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Chateau Fonbadet 2016

  • WE94
  • V93
  • JS92
  • JD92
  • RP91
  • D91
750ML / 13% ABV
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750ML / 13% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
This 50-acre, family-owned property is surrounded by some of the most famous names in Pauillac. The wine shares some of the same fine Cabernet Sauvignon flavors, ripe with intense black-currant fruitiness that partners with dusty tannins and acidity. It’s a wine for aging. Do not expect to drink before 2025.
V 93
Vinous
The 2016 Fonbadet is absolutely lovely. Soft curves and a good dose of sweet red cherry jam make a strong opening statement. Lavender, rose petal, spice, leather and chocolate all flesh out as this effortless, racy Pauillac shows off its alluring personality. A wine of total seduction, the 2016 will prove impossible to resist pretty much upon release. Tasted three times.
JS 92
James Suckling
This is very Pauillac with blackcurrant, lead-pencil and blueberry aromas and flavors. Full body, round and chewy tannins and a flavorful finish. A blend of 60 per cent cabernet sauvignon, 15 per cent cabernet franc, 20 per cent merlot and five per cent petit verdot and malbec. Needs two or three years to soften. Try from 2023.
JD 92
Jeb Dunnuck
Château Fonbadet has turned out an incredibly successful 2016, a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot raised in 50% new oak. It has outstanding notes of tobacco leaf, graphite, and some earthy black and blue fruit as well as medium to full-bodied richness and depth on the palate. While I never feel this cuvée hits the highs of its neighbors, the estate certainly seems to have all the right materials, with high density vineyards consisting of 60-year-old vines planted in the classic gravelly soils of the appellation. Yields are miniscule, everything is hand harvested (in 2016 harvest occurred between the 3rd and 25th of October), vinification occurs all in concrete, the wine sees malolactic in barrel, and they use judicious yet high-class oak. I suspect this is an estate to keep on your radar.
RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Aged in 50% new French oak barrels and blended of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot, the medium to deep garnet-purple colored 2016 Fonbadet offers up expressive notions of warm plums, blackberries and kirsch plus unsmoked cigars and spice cake scents with a waft of dusty soil. Medium-bodied and laden with juicy black fruits plus loads of spicy accents, it has a finely grained, approachable texture and great length.
D 91
Decanter
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.
Barrel Sample
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Chateau Fonbadet

Chateau Fonbadet

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Chateau Fonbadet, France
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To the north of the small village of Saint-Lambert, the Chateau Fonbadet boasts a choice location, amidst the most reputed estates of the Pauillac Appellation: Chateau Mouton Rothschild, Chateau Latour, Chateau Lynch Bages, Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande and Chateau Pichon Baron de Longueville.

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.

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Pauillac

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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.

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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.

JOF235777_2016 Item# 235777