Chateau Angelus & Pichon Lalande Tasting
April 24, 2009—Wally’s Wine Shop, Los Angeles.
Mr. Gildas D’Ollone of Pichon Lalande and Mr. Hubert De Bouard de La Forest of Chateau Angelus came to Los Angeles to showcase their Grand Cru labels and some of their other offerings. The 1998 Angelus was showing more approachable than that of the 1995 Pichon Lalande. Both however could use 10-15 more years to really showcase themselves. Several hours of decanting can help if you need to drink them sooner.
What was intriguing was the 2003 Chateau Fleur de Bouard, and the 2003 Reserve de la Comtesse–both very approachable now. 2003 was a very hot year in France, without any irrigation allowed, the berries lost water and became very concentrated in flavor. Some critics say 2003 Bordeaux was California-like, due to heavy concentration of fruit without much acidity. Interestingly enough even with medium barrel toast used in the 03 Chateau Fleur de Bouard, the toast comes through like a medium plus with toasted ends. Mr. Bouard explains that the fruit because of its small berry size effectively absorbs more toast flavors by volume than standard berry size fruit. If you like barrel toast and intensity of fruit….the 2003 Bordeaux are coming into their own. These both are in the $40-$50 USD range right now and should be sampled.
Both Mr. D’Ollone and Mr. Bouard even with their worldly success were humble and very inviting to talk to. Even novices would feel comfortable discussing wine with either one. Their great attitudes and hospitality towards the tasting crowd were very refreshing in a world of vain wine industry rudeness we sometimes find in California.