the yeast cells, yielding a creamier mouthfeel.  Many estates have emulated Château Angélus’ viticultural techniques, and though these practices may seem commonplace today they were revolutionary at the time of introduction at the estate.

Stephanie de Boüard-Rivoal took over managing the Château Angélus in 2012, which was a very big year for the property.  In 2012, Château Angélus was promoted to Saint-Émilion Premiere Grand Cru Classés A – the highest honor an estate can obtain in that part of the Right Bank. Since then, Stephanie has championed the transition of Château Angélus to organic viticulture.  She is the third woman in the long line of Boüards to run the estate and has managed to move the property to 100% organic farming as of 2018.  As of 2021, Château Angélus received its organic certification.  Stephanie says the vineyards give her emotional and spiritual strength. She shares her ancestors’ devotion to crafting some of the most profound wines on the Right Bank. 

Tasting Notes

“'This is the first release of this new 100% Cabernet Franc wine from Chateau Angélus. Deep garnet in color, the 2016 Hommage à Elisabeth Bouchet hits the ground running with an intense, profound nose of blackberry preserves, boysenberries and redcurrant jelly, plus suggestions of beef drippings, black olives, damp soil and unsmoked cigars with wafts of pencil lead and truffles. The full-bodied palate bursts with vibrant, shimmery black and red fruits, inlaid with mineral accents and supported by firm, exquisitely ripe and finely grained tannins. Electric sparks of bright acidity course through the densely packed core, delivering incredible energy and freshness to the finish, leaving you wanting more. That this estate has managed to craft such a complete, jaw-dropping beauty entirely from Cabernet Franc is a triumph and, I hope, not the last of its kind. A masterpiece!" - Lisa Perotti-Brown, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (9/8/2021), Ratings: 100, Drink: 2024-2060

"Angélus Cuvée Hommage à Elisabeth Bouchet 2016 (100% Cabernet Franc).  It’s a shame that covetousness is a deadly sin.  For this is a wine that I covet.  It is simply spectacular.  There is so much to admire here and so much to enjoy – the signature of the vintage and of this specific terroir; the crystalline beauty and focus of the fruit; the quality, subtlety and precision of the wine-making; the breath-taking elegance, finesse and sheer beauty of the texture; the very concept of the wine itself; and the perfect sense of harmony that arises from the interaction of all of these elements.  This is the first vintage of this extraordinary wine and it is a complete and absolute triumph.  Plump, fresh, crunchy blueberries, wild strawberries, a touch of mint, tapenade and a hint of truffle, Asiatic spices and a gorgeous saline minerality – and with so much more to come.  There is wonderful focus, precision and direction to this wine.  It engages immediately, captivates the palate, demands focus and attention and holds that attention literally for minutes as it very gradually tapers to an asymptotic finish.  It is incredibly young, but already intensely beautiful.  It is difficult to resist already, it will definitely outlive me and I suspect the 60-80 year old vines have produced a wine that will age for at least that long.  A magical experience, a privilege and a perfect homage. " - Colin Hay, thedrinksbusiness (9/10/2021), Ratings: 100


More Information
Stock Status Out of Stock
Appellation Saint-Emilion
Vintage 2016
Brand Château Angelus
Shipping Weight 3.000000

Saint-Émilion is one of the most prestigious wine appellations in the Bordeaux region of France, renowned for its exceptional red wines and rich viticultural history. Located on the Right Bank of the Dordogne River, Saint-Émilion is a place of great beauty and a UNESCO World Heritage site, thanks to its remarkable blend of natural and cultural attributes. The Saint-Émilion appellation is characterized by a diverse terroir featuring a mix of limestone, clay, and sandy soils that provide the foundation for its distinctive wines. The unique microclimates and elevations within the appellation contribute to the variety of flavors and styles found in Saint-Émilion wines.

The primary grape varieties used in Saint-Émilion wines are Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon, with Merlot often dominating the blends. These grapes thrive in the region's favorable climate, moderated by the proximity of the Dordogne River and the buffering effects of the limestone plateau.

Saint-Émilion is famous for its unique wine classification system, which divides the vineyards into four tiers: Premier Grand Cru Classé A, Premier Grand Cru Classé B, Grand Cru Classé, and Grand Cru. This classification reflects the quality and prestige of the individual vineyards and châteaux within the appellation, with only a select few achieving the highest ranking of Premier Grand Cru Classé A. Until the re-classification in 2022, Château Cheval Blanc, Château Ausone, Château Angelus, and Château Pavie were the only four members of the Premier Grand Cru Classé A tier. Out of disagreement with the standard-setting governing body, Cheval Blanc and Ausone voluntarily dropped out. Angelus followed suit shortly after. With Pavie remaining the only member, Premier Grand Cru Classé A saw the addition of Château Figeac following a long-expected and well-deserved promotion.

Saint-Émilion wines are known for their finesse, complex aromas, and beautiful balance of fruit, tannins, and acidity. While they share some similarities with wines from the neighboring Pomerol appellation, they often have a slightly more structured and tannic character due to the higher proportion of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon in the blends. With age, these wines develop a velvety texture and reveal an array of flavors, including dark fruits, floral notes, and hints of earthiness.

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