Chateau Fonplegade  2016 Front Label
Chateau Fonplegade  2016 Front LabelChateau Fonplegade  2016  Front Bottle Shot

Chateau Fonplegade 2016

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  • D93
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  • WE91
750ML / 0% ABV
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4.1 28 Ratings
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4.1 28 Ratings
750ML / 0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

With an impeccable balance between fruit, complexity and aromatic length, this wine is characterized by a sophisticated minerality, consistent from year to year, with soft and supple tannins and a velvety texture. It is made from the estate's oldest vines, meticulously hand-farmed using organic and biodynamic practices to bring out the finest quality in each cluster. Predominantly Merlot, the blend includes just enough Cabernet Franc to imbue the wine with an elegant tannic structure.

Château Fonplégade is aged 16-20 months in 60% new French oak barrels, 30% in 1-year-old French oak barrels and 10% in egg-shaped concrete vessels.

Dark ruby coulor with deep purple. Ample attack, fresh and silky on the nose. Powerful and round tannins enhanced by a mineral final with salty notes. Floral notes of violets enhanced by blueberry, strawberry, blackcurrant and fresh tobacco.

Blend: 90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
RP 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Medium to deep garnet-purple in color, the 2016 Fonplegade opens with a very savory nose of smoked meats, tapenade, sautéed herbs and beef drippings over a core of plum preserves, chocolate-covered cherries and cedar chest plus wafts of violets and cigars. Medium to full-bodied, the palate possesses both intensity and elegance, with the black fruit layers superbly framed by firm, fine-grained tannins and wonderful freshness, finishing long and mineral laced.
Rating: 96+
JS 95
James Suckling
A very suave, modern-style St.-Emilion with fine blackberry aromas and some bitter chocolate. Excellent balance of fruit, generous velvety tannins and lively acidity on the rich palate. Long, clean and supple finish. Drink or hold.
V 94
Vinous
The 2016 Fonplégade is just as compelling as it was from barrel. Silky and nuanced, the 2016 is super finessed from the very first impression. Sweet red cherry, espresso, blood orange and spice all pulse through this racy, impeccably balanced Saint-Émilion, while floral overtones add energy. Simply put, the 2016 is absolutely sublime. Proprietors Stephen and Denise Adams, along with their team, have done a brilliant job with their 2016. Tasted two times.
JD 94
Jeb Dunnuck
Matching the blockbuster 2015 in quality, the 2016 Château Fonplégade is a ripe, fleshy, sexy wine that's loaded with notions of jammy blackberry, cassis, dried earth, and spice. With full-bodied richness, plenty of mid-palate depth, and a layered, fruit-forward style, it nevertheless has solid underlying structure and length, all promising a solid evolution. I’d be happy to drink bottles any time over the coming two decades or more.
D 93
Decanter
Just from the nose you can tell this is a brilliant wine. You get smoky coffee notes that are balanced by freshness and a savoury edge to the juicy fruit. The vineyard is mid-slope, with some touches of sand which often helps St-Emilion to taste a little juicier in the early years, but there's no doubting the quality and enjoyment here. Organic winemaking.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
Delightfully fruit-filled, with warm, creamy layers of cassis, raspberry puree and plum reduction gliding through atop a velvety structure. Anise and fruitcake notes take hold on the finish, adding range and extra detail. A bit forward in style, but an echo of chalky minerality keeps this honest. Drink now through 2033.
WE 91
Wine Enthusiast

This densely concentrated wine is dark and serious, with powerful tannins. It has a bitter edge and black chocolate flavors along with dark plum-skin flavor. The structure will stand this big wine in good stead as it ages.

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Chateau Fonplegade

Chateau Fonplegade

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Chateau Fonplegade, France
Chateau Fonplegade Chateau Fonplegade Winery Image

Château Fonplégade's name (literally "fountain of plenty") was derived from the historic 13th century stone fountain that graces the estate's vineyard. It quenched the thirst of passing pilgrims for hundreds of years, and continues to provide sustenance to the estate's vines in the driest vintages.

Grapevines have thrived at this exceptional site, perched on the limestone plateau that is home to Saint-Emilion's finest vineyards, since the late 1500s. In 1852, legendary wine merchant Jean-Pierre Beylot purchased the estate and built the elegant Château that still stands on the property. Enchanted by the terroir, history and grandeur of the estate, with its ancient Roman pathways and graceful vine rows, Denise and Stephen Adams acquired Château Fonplégade in 2004 and spent 15 years tirelessly revitalizing the vineyards, renovating the cellar and lovingly restoring the Château.

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.

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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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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.

Tasting Notes for Bordeaux Blends

Bordeaux Blends are dry, red wines and generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, black cherry plum, graphite, cedar and violet. 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.

Perfect Food Pairings for Bordeaux Blends

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 Secrets for Bordeaux Blends

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.

BEF202346_2016 Item# 202346

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