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Chateau Fonplegade 2011

Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
  • JS92
  • WS90
0% ABV
  • RP95
  • V94
  • WS93
  • JS93
  • D92
  • JD92
  • WS95
  • JS93
  • RP93
  • D93
  • WE92
  • JS95
  • JD94
  • V94
  • WS92
  • RP92
  • V93
  • JS92
  • WS91
  • RP91
  • WE90
  • RP93
  • JD93
  • JS92
  • WE91
  • WS90
  • RP94
  • WE92
  • JS91
  • WS90
  • RP89
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Winemaker Notes

As the flagship wine, Chateau Fonplegade is the ultimate expression of our terroir. It is also a wine of impeccable balance, bringing together the finest attributes of the vineyard to create a complex and complete expression of Saint-Emilion winemaking. From the chateau's oldest vines grown in clay and limestone rich soils, Chateau Fonplegade gains its sophisticated signature minerality, as well as its sweet tannins and soft, velvety mouthfeel. Though old-vine fruit forms the rich, compelling core of Chateau Fonplegade, a modest amount of grapes from somewhat younger vines is also incorporated in the blend, adding voluptuous black fruit notes and tannic structure.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
JS 92
James Suckling
A well-crafted and refined red with plums, raspberries and hints of minerals. Precise and polished. Full body, fine tannins and a long finish. From biodynamically grown grapes. Better in 2018.
WS 90
Wine Spectator
Delivers a gorgeous bolt of raspberry ganache, with blueberry and plum compote notes, lined with anise and carrying through a briary, spice-infused finish. This has ample grip and more than enough flesh, offering lovely fruit and a rather suave feel. A strong showing for the vintage. Best from 2016 through 2026. 3,250 cases made
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Chateau Fonplegade

Chateau Fonplegade

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Chateau Fonplegade, St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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For centuries, the vine rows of Chateau Fonplegade have been the source for some of Saint-Emilion’s most coveted winegrapes. Grown in ideal limestone and clay soils, and nourished in drier years by the deep under-ground water source that feeds the fountain of Fonplegade, their vines benefit from a harmonious relationship between the elements—a relationship that yields wines of uncommon grace and grandeur. As stewards of these cherished vine rows, they cultivate their vineyards using strict ECOCERT organic practices, both to preserve the purity and character of their grapes, and to ensure the legacy of Chateau Fonplegade for generations to come.

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.

KOW129195_2011 Item# 129195