Château Angélus is withdrawing from Saint-Émilion classification. It is the third Premier Grand Cru Classé A property to withdraw from the system.
Angélus has been one of the four “first growths” of Saint-Émilion, and classified as a Premier Grand Cru Classé A since 2012. However, the château has now decided to withdraw its candidacy, following the decision of a Bordeaux criminal court last month to fine the estates’s co-owner Hubert de Boüard, after finding him guilty of knowingly using his public roles to influence the 2012 Saint-Emilion classification.
In an interview published yesterday in L’Express with de Boüard’s daughter Stephanie de Boüard-Rivoal, she was quoted as deploring “the current system, which was unsuited to the challenges of our domain and its appellation.” As a result, the château will “stay focused on our primary task which is to take care of our terroir to produce great wines,” she added.
Angélus’s exit follows surprise August departures by Cheval Blanc and Ausone from the Saint-Émilion classification system. The two Bordeaux châteaux chose to renounce the system because it has come to be based more on the estates’ social media presence than on the quality of the wines. “The evaluation was getting too far removed from what seemed fundamental to us – the terroir, wine, history,” Pierre Lurton, director of Cheval Blanc, told The Times.
The Saint-Émilion classificiation was created in 1955 as competitive classification, to be renewed every decade by an independent panel of experts based on pre-published criteria and giving a significant weight to the tasting of the wines themselves. However, over the years it has proved to be controversial.
Last year, Château Angélus upstaged longtime James Bond official drinks Heineken and Bollinger in No Time to Die. The Bordeaux wine featured more prominently than any other bottle in the film.