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Chateau Fleur Cardinale 2012

  • RP93
  • JS91
  • WS91
750ML / 14% ABV
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4.1 9 Ratings
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4.1 9 Ratings
750ML / 14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The wine displays a deep, dense-colored hue, while on the nose there are powerful ripe fruit aromas mingling with floral notes. Feminine in style, the wines have a seductive, rich mouth-feel, underpinned by elegant, silky tannins. The finish is long and harmonious, promising very long ageing potential in bottle.These specific tasting characteristics, immediately recognizable to its growing number of followers, are the hallmark of Chateau Fleur Cardinale.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The flagship wine from the Decoster family, this blend of 80% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon has been a hugely successful wine since they acquired this 58-acre estate and revolutionized the level of quality. This is consistently one of the best St.-Emilions and over-achieving for its classification. The 2012 has pure, striking aromatics of blueberry, black raspberry, minerals and flowers. Medium to full-bodied, ripe and multi-dimensional, with a beautiful texture, this is stunning wine that completely dominates its classification and over-delivers in terms of quality and potential longevity. It should drink well for 15 or more years. Yields were a modest 34 hectoliters per hectare from an unusually late harvest – October 22 to November 2.
JS 91
James Suckling
A fine and firm wine with blueberry, chocolate and walnut character. Full body and chewy tannins that are polished and long. Very pretty. Better in 2017.
WS 91
Wine Spectator
A lovely core of plum and blackberry fruit is augmented with ganache, dried anise and roasted alder notes. The toasty frame keeps this a bit squared off for now, but there's a very solid core of velvety fruit here. Needs time. Best from 2018 through 2022.
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Chateau Fleur Cardinale

Chateau Fleur Cardinale

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Chateau Fleur Cardinale, 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 Chateau 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, Chateau Fleur Cardinale was promoted to "Saint-Emilion Grand cru classé" in 2006.

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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, Ausone, 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.

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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.

Tasting Notes for Bordeaux Blends

Bordeaux Blends are dry, red wines and generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, black cherry plum, graphite, cedar and violet. 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.

Perfect Food Pairings for Bordeaux Blends

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 Secrets for Bordeaux Blends

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.

JOTFFLEURCARD_2012 Item# 139284

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