Saint Emilion first growth wine estate Chateau Angelus is pressing ahead with expansion plans this year and keeping up its hopes for a high-quality 2017 vintage, even as it grapples with the loss of 20 percent of its crop from the worst frost in a quarter century to hit Bordeaux.
Construction of a new winery for its second label, Le Carillon d'Angelus, starts in September and is due for completion by July next year, in time for the 2018 harvest. That's as Angelus is looking to buy vineyard land to more than double annual production of the second label to between 80,000 and 100,000 bottles from the current 40,000.
The chateau is still riding the wave from its promotion in 2012 along with nearby Chateau Pavie to the top rank of Premier Grand Cru Classe A in the Saint-Emilion of four estates. That has enabled it to increase prices for its flagship wine to more than $300 a bottle for the last 2016 vintage.
"I'm happy," Stephanie de Bouard-Rivoal, eighth-generation owner of Angelus and co-manager of the estate with her cousin, Theirry Grenie de Bouard, said in an interview June 19 at the estate. 2012 was "the year I joined the management of Chateau Angelus. From that moment I was very much committed and involved in all the projects.
Angelus traces its origins back to 1782, when Jean de Bouard de Laforest settled in Saint Emilion. The current property took shape during the 20th century, when the family's Chateau Mazerat estate absorbed a neighboring plot of vines known as l'Angelus. It was run for three decades until 2012 by Hubert de Bouard de Laforest, Stephanie's father.
Angelus celebrated its landmark 2012 vintage with a commemorative black and gold bottle that helped boost the price and made it more attractive to collectors. At that time it also bough five hectares (12.4 acres) of vineyards on the plateau above Saint Emilion, between Cheval Blanc and Chateau Figeac.
"We're still looking for more vines to buy and increase the production of Le Carillon d'Angelus," de Bouard-Rivoal said. "It is difficult, and I think it's one of our major ways to develop."
Angelus has also moved to exert more direct control over its distribution chain, reducing the number of Bordeaux merchants through which it sells its wine from a total of more than 100 to a more focused group. Continue reading: Bloomberg
photo: Marlene Awaad