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Chateau Fonplegade 2015

Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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0% ABV
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4.1 27 Ratings
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4.1 27 Ratings
0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Deep ruby color with purple tinges. Aromas of dark and red fruits, cocoa, vanilla, fresh tobacco and floral notes such as violetand lilac. Fresh attack with silky mouth filling texture. Tannins round and supple. The finish lingers beautifully with a pleasant salty note.

Blend: 95% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc

Critical Acclaim

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JS 95
James Suckling
A gorgeous and layered red showcasing blackberry, blueberry and mineral aromas and flavors. It’s full-bodied and polished with impressive tannins. Shows the flamboyance of the estate. Give it time to come around. From organic grapes. Drink in 2022.
V 94
Vinous
Even better from bottle than it was from barrel, the 2015 Fonplégade is absolutely gorgeous. Rich and sumptuous, but superbly refined, the 2015 exudes class. The dark cherry, plum, espresso, rose petal and blood orange notes open up effortlessly. Time in the glass brings out the wine's underlying brightness, tension and energy. Everything about the 2015 speaks to balance. This is a superb showing from proprietors Stephen and Denise Adams and their team, which includes both Stéphane Derenoncourt and Michel Rolland.
JD 94
Jeb Dunnuck
Almost all Merlot (there's 5% Cabernet Franc) from a terrific site situated between Angelus and Pavie (this is prime Saint-Emilion terroir!), the 2015 Château Fonplegade is a rich, opulent beauty that comes across as amazingly elegant and weightless for a wine of this size. Cassis, toasted spices, dried earth, and lots of floral nuances all emerge from this full-bodied Saint-Emilion that has notable purity and freshness, ripe tannin, and a great finish. It's blockbuster stuff that needs to be snatched up by readers. Give bottles 2-3 years and enjoy over the following 15-20 years. Tasted twice.
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Made almost exclusively from Merlot with just a 5% splash of Cabernet Franc, the 2015 Fonplegade is deep garnet-purple in color with a very pretty nose of red and black currants, wild thyme, charcuterie, earth and floral notes plus a fair amount of cedary notions in the background. Medium to full-bodied, it's wonderfully elegant, fine and fresh in the mouth with arresting purity and depth, finishing just a little woody. Give it 3-5 years for the oak to marry and the fruit to come to the forefront, and drink it over the next 10 to 15+ years.
Rating: 92+
WS 92
Wine Spectator
This is richly layered, offering boysenberry, fig and cassis flavors that stay fresh and focused, with fine chalky minerality buried throughout. Best from 2020 through 2030.
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Chateau Fonplegade

Chateau Fonplegade

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Chateau Fonplegade, St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
Image of winery
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 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.

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.

BEYF157795_2015 Item# 157795