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Jurade de Saint-Emilion du Singapour: Chateau Angelus 2000-2010 & 1982

April 29, 2019

The Jurade de Saint-Emilion du Singapour forged ahead in its inaugural year with a vertical of Chateau Angelus at Origin, Shangri-La Singapore, on 25 April 2019, organised by Chancellor Melvin Choo and Dr Kieron Lim. Familiar to every wine lover, Ch Angelus (the article L’ was dropped in 1989) derives its name from the three church bells at the chapel of Mazerat within the commune. Planted with almost equal portions of merlot and cabernet franc across its 23 hectares, Ch Angelus has been eponymous with Hubert Boüard de Laforest since he took over the reins in 1976 upon completing his oenology studies with the venerated Emile Peynaud. Hubert, also himself Commandeur of the Jurade de Saint-Emilion, has been very successful in promoting the estate, gaining Premier Grand Cru Classé (B) in 1996 (from grand cru classé) and then Premier Grand Cru Classé (A) in 2012. While the 1989 and 1990 have both gained legendary status, Angelus has upped the game further since the new millennium, making wines that are consistently rich, sophisticated and naturally balanced, accessible as well to those who cannot wait to reap the rewards of patience. For this dinner, all wines (except the 1982) were decanted on site while the 2006 had been double-decanted for six hours prior. They are described according to the sequence drunk as recommended by Britt Ng, Head Sommelier of Shangri-La, and he had been absolutely correct. The 2010 is a brilliant reincarnation of the 2000 while the 1982, never truly outstanding on record, is still very good. A big thank-you to everyone for their contributions, and especially to Britt for the impeccable arrangements.

2007 Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque, a magnum from the restaurant list. Popped and poured. This champagne boasts a dense bouquet of clear citrus and delicate minerals with gentle yeasty tones, notably lighter in texture, imbued with good concentration of pomelo and ferrous elements topped with very fine bubbles, showing good depth without the profundity of 2008, just a little short.

20190425_195803.jpg1982 Ch Angelus, courtesy of Sandy. Popped and poured after about 30 minutes of aeration in bottle. Showing an evolved rusty red, this wine is still well and live, proffering an alluring soft complex of mulberries, red fruits, mandarins and grassy elements on the nose, not at all reductive. Quite fleshy on the palate with surprising lush succulence and fine inner detail, producing good grip in spite of its subtle intensity and understated structure, finishing with glowing persistence before beginning to fade after three hours. Can easily be mistaken for a Left Bank if tasted blind. Not at all dry. What a privilege!

2007 Ch Angelus, courtesy of Sean. Lifted expanse of bright red fruits, red currants and raspberries on the nose with overtones of wet heated gravel, showing excellent presence and acidity, oozing sweet gentle tannins with superb linearity, ripeness and layering before settling down with a genteel presence, just a tad short. Very well crafted in spite of the vintage difficulties. Quite excellent on its own, caught at its ideal drinking window.

2003 Ch Angelus, courtesy of KC. Violets, mulberries and raspberries dominate on the effusive bouquet, adding a bit of a herbal plume over time. Fleshy and open with good inner detail and lovely fragrance, utterly seamless, traversing the palate with fine intensity and linearity. Again just a bit short, consistent with other 2003s.

2001 Ch Angelus, courtesy of Kieron. Deep garnet red with an early vermillion rim. Surprisingly reticent, taking a long time to develop aromas of old dew, bell hoppers and capsicum. The palate, though, is quite succulent from the outset, soft and fleshy with graphite minerals that are very well integrated, classically structured with sweet gentle tannins that imparted deep delicious tones. Excellent. Keen observers will note that the label no longer showed the image of church cloisters with effect from this vintage, a highly controversial move as the proprietor’s family is strictly Catholic.

2006 Ch Angelus. Deep inky red, effusive in very fine minerals, dark cherries and mahogany with traces of vanillin. Fleshy full presence, open with a quiet exuberance, layered with ripe dark berries cloaked in very fine tightly-knit tannins amid overtones of mushrooms that conferred an illusion of dryness, finishing with decent length and quiet intensity. Quite excellent, perhaps just missing in outright opulence.

2004 Ch Angelus, courtesy of Russell. Deep garnet red, proffering dense aromas of dark berries with a peppery hint. Medium-bodied and fleshy. Darkish in tone. Classically structured with good presence, exuding lovely charm in spite of some vegetal traces, again just missing in depth and opulence. Very fine.

2000 Ch Angelus, courtesy of Melvin. Deep dark inky red, exuding a wonderful expanse and depth of gorgeous red fruits and dark currants on the full palate, solidly layered with great warmth, presence and ease, transitioning seamlessly to a glowing lengthy finish. Superbly balanced. Still highly youthful. Fabulous. The estate began embossing the word “ANGELUS” on the bottles beginning from this vintage.

2010 Ch Angelus, courtesy of Dennis. Very deep dark impenetrable red, ingrained with bottomless layers of dense gorgeous ripe blackberries, blueberries and dark currants on both nose and palate, yet to shed its thin veil of vanillin completely. Full with taut tension and sublime acidity, structured with sexy silky tannins with further emergence of mocha and dark chocolate over time. Massively proportioned with controlled sophistication. This must be the younger equivalent of the 2000, perhaps even better. Time will tell but still far from ready.

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