|When Andrew Steele, the General Manager of the Shangri-La, New Delhi mentioned that he was hosting an ‘intimate’ dinner around the wines of Château Angélus from the Right Bank village of St. Emilion, I knew it would be worth suffering the traffic out to the Shangri-La. Harshal Shah has the story.|
When Andrew Steele, the General Manager of the Shangri-La, New Delhi mentioned that he was hosting an ‘intimate’ dinner around the wines of Château Angélus from the Right Bank village of St. Emilion, I knew it would be worth suffering the traffic out to the Shangri-La. The menu was crafted intelligently, albeit somewhat ambitiously, by Executive Chef Walter Lanfranchi and highlighted the flavours-of-the-month in Delhi, foie gras, black truffle, Chilean sea bass and quail eggs. Certainly an ambitious effort and one that irrespective of its success, deserves to be applauded.
Château Angélus is now in its seventh generation under the de Boüard de Laforest family. In charge now is Hubert de Boüard, who joined the Chateau in 1976 and took over running things in 1985. De Boüard and his wife Corrine also own Château La Fleur de Boüard in the neighbouring area of Pomerol, the home of the famed Château Petrus. Like Angélus, La Fleur de Boüard is a Merlot/Cabernet Franc dominant wine with only a smidgin of Cabernet Sauvignon in some years. As a result the wines tend to be a lot more plush in the mouth with velvety tannins and a good fruit weight which often carries through in the finish.
Like any good dinner, the evening began and ended with Champagne: Pommery Brut which is an impressive bubbly that of late has tended to over-deliver in the glass. The perfect aperitif and an apt cleanser to round things off.
Five courses were matched to 5 separate wines, which, depending on who you spoke to on the night culminated in either the Château Angélus 1990, or the La Fleur de Boüard 2005, both wines coming from stellar Bordeaux vintages, and vintages whose wines today are still incredibly sound and age-worthy.
Look out for a full write-up of the evening in an upcoming issue of Sommelier India, but as a brief introduction, my tasting notes for the wines are below.
2000 La Fleur de Boüard, Pomerol
The wine was deeply coloured with an intense nose showing flavours of pencil shavings mixed with aniseed and spices. On the palate, the tannins were ripe but still fine and there was a delicate balance between the alcohol, tannin and acidity. Perhaps the wines was not open long enough, but I could just make out a plummy/blackcurrant undertone. A tight wine not giving too much away at this stage but one that certainly showed potential. 16.5+
Paired with poached quail egg with shaved truffle.
2000 Château Angelus, St. Emilion
A very perfumed wine (perhaps indicative of the ripe Cabernet France that made up a lot of this wine) with hints of violets and dark red and black fruits on the nose. The palate, again, was ripe with flavours of red currants and plums. Very plush and ending on a fruity note. 17+
Paired with pan-fried foie gras with figs and plum compote; foie gras cookies with spiced raisin chutney; duck confit salad with cassis dressing.
1995 Château Angelus, St. Emilion
An intense, almost inky nose mingled with some pencil shavings and ripe red fruit that followed through beautifully on the palate where there were delicious Christmas cake/spice flavours and an intriguing jammy character finishing quite long with hints of coffee and chocolate. Already almost 15 years old, this wine still has a long long way to go. 18
Paired with roasted Chilean sea bass with zucchini blossom flower stuffed with ricotta cheese, couscous timbale, mushroom sauce and chicken glaze.
1990 Château Angelus, St. Emilion
The wine, after having been decanted for almost 3 hours still had an intriguing fresh nose: green capsicum/pepper inter-twined with delightful coffee/mocha tones and even some tobacco leaf aromas. The tannins were delicate and fine and there was just a hint of the pencil shaving/blackcurrant mix encountered in some of the younger wines. The wine had a fantastic long finish. 18
Paired with braised (ox) cheek, oxtail roulade with crispy parmesan risotto, giant morels stuffed with pickled vegetables.
2005 La Fleur de Boüard