Chateau Fontenil 2009
Bordeaux Red Blends from Fronsac, Bordeaux, France
A complex yet reticent nose with layers of tobacco and black fruits. This wine has a full and generous palate, and firm but succulent tannins along with a plump and smooth finish.
Blend: 95% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon
The Wine Advocate - "The basic Fontenil (95% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon) has a deep bluish purple color and relatively hefty alcohol at 14.5%, but it is not noticeable in this full-bodied, layered, opulent wine, with lots of black raspberry fruit intermixed with some blueberries and crushed rock. Both of these wines have a good 10-15 years of potential in a fine cellar. "
Wine Enthusiast - "A very smoky character, with an attractive lightness. The fruit is bright, even though there is richness. The tannins give a dark, dry aftertaste.
Barrel Sample: 90-92 Points"
Wine Spectator - "This has ample flesh, with a mouthfilling feel to the linzer torte, blackberry confiture and spice notes, all backed by sweet tobacco and fresh acidity on the finish. Very solid. Drink now through 2019."
James Suckling - "Attractive blackberry and mineral aromas and flavors, follow though to a full body, with well-integrated tannins and a medium finish. Try in 2016."
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Chateau Fontenil Winery
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About Fronsac(frahn-sak, can-nohn frahn-sak)
These two regions of the right bank are northwest of St-Émilion and Pomerol. Canon-Fronsac is located within Fronsac. The wines are quite similar, with Canon-Fronsac having a slightly different soil than Fronsac. They are another example of good-value Bordeaux, benefiting from close proximity to the river and good soils similar to their southern neighbors. In the past few decades, winemakers have made more of an investment in making high-quality wine from the Fronsac region.
Like most right bank wines, the principle grapes here are Merlot and Cabernet Franc, with some Malbec and even Cabernet Sauvignon in certain pockets. The wines produced from the area are fruit-driven, yet rustic. Like a good Pomerol or St-Emilion, the wines give ripe, rich, juicy fruit, but they can also have a rustic edge that helps them to last a few years in bottle.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.