Once again this is certainly one of the best St Emilions of the vintage.
A brilliant performance by Hubert de Bouard, the 2001 Angelus (6,250 cases) is a more restrained and delineated version of the 2000. It has shed much of its tannin, and seems far more evolved and open-knit than I thought prior to bottling. Its deep purple color is followed by a rich nose of creosote, charcoal, blackberries, plums, cassis, and espresso roast. Elegant, medium-bodied, and rich, with a measured ripeness and moderate structure in the pure, nicely proportioned finish, it is less massive than either the 2000 or 2003, yet is also beautifully put together. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2017.
This should turn out to be an outstanding Angelus. Its opaque purple color is accompanied by aromas of blackberries, cassis, smoke, espresso, and new wood. The wine is medium-bodied, dense, ripe, and moderately structured. The 2001 displays the purity typically found in this estate's wines. While less massive and intense than such vintages as 2000, 1998, 1995, 1990, and 1989, it will provide enjoyment between 2007-2018.
Owned by the de Bouard de Laforest family for years, it is only since the mid 1980s that this château has truly hit its potential. Hubert de Bouard, with the assistance of consulting oenologist, Michel Rolland, is making some of the finest wines in St Emilion. The château is particularly notable for producing excellent wines even in challenging vintages which for many is the true testament of quality.
South of Pomerol lies the medieval, perched village of St Emilion. Surrounding St Emilion are vines that produce round, rich and often hedonistic wines. Despite a myriad of soil types, two main ones dominate - the gravelly, limestone slopes that delve down to the valley from the plateau and the valley itself which is comprised of limestone, gravel, clay and sand. Despite St Emilion's popularity today, it was not until the 1980s to early 1990s that attention was brought to this region. Robert Parker, the famous wine critic, began reviewing their Merlot-dominated wines and giving them hefty scores. The rest is history as they say. Similar to the Médoc, there is a classification system in place which dates from 1955 and outlines several levels of quality. These include its regional appellation of St Emilion, St Emilion Grand Cru, St Emilion Grand Cru Classé and St Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé, which is further divided into "A" (Ausone and Cheval Blanc) and "B" (including Angélus, Canon, Figeac and a handful of others). To ensure better accuracy, the classification is redone every 10 years enabling certain châteaux to be upgraded or downgraded depending on on the quality of their more recent vintages.