3 months of summer without water: never before seen in the living memory of winegrowers! This surprising weather, and these incredible conditions, promise us a great, unpredictable and unexpected vintage. Until 20 June, the weather did not spare us, inflicting very heavy rainfall of about 750 mm, which corresponds to the total annual rainfall for a dry year in Bordeaux... In spite of these conditions, flowering went well. Fine weather set in from the last week of June and, quite remarkably, remained right up to the harvest. We had a sunny but rather cool July, with cold nights. By the end of July, the sea temperature was much lower than usual for this period. And not a drop of rain. August saw temperatures climb, with heatwaves of over 35 degrees some days. Nevertheless, the day / night temperature ratio was 2 to 1 throughout the month, highly favourable for aromatic expression in our grapes and maintaining freshness in the fruit.
To this can be added the almost complete absence of rain, only 5 to 8 mm, or the strict minimum to allow the vine to rehydrate. And that is why the very young vines began to suffer. The oldest vines, especially on clay and/or limestone soils, resisted magnificently (the limestone and clay work like sponges, absorbing water when it rains and redistributing it during drought). "In more than 35 years of observing the vineyard, I have always been accustomed to storms on 14 July and 15 August. This year, not a bit! The summer continued through September, and with it the heat: daily temperatures of 28, 30 degrees. A severe storm was forecast for mid-September. We were all quaking in our boots. But the menacing white and grey clouds finally turned into beneficial rain, first 19 then 4 mm. This rain fallen from the heavens gave back energy, strength and breath to our vineyard. Then the good weather quickly returned. The tannins are ripening slowly and picking begins at the start of October for the grands vins. The cool nights have preserved the aromas and the acidity. The weather forecast for the coming two weeks lets us look forward to a calm harvest, picking as we wish, and allowing us to hope for and expect another great vintage at Angélus! A radiant vintage in the image of this three-month summer that fixed its destiny and shaped its identity."
Sporting a deep garnet-purple color, the 2016 Angélus erupts from the glass with powerful notes of blackberry pie, ripe black cherries and juicy black plums with an undercurrent of star anise, rose petals, chocolate mint, pencil shavings and woodsmoke plus a waft of allspice. The palate is pure decadence. Medium to full-bodied, rich and generously fruited, this wine is by no means heavy—it positively glimmers with freshness and vivacity, lending an ethereal nature to all that richness and power, beautifully framed by velvety tannins and finishing with epic length. The generosity, layers and plushness make for an absolutely DELICIOUS drink right now, but I'd suggest waiting 3-5 more years for the fireworks to really begin.