The Grand Vin 2021 Château Angélus is 60% Cabernet Franc and 40% Merlot that was brought up in new barrels, with a portion of the Cabernet Franc raised in 30 hectoliter foudres. It offers a ruby/purple hue to go with a gorgeous perfume of pureed cassis and black raspberry fruit, as well as spice, spring flowers, and chalky, almost salty minerality. Medium to full-bodied on the palate, it has wonderful purity of fruit, ultra-fine tannins, and a gorgeous finish.
Jeb Dunnuck (June 2022)Score: 94-96/103
For the first time ever, Angélus is 60% Cabernet Franc and 40% Merlot in 2021. There's terrific density and power, especially within the context of the year. Black cherry, chocolate, spice, menthol and lavender all build nicely in the glass. The 2021 has quite a bit of richness, and its 14% alcohol, a bit lower than the recent norm, works quite well in this vintage. All it needs is a bit of time to help soften some of the raw contours that are present today.
Antonio Galloni, Vinous (May 2022)Score: 94-96/100Drink 2031-2061
Composed of 60% Cabernet Franc and 40% Merlot, the 2021 Angelus is deep garnet-purple in color. Slightly closed to begin, considerable coaxing reveals scents of redcurrant jelly, black raspberries, and fresh blackberries with suggestions of crushed rocks, tar, truffles, and violets. Medium-bodied, the palate has fantastic intensity and energy, with very finely pixelated tannins and wonderful tension, finishing on a persistent ferrous note.
Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, The Wine Independent (May 2022)Score: 94-96/100Drink 2027-2050
The nose takes a few swirls to find all the tobacco leaf, flowers, espresso, allspice, cloves, cinnamon, and red pit fruits. The wine is soft, silky and elegant. There is a freshness and refinement as well as a purity to the fruits on the medium-bodied palate that you also find in the finish, leaving you with black raspberries, strawberries, a hint of orange rind and red plums on the backend. The wine blends 60% Cabernet Franc with 40% Merlot, representing the highest percentage of Cabernet Franc in the blend in the history of the estate. In the years to come, I hope they continue increasing the Cabernet Franc in the blend. 13.5% ABV, 3.65 pH. The yields were low at 26 hectoliters per hectare. Harvesting took place, September 14-October 2.
Jeff Leve, The Wine Cellar Insider (May 2022)Score: 94-96/100Drink 2025-2055
The 2021 Angélus contains 60% Cabernet Franc, the highest percentage ever, and also reflects an increasing use of wooden foudres (half the Cabernet Franc or 30% of the whole blend). It has a more understated bouquet compared to the bravura vintages of the last three years, demanding gentle coaxing to reveal scents of brambly black fruit, potpourri, hints of orange pith and a little sous-bois. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannins, and quite sapid, the Cabernet Franc lending a slightly more chalky texture and a linear, focused finish. Displaying fine tension throughout, though not astoundingly long, this Angelus deserves 4–5 years in bottle to show its true potential.
Neal Martin, Vinous (May 2022)Score: 93-95/100Drink 2026-2055
A brilliant wine that signposts this estate's evolution under Stéphanie de Boüard-Rivoal, the 2021 Angélus is a blend of 60% Cabernet Franc and 40% Merlot, with fully half of the old-vine Cabernet Franc maturing in foudres rather than 225-liter barriques. The result is a wine of unprecedented purity and finesse, unwinding in the glass with compelling aromas of plums, raspberries, rose petals, vine smoke, blood orange and warm spices, followed by a medium to full-bodied, deep and layered palate with a rich and fleshy core that entirely conceals its structuring chassis of ultra-refined tannins. Bright and sapid, it's striking for its integration and elegance at this early stage, and I wouldn't be surprised to see it upstage a number of more touted vintages once it's in bottle.
William Kelley, Wine Advocate (April 2022)Score: 94-96+/100
This is well textured, plush raspberry and damson fruits, a sleight of hand that turns the high acidities into mouth-watering juice, with waves of graphite, pencil lead, saffron, smoked caramel and cigar box. The highest amount of Cabernet Franc on record at Angélus, largely because so much Merlot was lost to mildew. First full vintage where Benjamin Laforet is technical director, working alongside Hubert de Bouard. It's serious, takes its time to open, far less exuberant than the past few vintages at Angélus but classy and with presence. They are labelling this Premier Grand Cru Classé A, despite withdrawing from the 2022 classification when the selection process was already underway, and underlines why it's a loss to the ranking not to have Angélus within in. 23hl/h yield, no chaptilisation on the 1st wine, 100% new oak barrels + 30hl oak casks for the Cabernet Franc.
Jane Anson, Inside Bordeaux (April 2022)Score: 95/100Drink 2027-2042
Blackcurrant purée on the nose, so seductive and heady, concentrated and intense but lively too with some wild flower scents. Succulent on the first sip, you get the mouthwatering red cherry and raspberry fruit but this then turns serious and direct. Linear, focused, driving with layers of flavour giving this both a density but also an aerial element to it. In some ways, there’s a shyness here, a discretion, such sleek silky tannins that softly frame the flavours which are to the fore right now. Red cherry, plum and damson sit alongside clove, cedar, black chocolate and liquorice coming from the Cabernet Franc giving a spicy tang sustaining the wine - the highest amount of Cabernet Franc ever used in the grand vin at 60%. Each element is so well positioned and in high definition, you feel the muscles and backbone but this has exceptional finesse with all the tiny details on show. An excellent effort in 2021. 100% new oak. The first full vintage with technical director Benjamin Laforet.
Georgie Hindle, Decanter (April 2022)Score: 95/100Drink 2023-2048
The 2021 Angélus is a standout wine of the vintage. The team has named 2021 “the unexpected” – a vintage that surprised everyone with its quality after the tricky growing season. For the first time ever, the wine is 60% Cabernet Franc (the 2002 and 2003 vintages come closest, each having over 50%). This blend, extensive sorting, gentle extraction and the estate’s trademark attention to detail has produced a vibrant and pure wine – with 13.5% natural alcohol. Vibrantly purple in the glass, the 2021 Ch. Angélus is a gorgeous wine – aromas of spice and vanilla complementing fresh cherry and raspberry. It’s a wine of stunning purity and elegance. The tannins provide a chalky grip, while the acidity is zesty – almost orange-edged, building to a long, mineral, saline finish. Unfortunately yields are down by 40% (at 23hl/ha) due to mildew. Blend: 60% Cabernet Franc, 40% Merlot
FINE+RARE (April 2022)