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Chateau Fleur Cardinale 2009

Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
  • RP94
  • WS93
  • JS93
15% ABV
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3.7 6 Ratings
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3.7 6 Ratings
15% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A good value among over-achieving St.-Emilion estates is La Fleur Cardinale’s 2009. Composed of 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, some of the abrasive tannins noticeable early on in this big wine (14.5% alcohol) are now sweeter and better integrated. Made from tiny yields of 30 hectoliters per hectare, this is a concentrated, rich effort revealing lots of black cherry and black currant fruit as well as a fragrant, firm, full-bodied personality. It should be at its best between 2016 and 2030.
WS 93
Wine Spectator
This delivers the textbook panoply of blueberry, plum and blackberry fruit of the appellation, with a lush, creamy mouthfeel and a long licorice- and sweet toast-filled finish. Along with the suave fruit, there's latent grip that should mellow nicely with midterm cellaring. Best from 2013 through 2023.
JS 93
James Suckling
Wow. Blueberry, minerals, oyster shell and black chocolate aromas. Full body, with velvety tannins and juicy finish. Delicious and succulent. Better in 2018.
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Chateau Fleur Cardinale

Chateau Fleur Cardinale

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Chateau Fleur Cardinale, St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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The estate was bought in 2001 by Florence and Dominique Decoster, and it has benefited form major investments which have made Château Fleur Cardinale one of the top names of the appellation. It is located to the east of the village of Saint-Émilion, on one of the high points of the appellation and it extends over 20 hectares. The vineyard is planted in a clay-limestone soil in the middle of the plateau on a pleasant late producing terroir. The vines are mainly merlot (70%) and then a balance of 15% cabernet sauvignon and 15% cabernet franc.

With it's great value for money, and showing great consistancy in it's quality, Château Fleur Cardinale was promoted to "Saint-Emilion Grand cru classé" in 2006.

St. Emilion

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Marked by its historic fortified village—perhaps the prettiest in all of Bordeaux, the St-Émilion appellation, along with its neighboring village of Pomerol, are leaders in quality on the Right Bank of Bordeaux. These Merlot-dominant red wines (complemented by various amounts of Cabernet Franc and/or Cabernet Sauvignon) remain some of the most admired and collected wines of the world.

St-Émilion has the longest history in wine production in Bordeaux—longer than the Left Bank—dating back to an 8th century monk named Saint Émilion who became a hermit in one of the many limestone caves scattered throughout the area.

Today St-Émilion is made up of hundreds of independent farmers dedicated to the same thing: growing Merlot and Cabernet Franc (and tiny amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon). While always roughly the same blend, the wines of St-Émilion vary considerably depending on the soil upon which they are grown—and the soils do vary considerably throughout the region.

The chateaux with the highest classification (Premier Grand Cru Classés) are on gravel-rich soils or steep, clay-limestone hillsides. There are only four given the highest rank, called Premier Grand Cru Classés A (Chateau Cheval Blanc, Figeac, Angélus, Pavie) and 14 are Premier Grand Cru Classés B. Much of the rest of the vineyards in the appellation are on flatter land where the soils are a mix of gravel, sand and alluvial matter.

Great wines from St-Émilion will be deep in color, and might have characteristics of blackberry liqueur, black raspberry, licorice, chocolate, grilled meat, earth or truffles. They will be bold, layered and lush.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

KHM111804_2009 Item# 111804