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Flat front label of wine
Flat front label of wine

Chateau Fombrauge 2005

Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
  • JS94
  • WS91
  • RP90
14.5% ABV
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3.9 11 Ratings
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3.9 11 Ratings
14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The vines, on slopes and the base of slopes, mostly have direct southern exposure. The soil-types and topography encompass the three main kinds of terroir at Saint Emilion. Fombrauge is thus able to produce wines of great finesse. The fact that the vineyard lies on several distinct types of terroir adds to its particularity.

Critical Acclaim

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JS 94
James Suckling
This is so rich and layered with beautiful ripe fruit and round tannins. Tar, chocolate, light vanilla and currants. It's complete and complex. Superb for this estate. Better in three to five years but fascinating to tasting now.
WS 91
Wine Spectator
Dark in color, with intense aromas of dried mushroom and very ripe fruit. Almost raisiny. Full-bodied, with chewy tannins and lots of ripe fruit. Turns meaty and raisiny. A very mature style, but one that I like a lot. This is always a wonderful value. Best after 2013. 13,000 cases made.
RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
An in-your-face style of wine, the 2005 Fombrauge (the largest vineyard in St.-Emilion) is a blend of 77% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. The inky/purple color is followed by a big, sweet nose of chocolate fudge, jammy black cherries, blackberries, smoke, and pain grille. This chewy, powerful, decadent St.-Emilion is a modern-styled, impressively endowed, pure, intense wine. It is another brilliant example of winemaking from proprietor Bernard Magrez. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2020+.
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Chateau Fombrauge

Chateau Fombrauge

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Chateau Fombrauge, St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
Video of winery
The history of Fombrauge realizes the genesis of great wines in St. Emilion. The acquisition of Fombrauge in March 1999 by Bernard Magrez gave the vintage a boost in terms of product quality by bringing the rigor of expertise.

The heart of an area of 75 hectares, 52 planted to date, is beautifully situated on a limestone plateau. The vineyard possesses the three main soil profiles of Saint-Emilion, producing wines of great finesse.

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 vienyards 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/or 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 can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can 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, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

TJF101757_2005 Item# 101757