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Chateau Fombrauge 2012

Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
  • WE94
  • WS90
  • JS90
14% ABV
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4.2 29 Ratings
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4.2 29 Ratings
14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The wine is ruby red, with luster and clarity with expressive nose of regular complexity, primary notes of red fruits, black currants and cherry appealing, supple and light. The palate experiences the characteristic of its balanced acidity and almost total absence of tannins enhance and the impression of roundness. This wine is attractive, elegant and has a fresh finish. It is a blend of Merlot 77%, Cabernet Franc 14%, Cabernet Sauvignon 9%.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
Barrel sample. Very dense and rich with fine, tarry tannins that float amidst the ripe blackberry flavors. The wine is structured but full in body with a rich, opulent feel.
Barrel Sample: 92-94 Points
WS 90
Wine Spectator
This has a solid graphite note, with good heft to the plum skin, fruitcake, blackberry paste and steeped dark currant flavors. A brambly edge lines the finish. This well-built style shows good energy overall. Best from 2017 through 2024.
JS 90
James Suckling
A fruity wine with blackberry, walnut and wet earth character. Full-bodied, round and fresh. Slightly better from barrel. Delicious. Better in 2017.
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Chateau Fombrauge

Chateau Fombrauge

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Chateau Fombrauge, France - Other regions
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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.

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St-Émilion

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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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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.

SBM139582_2012 Item# 139582