Château Angélus

Angelus price increase pays off

Posted by on July 16, 2013
Cult Wines Ltd News / No Comments

Hubert de Boüard of Château Angelus who famously and controversially increased prices by 30% for the 2012 en primeur offer, can feel rightfully self-satisfied as an excellent uptake has been experienced.

Indeed, de Boüard admitted: “At the beginning, for the first 15 days to one month, I was a little unsure.” However, he pointed to a delayed surge from the market, saying: “Now we have a lot of demand – we have sold 110% of what we expected. We produced 95,000 bottles and have sold 80,000.”

Both Château Angelus and Château Pavie were promoted to the top tier of Premier Grand Cru Classé ‘A’, de Boüard told the drinks business: “The problem was that we had to keep the price to show that something had happened, but of course everyone in 2012 dropped their prices.”

Both Angelus and Pavie took the decision to increase prices substantially, whilst even first growths of the Left Bank released at around a third cheaper than their 2011 vintage, this resulted in some inevitable criticism.

De Boüard spoke out regarding the customer base for the wine, stating that: “The Chinese market did not buy a lot of 2012”, before adding: “I am very happy to say that Angelus has been bought by Switzerland, Belgium, France, the US, UK – demand is everywhere.”

De Boüard outlined the improvements he had made at the estate since taking over in 1985, resulting to the Angelus’ promotion.

“Step by step we have improved our reputation for the quality of our wine,” he remarked, stressing: “Selection in the vineyard was crucial. We used to pick over six days; now it’s six weeks. To make a great wine is not just terroir, it’s what you do with it.”

To complement the more selective picking, de Boüard has introduced a number of smaller 50-litre vats to the cellar in place of the 150-litre versions used previously.

Production levels have also shrunk to support this quality focus. “When I took over it was close to 200,000 bottles, now it is close to 120,000,” he confirmed.

It was also noted by de Boüard that “of course” the proportion of second wine Le Carillon d’Angelus had increased during this time, with the label currently accounting for around 25,000 bottles.



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‘Bids run high for the presidential wine collection in Paris’

Posted by on June 03, 2013
Cult Wines Ltd News, Uncategorized / No Comments

Generated revenue eclipsed expectations on first day of the Élysée Palace wine auction which took place last week. Two bottles of 1990 Pétrus sold for 5,500 and 5,800 euros, easily exceeding estimations of 2,200 and 2,500 euros.

The most dominant bidder was Fan Dongxing, a Shanghai importer of French wines, who bought half the Cognancs on offer, and ended the sale by buying one of the bottles of 1990 Pétrus on offer.

The sale was held at Drouot, France’s most famous auction house, with an audience comprised of buyers, and curious observers.

Most of the prestigious vintages were auctioned on Thursday evening, where prices went above the pre-sale high estimates by as much as four times. Namely, 1961 Château Angélus raised 1,100 euros, and was valued at 220 euros, 1936 Château Latour fetched 3,500 euros.

Online bids were made over the phone as well as in the room, a young Englishman bought a wine from Saint Emillion for this father’s birthday gift, which cost him 1,100 euros. Jean-Français Devène refrained from buying, stating that he: ‘wanted to buy something for my own consumption, but the prices were too expensive’. Initially the objective of the sale has been to enable ordinary wine lovers to purchase bottles, hence the size of the lots and absence of ‘premiums for provenance’. All bottles do however, carry a label inscribed “Palais de l’ Élysée”, as well as the date of the sale.

The proceeds of the auction will be spent on restocking the cellar with wines made by younger, unknown wine makers, with idea being to give smaller wine makers opportunity and exposure. The Élysée chief sommelier Virginie Routis, commented in reference to France’s economic crisis, “We can only serve [Grands Crus] at state dinners where there are often 300 guests, and we only have five or six bottles of the same wines”. Any remaining money will be returned to the governments funds.

Objections have been made, namely, Michel-Jack Chasseuil, a prominent wine collector, who suggested that: “Even if the wine goes for fantastic sums, it will be a derisory amount in terms of the national budget and when you think about what these wines represent in the eyes of the whole world”.


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