The Angélus style results from the combination of bold decisions on vine varieties and an outstanding terroir. It is this unique character born of the south-facing Saint-Emilion slopes with its large proportion of Cabernet Franc that we are so pleased to meet over and over again as the vintages pass by. It is also a composition re-crafted every year in a continuous quest for excellence.
A great terroir is more complex than you might think. It is not just the land, the earth, its natural capacity to drain away water and retain humidity – limestone or clay – the proportion of different elements in it that make it warm or cold soil, rich or poor ground, well-balanced or lacking. It is also the way it is exposed at the head of a valley, on a slope or at the foot of a hill, which creates little places that can be absolutely outstanding.
The vineyard at Angélus grows in a natural amphitheatre on a south-facing slope of Saint-Emilion and at its foot, where the summer temperatures are concentrated and where growth starts earlier. The soil is naturally drained by the slope. A good distribution of limestone and clay 8- to 20% proportion provides a regular supply of water and minerals. The vines’ rootstocks are ideally suited to this terroir and the vine varieties are distributed according to the soil types: Merlot on the hill, where there is more clay and Cabernet Franc on the sandy clay-limestone soils at the foot of the hill.
All these special characteristics contribute to the Angelus style:
lush, dense and creamy because of the early onset of growth thanks to its terroir, but also elegant, classy and pure with lots of freshness,
thanks to the large proportion of Cabernet Franc (47% of the vines), and to the perfectly balanced distribution of limestone and clay in its soils.
At Angélus, this variety has always been popular, which is why so much of it is planted in the vineyard. Here Cabernet Franc is grown on warm soils made up of sandy limestone scree lying on top of clay that benefit naturally from a regular water supply. Cabernet Franc vines reach their peak at 20 years old and the most spectacular results are achieved with fruit from vines older than 40 with low yields.
The wines are slow to open up, but they are amongst the most intriguing and the most refined. Their colour becomes more intense during ageing, the menthol, spicy aromas are impressively elegant and subtle. The tannins are dense, but silky and bring the necessary fresh notes to achieve overall balance. Cabernet Franc enhances the ageing of the greatest wines.
has always been our major concern. This involves, of course, setting up innovative practices both in the vineyard, during picking and during winemaking and ageing. Angélus has stood out in the Bordeaux area by doing this for more than thirty years. Today, many great estates are following the same path.
Our unique terroir, located in a protected biotope, is the focus of all our attention. Every day our trained, effective teams reflect on the life of soil and the balance of ecosystems. In this way we get the very best out of our terroir and adapt our vine varieties in a unique, protected place, opening up Angelus wines to embrace balance, elegance and precision.”