Chateau Angelus is marking its promotion to Premier Grand Cru Class 'A' status by packaging the 2012 vintage in a one-off gold-emblazoned bottle, the Saint Emilion estate's owning family announced at the Vinexpo Asia Pacific show.
Stephanie and Hubert de Bouard (pictured, centre and right) chose the bi-annual Hong Kong trade fair to reveal the bottle design for the 2012 vintage, which is scheduled for a physical release on the market later this year.
The 2012 vintage was the first that Angelus vinified as a Saint Emilion Premiere Grand Cru Class A chateau.
The estate increased its en primeur release price for the 2012 vintage by 30% as part of a broader brand repositioning strategy following its promotion the regional wine ranking system.
When asked whether the new black bottled with 21.7 carat gold-imprinted writing would become the norm for the chateau, Stephanie de Bouard said the design is a 'one off' for the 2012 wines.
It produced 80,000 bottles of wine from that year, and all wines released en primeur have been sold, the estate said.
Despite choosing Hong Kong for the launch of the bottle, Stephanie de Bouard said that Angelus has spent the past couple of years trying to 'rebalance' its global sales.
She told Decanter.com that Asia had accounted for up to 50% of the estate's annual sales, but the new aim is to increase sales in North America and Europe so that the property is selling roughly a third of its wines in each of these markets, and the final third in Asia.
'The 2011 vintage was really a step back from China for Angelus and for Bordeaux in general,' she said. 'It's a good thing for Angelus, because the 2009 and 2010 vintages were sold too massively in Asia. A famous wine must be strong in all important markets. We've rebalanced in favour of traditional markets,' she said.
When asked about the recent 2013 en primeur campaign, which saw Aneglus drop by around 8% on its 2012 release price, to €165 ex-Bordeaux, Hubert de Bouard told Decanter.com that the estate has sold 40,000 bottles of the 50,000 it released to negociants. Around 60,000 bottles were produced.
Many chateaux and negociants have found the weather-blighted 2013 vintage a tough sell en primeur.
De Bouard said he wouldn't describe the campaign as a success, but he said he was pleased given the context of the vintage.
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