Owner: Stephanie de Bouard de Laforest
Appellation: Saint-Emilion AOC
Classification: Grand Cru Classe A
Vineyard area: 39 hectares
Grape varieties planted: 50% Merlot, 47% Cabernet Franc, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon
Standard blend: 50% Merlot, 50% Cabernet Franc (2014)
Average annual production: 100,000 bottles (Grand Vin)
Second wine: Le Carillon d’Angelus
In 1782, Jean de Bouard de Laforest – one of the King’s bodyguards – settled on the estate in Saint-Emilion. His son Maurice inherited the property and extended it to include a three-hectare enclosure named Angelus in 1920. The inspiration for Chateau Angelus comes from the painting of the same name by the French impressionist Jean-Francois Millet. The estate is found in a natural amphitheatre and, according to folk law, vine workers could hear the angelus bells of the three neighbouring churches at the same time.
In 1945, Maurice’s sons Jacques and Christian inherited the property and continued their family’s work. The property was classified in 1954 and the two sons extended it further to exceed 20 hectares by 1985. In 1987, Jacques’ son Hubert took over the management of the estate and was joined by his cousin Jean-Bernard Grenie and then his daughter Stephanie in 2012.
In 2012 Chateau Angelus and nearby Pavie were both upgraded to Grand Cru Classe A in the Saint Emilion re-classification. To celebrate the Chateau’s promotion Stephanie designed the iconic black and gold bottle for the 2012 vintage.
Most recently the wine has featured in the 2015 James Bond film Spectre, following an appearance in Casino Royale in 2006.
The broader Bordeaux market tumbled from mid-2011 but both Angelus and Pavie continued to rise. This was helped in no small part by their upgrade to Grand Cru Classe A in September 2012, as the chart above indicates.
Over five years, the Angelus index – which tracks the price movements of the last ten physical vintages – is up 81.5%. It has significantly outperformed the Bordeaux 500 index which is up 6.2%.
There is a very clear difference in price between the 100-point 2005 vintage and those from other years. The 2009 and 2010 vintages – both scored 99+ points – are currently trading at discounts of 22.6% and 26.2% respectively to the similarly scored 2005. Despite critical acclaim, those wines have not been able to command the price of the 100-point 2005. Robert Parker described the 2009 as “a candidate for perfection” and James Suckling described the 2010 as “the greatest Angelus ever for me”, awarding it 99 points.
So far this year, the 2010 has been the most actively traded Angelus vintage by both value and volume – the wine traded more than 2.5 times the 2009. Its price has also been rising and it now commands a Market Price of £3,102 per 12×75, an increase of 29.3% on the previous year.
Of the recent vintages, 2008 and 2013 have been the top performers over the past 12 months, up 41% and 44.6% respectively. The 2006 follows close behind with a 40.4% increase. Despite the percentage increases, these wines continue to be among the cheapest vintages on the market. The 2012 has seen the smallest increase in price, but it was already trading at the second highest price a year ago, due to the success of its black and gold label.