Everything in the vineyard had been been in the best possible shape up till now.
It gave us an early glimpse of the potential 2017 crop. After a normal bud-break, spring brought mild temperatures and vine vegetation growth accelerated, while the formation of bunches was 10 days early.
Unfortunately, the wine region of Bordeaux was severely hit by frost during the nights of the 26th and 27th April, Angélus included. Although 80% of the vines at Angélus dedicated to the First Wine are undamaged, the impact is nevertheless quite significant.
The 2017 harvest will therefore not be abundant. However we will muster all the necessary energy and all our resources to make the little wine we will produce in 2017 of outstanding quality.
If we look back over the history of our region, we are reminded that if a spring frost affects the abundance of the harvest, it does not necessarily reduce quality. The glorious vintages of 1945 and 1961, when the initial weather conditions were similar to what we have just experienced, are two shining examples.
"Unstinting efforts ensure the successful completion of all work." Virgil.
Hubert de Boüard de Laforest, Jean-Bernard Grenié, Stéphanie de Boüard-Rivoal and Thierry Grenié de Boüard
send you their best wishes for the year 2017.
This series is a response to a future book in black and white; it starts with a direct allusion to “natures”, a book where the plant has a predominant place, a way of establishing a link. Another link, this one deeper: the silver-process photography used in the same series, the silver process I am immersed in and which seems to me to function closely in some respects to the “magic” of wine, with extrapolation, patient waiting, technical control, the search for material, to say nothing of the light that leads us very directly to the weather conditions, which determine in part the future of a vintage. The matter requires meditation and there would be much to say about this comparison but...
Three months of summer without water: never before seen in the memory of winegrowers! This surprising climatology, these incredible conditions associated with the terroirs at Angélus, have given us a great, unpredicted, unexpected vintage.
The harvest, picking calmly and when we wanted, took place from 4 to 21 October.
The long time on skins allowed us to extract very ripe grape seed tannins this year. These tannins have an elegant structure, stable and for very long ageing.
Today we are finishing the running off and filling the barrels.
As we had expected of them, the Merlots show an extremely deep colour, and their rich alcohol is perfectly integrated. They are dominated by fruit, freshness, breed and elegance.
The Cabernets Francs, with their crunchiness, which we had suspected during the harvest, magnify this very great vintage of Angélus and enthral us with their level of quality: a touch of cashmere tannins, great smoothness, spicy notes. They rival the Merlots in their elegance.
2016 is a radiant vintage mirroring the incredible summer conditions which shaped its identity and determined its destiny.
In his ampelographical treatise of 1909, P. Viala stated that the etymology of its name and its synonyms go way back in history and referred to a scholar of the 17th century called Petit Lafitte, who appeared to claim that the Vidure (the Petite Vidure or the Grosse Vidure)- its Bordeaux name, was the ancestor of the Biturica. He bases his opinion on the hypothesis that the word Vidure may come from the word Bidure, then Biturica. It was from the 19th century that the Cabernet Franc could be found in written works.
2016, the Radiant One
3 months of summer without water: never before seen in the living memory of winegrowers! This surprising weather, and these incredible conditions, promise us a great, unpredictable and unexpected vintage. Until 20 June, the weather did not spare us, inflicting very heavy rainfall of about 750 mm, which corresponds to the total annual rainfall for a dry year in Bordeaux... In spite of these conditions, flowering went well. Fine weather set in from the last week of June and, which is rare, remained right up to the harvest. We had a sunny but rather cool July, with cold nights. By the end of July, the sea temperature was much lower than usual for this period. And not a drop of rain. August saw temperatures climb, with heatwaves of over 35 degrees some days. Nevertheless, the day / night temperature ratio was 2 to 1 throughout the month, highly favourable for aromatic expression in our grapes and maintaining freshness in the fruit. To this can be added the almost complete absence of rain, 5 to 8 mm which is nothing, or the strict minimum to allow the vine to rehydrate. And that is why the very young vines began to suffer. The oldest vines, especially on clay and/or limestone soils, resisted magnificently (the limestone and clay work like sponges, absorbing water when it rains and redistributing it during drought).
In more than 35 years of observing the vineyard, I have always been accustomed to storms on 14 July and 15 August. This year, not a bit! The summer continued through September, and with it the heat: daily temperatures of 28, 30 degrees. A severe storm was forecast for mid-September. We were all quaking in our boots. But the menacing white and grey clouds finally turned into beneficial rain. 19 then 4 mm of rain. This rain fallen from the heavens gave back energy, strength and breath to our vineyard. Then the good weather quickly returned. The tannins are ripening slowly and picking begins at the start of October for the grands vins. The cool nights have preserved the aromas and the acidity. The weather forecast for the coming two weeks lets us look forward to a calm harvest, picking as we wish, and allowing us to hope for and expect another great vintage at Angélus! A radiant vintage in the image of this three-month summer that fixed its destiny and shaped its identity.
Stéphanie de Boüard-Rivoal presented Angélus’ book written by Jane Anson, illustrated by the previously unpublished photographs by Guillaume de Laubier and prefaced by the Chef Guy Savoy, during a press lunch at Le Bernardin restaurant in New York.
Hubert de Boüard, Stéphanie de Boüard-Rivoal and Thierry Grenié-de Boüard hosted the grand final of the French Tasting Championship organised by Revue du Vin de France on Saturday 25th June at Angélus. The eighty best French, Belgian and Luxembourger tasters competed at this final which consisted of tasting twelve top wines. François Breteau and Vincent Mercier from the Bordeaux tasting club entitled “Tire Bouchon Attitude”, who had been frontrunners throughout the different stages of the season’s competition, won the grand national final of RVF’s French Tasting Championship.