Le Carillon d'Angélus 2020
• Domaine: Château Angélus
• Appellation (AOC): Saint-Emilion
• Classification: 1er Grand Cru Classé A
• Origin: Right Bank, Bordeaux, France
Though Carillon d’Angélus is the second wine at Château Angélus, there is nothing second tier about it. Carillon d’Angélus is an elegant, floral sort of wine with boundless energy and lift. Like the grand vin at the estate, the symbol associated with Carillon d’Angélus is three toiling bells. The vines used in the second wine of this Saint-Émilion Premiere Grand Cru Classé A estate are situated in a natural amphitheater, surrounded by three local churches. The property’s namesake is derived from the 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 represents the spiritual devotion the eight generations of the de Boüard family have to the vines at this property.
The de Boüard family has an even longer history than Château Angélus, as their legacy spans 700 years. Throughout the generations, the de 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. 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.
Many estates have emulated Château Angélus’ viticultural techniques, and though these practices may seem commonplace today they were revolutionary at the time. Hubert de Boüard adjusted 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.
As the second wine of this estate, Carillon d’Angélus was first released in 1987 and throughout the decades has evolved like the grand vin at the property. Only the highest standards are implemented during the creation of this wine and precision is paramount. This beautiful blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon is selected from different terroirs in Saint-Émilion.
Stephanie de Boüard-Rivoal took over managing Château Angélus in 2012, which was a 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 de Boüards to run Château Angélus and 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.
"Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2020 Le Carillon d'Angélus (a blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc) rocks up with ready-to-go scents of plum preserves, blackberry pie and mulberries, plus hints of spice cake, aniseed and unsmoked cigars. The medium-bodied palate has lovely freshness and an approachable, soft texture framing the crunchy black fruits, finishing long and savory." - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, The Wine Advocate, Ratings: (90-92), Drink: 20233-2038