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de Boüard: 2014 a vintage ‘for consumers’

Hubert de Boüard, owner of Château Angelus in St Emilion, has hailed 2014 a “vintage for consumers” rather than collectors due to its fruit forward character.

Hubert de Bouard

Speaking during a vertical tasting of Angelus in London put on by the Institute of Masters of Wine, de Boüard said: “I’m optimistic about the quality of 2014.

“Some fantastic wines have been made in the northern Médoc in appellations like St. Julien and St. Estephe. I can’t compare it to 2010 but it’s more classic than 2009. I would place it in between 2001 and 2008 in character.

“It’s very balanced and the wines have a lot of fruit and velvety tannins. They aren’t huge but they’re long and fresh. It’s a vintage for conusmers, which could be a good thing for Bordeaux.”

The 2012 vintage of Angélus is housed in a black and gold bottle

de Boüard said that it was a “very good” year for Bordeaux whites but the sweet wines had a more difficult time. While he welcomes vintage variation, de Bouard stressed the importance of having a signature style.

“I don’t want to make the same wine every year but I want a signature style for my wines so that when you taste them you can tell that they are from the same family,” he said.

Asked about whether he would consider converting to organic viticulture, de Boüard said that while he is mindful not to harm the environment, there was no point of being organic just for the sake of it. “You don’t make better wine by being organic,” he said.

Celebrating his 30th year at Angelus this year, de Boüard admitted that it would be a good thing if the en primeur tastings took place later in the year, but said he thought it was unlikely to happen any time soon.

“The wines would show better a month after en primeur but it’s Bordeaux. We have people knocking on our door in March wanting to taste the wines,” he said.

Describing himself as a “farmer” rather than a winemaker, de Boüard said he is seeking to make harmonious wines via gentle extraction.

“To build a successful wine brand you have to be able to show that three years down the line the wine in your glass is better than the wine you showed en primeur,” he said.

With the 2010 vintage of Angelus weighing in at 15.5% abv, de Boüard admitted that alcohol levels were “a problem” in Bordeaux at the moment.

“The human hand is having a greater influence on the alcohol levels than global warming at the moment and I’d rather my wines were ripe than green and harsh,” he said.

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