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Château Angélus hails 2022 vintage with limited-edition bottle

Château Angélus has unveiled a special bottle for its 2022 vintage to symbolise the start of a ‘new era’.

Leading St-Emilion estate Château Angélus has announced a unique bottle design, inlaid with 20 carat gold and mother-of-pearl, for its 2022 vintage to mark a ‘new era’ for the property.

Ten years on from its previous ‘black and gold’ bottling, Angélus said the new limited-edition bottle was a ‘worthy showcase’ for what it considers ‘among the most successful vintages the estate has ever seen’.

Set against a black bottle, the design depicts a blazing sun surrounded by two interstellar ellipses, stars and planetary bodies. The 2022 vintage, rated 97-points by Bordeaux correspondent Georgie Hindle, has been named ‘Le Majestueux’ meaning ‘The Majestic’. It will be bottled in its entirety, from 75cl to 27-litre ‘Primat’ formats, with this design.

The inspiration for the design was twofold. Angélus’ chairwoman, Stéphanie de Boüard-Rivoal, told Decanter that they ‘had in mind something a bit similar to the 2012 Angelus bottle i.e no label, but an engraved bottle instead’ and that she had wanted to include something of a jeweller’s art in the final piece. She said: ‘I wanted something with a touch of jewellery inspired by a beautiful mother-of-pearl bracelet offered to me by a very dear friend.’

At the same time, the language around the vintage was highly celestial in nature, with the estate adding: ‘Like a planetary alignment, this wine, promising extraordinary sensations and emotions, bears the seal of an eminently symbolic year that also marks a historic turning point.’

Speaking about the vintage, before seeing the new design, French aerospace engineer and astronaut, Thomas Pesquet, said: ‘With a theme inspired by space, the symbol of a quest for the infinite, this [2022] vintage reminds us, through its purity and richness, of the infinite and virtuous cycle of nature and the seasons on its exceptional terroir, like an orbit around the earth that is constantly renewed and never truly identical.

‘Angélus has managed to push back all the limits for its 2022 vintage, and turn it into a truly celestial object’, he added.

Looking to the future

The 2022 vintage also came after Angélus quit the St-Emilion classification ahead of the new rankings being announced that year.

Angélus was one of four Premier Grand Cru Classé ‘A’ properties in the previous classification, announced in 2012. Two of the others, Châteaux Cheval Blanc and Ausone, also withdrew from the 2022 edition.

Stéphanie de Boüard-Rivoal, alluded to the move by saying: ‘This bottle celebrates the dawn of a new era for Angelus. For the past 12 years we developed the estate in a very substantial way, and we are now entering a stage of consolidation with a sense of freedom and flexibility that I think we have never experienced at Angélus before.

‘We have freed ourselves from a normative framework that was self-inflicted, and we can now simply focus on our quest for excellence to bring Angélus to an unprecedented level with our extraordinary enthusiasm.’

Angélus previously commissioned a special edition bottle for its 2012 vintage, marking its elevation to Cru Classé ‘A’. This wine has been one of the estate’s best-performing vintages on the secondary market since its release.

However, St-Emilion’s 2012 classification also faced legal fallout that ground on for more than a decade. In March 2022, France’s national appellation body, INAO, said the 2012 classification had been upheld by Bordeaux’s administrative court of appeal.

Having now quit the system it was once so integral to, the estate said it was free to, ‘explore a new galaxy, that of a quest for perfection so demanding, so unique, so absolute that it eludes all known criteria or any other consideration’.


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