"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."
92-95 points, Antonio Galloni
"A blend of 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc, the deep purple-black coloured 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."
94-96 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW
"Lost around 20% to frost. 70% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc.
Inky crimson. Redolent of classy and spicy oak but the fruit fragrance is there too, waiting to emerge after the chocolate dies back. A fine note of graphite and Cabernet Franc leafy (but fully ripe) freshness. Spicy and fresh on the palate. Rich and finely textured, with the oak giving way to the fruit on the palate. Very good balance even at this early stage. Savoury dark-chocolate, clean finish. 2027-2040"
17.5 points, Julia Harding MW, jancisrobinson.com
"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."
94-96 points, Neal Martin
"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."
95-96 points, James Suckling
St.-Émilion is the star of Bordeaux’s Right Bank, north of the Dordogne River. The rich red wines produced in St.-Émilion, based on Merlot and Cabernet Franc, are less tannic and generally more fruit-driven in flavour than the Cabernet-based wines of Left Bank. Merlot thrives on the plateaus high above the Dordogne, where the soil is filled with sand and clay, a perfect medium for creating opulent, fruit-forward wines. With a typically savoury character, St.-Émilion wines are sometimes called the “Burgundies of Bordeaux.” These refined reds, with loads of finesse, are elegant companions to beef, chicken, pork and duck.
The wines of St.-Émilion were not included in the famous 1855 classification of Bordeaux, which ranked wines of the Left Bank. In 1955, St.-Émilion published its own classification, based on soil analysis, wine quality and reputation of the properties. Unlike the 1855 classification, St.-Emilion’s system requires properties to continuously prove themselves. The list is revised regularly, most recently in 2012. There are two tiers within the classification, Premier Grand Cru Classé and Grand Cru Classé. There are currently just 18 Premier Grand Cru properties and 64 Grand Cru Classé properties.
The St.-Émilion appellation is home to hundreds of individual producers, enhancing the variety of wines made there. Many of the properties remain small, family-run enterprises, unlike the large châteaux of the Left Bank. The area is also the base of France’s controversial micro-châteaux or garagiste wine movement; these innovative winemakers operate outside the traditional classification system, making very high quality (and very expensive) highly extracted wines.