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de Boüard: ‘I don’t want our wine in funds’

Stéphanie de Boüard, managing director of Château Angelus, is battling to keep the estate’s wines away from investment funds and into consumers’ glasses.

Stéphanie de Boüard

Speaking to db during a lunch at The Connaught in London yesterday to celebrate the launch of a new Angelus coffee table book, de Boüard said:

“There was a lot of enthusiasm for our 2012 gold bottle but I don’t want it to become too speculative. I don’t want to see our wines end up in funds.

“You can’t block that from happening but you can try to control where the wine gets sold. I want to do everything I can to discourage speculation and am trying to prevent our wines from ending up in investment funds.

“It’s important that our wines are opened and enjoyed rather than traded. Above all wine is about pleasure.”

She also told db that she can understand why people have lost faith in the en primeur system.

“Both merchants and consumers are losing faith in en primeur. The whole point of the system is that the wines appreciate in value and if they don’t then there’s no reason for consumers to do it.

“Angelus has always gone up in value after release, which is one reason why it’s worth buying the wines en primeur,” she said.

Angelus 2005 was the biggest riser on Liv-ex in 2015, up 39.9% from £2,250 to £3,148 between December 2014 and November 2015. The estate has now edged into ‘first growth’ territory in terms of average pricing.

de Boüard puts the impressive price rise down to its perfect 100-point score from Robert Parker rather than the château’s promotion to Grand Cru Classé ‘A’ status.

Of the promotion, de Boüard said: “It’s a reward, but I think it’s also something the market has anticipated. It wasn’t given to us out of the blue, but it’s important to be humble because you never know what might happen.”

One of de Boüard’s aims at the helm of the estate is increasing the production of second wine Carillon. “We make around 40,000 bottles of Carillon a year at the moment, but before we make more, I want to improve the quality of the wine.

“There is huge demand for it in some markets, like Belgium, and in others it’s not very well known,” she admitted.

“We’re using more Cabernet Franc in our wines and I’d like to plant more, which I’ve started to do – we’re on the lookout for land,” she added.

Angelus made cameos in two high profile films – Spectre and Chef – last year, and is due to appear in a number of French films this year. “Sometimes we find out that the wine has been used in a film without asking us first. In one recent French film a bottle was in almost every shot, which is annoying,” she said.

Speaking of chefs, de Boüard has recently hired a fired up 28-year-old with Michelin star ambitions to run Logis de la Cadene, the oldest restaurant in St Emilion, which she bought in 2014.

“I want to keep the place casual though. We have a 700-bin wine list with labels from all over the world,” she said.

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