Chateau Fonbadet 2016
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
A great wine, with well judged extraction that is tight without being rustic. It takes you right up to the edge and could perhaps have let in a little more juice on the finish, but I love the complexity on the nose, the cassis and menthol on the finish and the brushing of Petit Verdot spice. This is a recent change to a Michel Rolland consultation, overseen by Julien Viaud for the past two years. 33% new oak following vinification in cement, from a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot. Drinking Window 2025 - 2038
Since its creation in the 1800's, the estate has been owned by different families whose names are still notorious in the region today. Since 2000, the winemaking process is carried out by Pascale Peyronie, who took over from his father Pierre.
The 50 acre vineyard of Chateau Fonbadet is planted with the traditional Medoc grape varieties: 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc, 20% Merlot and an additional 5% Petit Verdot and Malbec. The wine is aged in 100% new French oak barrels.
Strongly typed Pauillac, round and full-bodied with aromas of Havana tobacco, the wine deserves to be better known as in the great years of 1962, 1982, 1986 and 1990, it equals the best.
The leader on the Left Bank in number of first growth classified producers within its boundaries, Pauillac has more than any of the other appellations, at three of the five. Chateau Lafite Rothschild and Mouton Rothschild border St. Estephe on its northern end and Chateau Latour is at Pauillac’s southern end, bordering St. Julien.
While the first growths are certainly some of the better producers of the Left Bank, today they often compete with some of the “lower ranked” producers (second, third, fourth, fifth growth) in quality and value. The Left Bank of Bordeaux subscribes to an arguably outdated method of classification that goes back to 1855. The finest chateaux in that year were judged on the basis of reputation and trading price; changes in rank since then have been miniscule at best. Today producers such as Chateau Pontet-Canet, Chateau Grand Puy-Lacoste, Chateau Lynch-Bages, among others (all fifth growth) offer some of the most outstanding wines in all of Bordeaux.
Defining characteristics of fine wines from Pauillac (i.e. Cabernet-based Bordeaux Blends) include inky and juicy blackcurrant, cedar or cigar box and plush or chalky tannins.
Layers of gravel in the Pauillac region are key to its wines’ character and quality. The layers offer excellent drainage in the relatively flat topography of the region allowing water to run off into “jalles” or streams, which subsequently flow off into the Gironde.
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. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the best of these are densely hued, fragrant, full of fruit and boast a structure that begs for cellar time. Somm Secret—Blends from Bordeaux are generally earthier compared to those from the New World, which tend to be fruit-dominant.