Tasting Notes Angelus 2017
A layered and fine-grained young Angelus with very focused and integrated tannins that give the young wine form and focus. Full body and a subtle and fascinating fruit character. Should turn out beautifully.
A blend of 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc, the deep purple-black colored 2017 Angélus is a little closed to begin, opening out beautifully to notes of baked plums, fresh blackberries and chocolate-covered cherries with hints of mocha, bay leaves, beef drippings and wood smoke plus a touch of roses. Medium to full-bodied with a great density of mid-palate fruit and firm, fine-grained tannins, it finishes long and earthy with a compelling lift.
The 2017 Angélus has a crisp, direct and very pure bouquet that is almost Burgundy-like in style. Crushed blackberry, hints of cassis, just a suggestion of bell pepper emanating from the Cabernet Franc and a faint estuarine scent all come through although unusually for this Saint-Émilion, they take three or four minutes to coalesce. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, but quite firm in the mouth. There is a marine-influence to this Saint-Émilion with a chalky, lightly spiced and, relative to 2015 and 2016, quite conservative and linear style. It feels very saline on the finish, perhaps more than I have encountered in recent years. It foregoes the roundness of recent vintages, perchance an Angélus that will be best shown on the dinner table instead of on its own. That's not a bad thing. Excellent.
This is jazzed up a bit, with dark anise and black tea aromatics leading off, followed by juicy blackberry, boysenberry and bramble notes. Has some flashy spice on the finish and some expensive-feeling toast, but everything is in lockstep as this moves along.—J.M.
The 2017 Angélus is impeccable. Bright and energetic, with terrific lift from the 30% Cabernet Franc, Angélus is super-expressive today. There is lovely depth and density to the fruit, even if the finish narrows just a touch. In 2017 Angélus is less powerful than it typically is, with less overt oak influence. Whether or not that is a reflection of the vintage alone, or indicative of a slight evolution in style is a question that can only be answered in the future. In the meantime, there is plenty to like about the 2017. The Merlot saw 3-4 weeks on the skins, while the Cabernet was macerated about a week longer. Aging is in 100% new French oak, with slightly lower toast levels than in the past. Production will be about 20% less than normal because of frost damage.