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Chateau Fombrauge (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017

Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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750ML / 0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Blend: 93% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WE 95
Wine Enthusiast
This wine is immense, dense in powerful, solid tannins and dark, black fruits. It has great concentration, a dusty texture and final notes of chocolate, black plum and spice. Drink from 2024.
Barrel Sample: 93-95
RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2017 Fombrauge leaps from the glass with expressive red and black currants notes and a plummy undercurrent plus wafts of lilacs and wood smoke. The palate is medium-bodied with a finely grained frame and backbone freshness supporting the elegant fruit, finishing on a lingering earthy note.
Barrel Sample: 92-94
WS 93
Wine Spectator
Offers nice flesh, with a mix of black currant and plum fruit inlaid with subtle black tea, graphite and anise notes. Reveals a tobacco edge on the finish. Well done.
Barrel Sample: 90-93
JS 92
James Suckling
A tight and elegant red with very fine tannins, a medium body and a fresh finish. Shows tension and freshness. Solid for the region.
Barrel Sample: 91-92
JD 92
Jeb Dunnuck
Black currants, caramelized cherries, licorice, and nicely integrated oak all emerge from the 2017 Château Fombrauge. Ripe, sexy, and rounded on the palate, with terrific fruit and sweet tannin, it's a charming 2017 to drink in its first decade of life. The blend is 93% Merlot and 7% Cabernet Franc, aged in 40% new French oak. Tasted twice.
Barrel Sample: 90-92
D 91
Decanter
Magrez has done a good job in 2017 pretty much across the board - these are wines that have the natural austerity of the vintage, but with clever use of oak that rounds out the fruit that can otherwise appear a little thin. There is power here, no doubt, but the finish is shorter than in the past two vintages. A dash of Cabernet Sauvignon finishes off the blend. At 58ha, this is one of the biggest St-Émilion estates.
Barrel Sample
TA 91
Tim Atkin
Inky and sweet spices with some oak scents. Very juicy and rich with sweet black fruit and blueberry juice. Rich tannins, but fresh. Great right bank effort.
Barrel Sample: 89-91
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Chateau Fombrauge

Chateau Fombrauge

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Chateau Fombrauge, France - Other regions
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.

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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.

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