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Chateau Angelus 1993 & 1996

January 6, 2014

A casual dinner at Burlamacco Ristorante, 22 Oct 2013, where John and I happened to bring a bottle each of Ch Angelus without having made any prior arrangement. Great minds, indeed. Both were decanted on-site. To my surprise, the 1993 (courtesy John) proved to be robust and full with notes of red fruits, plum and cinnamon, solid and almost angular on the palate. This rusticity took time to settle, whereupon the initial nose of earth, saddle and aniseed had transformed into quite a lovely bouquet of rose petals and cherries, while its angularity gave way to svelte tightly-knitted tannins, though missing in charm. It remained this way till the last pour, where a metallic quality became discernible at the finish. 1993 & 1996 AngelusTo some extent, the 1993 shared similar qualities with the clarets of 1994. Under-rated, and would prove to be an astute buy if the price is right.

In contrast, the 1996 showed up the deficiencies of the above right from the start, its distinctive fragrance and lifted floral bouquet led to an open wine with supple textures, the notes of  dark currants, ripe berries and a hint of cabernet franc carrying a lot more depth, layering and balance compared to the 1993, with a mild medicinal note creeping in towards the last pour. This bottle is more fruit-forward and preferable compared to a previous one tasted in February 2012 (which had seemed dry and backward), replete with substantial sur-maturite and typicity of a well-aged claret. Nevertheless, it still lacks the opulence and charm of Angelus from the best years. I doubt it will improve much further.

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