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Chateau Fonroque 2016

  • RP95
  • WS93
  • D93
  • WE92
  • JD91
  • JS90
750ML / 0% ABV
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  • JD95
  • RP93
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3.0 10 Ratings
750ML / 0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The color is dark and intense, promise of a dense wine. The nose is refined, complex and pure with aromas of dark fruit, violet, cinnamon and other sweet spices. In the mouth, the body is luscious and full. The mineral expression with a saline tendency brings elegance and length. The right measure of acidity produces freshness and tension, on a real density. The fruit is there, rich and ripe. In the final, the wine does not leave you anymore.
Blend: 90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2016 Fonroque has a medium to deep garnet-purple color and opens with black cherries, kirsch, warm blueberries and spice box scents plus hints of tobacco and pencil lead. Medium-bodied, it has a chewy line and plenty of earth-inspired flavors, finishing just a tad grippy.
WS 93
Wine Spectator
This has a slightly exotic edge, with warmed fig, crushed plum and steeped raspberry notes, laden with anise, black tea and singed apple wood accents. Though the fruit gushes, this shows focused energy through the finish, with a latent graphite hint. Drink now through 2035.
D 93
Decanter
This was the last vintage with Alain Moueix as the owner - in 2017 he sold the estate to a French insurance company, although he is likely to continue as consultant for the foreseeable future. This has an impressive texture right from the start, with silky black and red fruit that's well knitted together, along with coffee and chocolate. It has clear potential but needs time. 30% new oak. 50hl/ha yield.
WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
This wine is superripe and generous in fruit. The contrast is with the dry core of tannins. Juicy blackberry fruits are rich and opulent, cut by acidity and supported by the tannins.
Barrel Sample: 90-92 Points
JD 91
Jeb Dunnuck
A blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2016 Château Fonroque is a pretty, classy wine that has plenty of tobacco and earthy notes, plenty of darker fruits, medium body, and a supple, lightly textured, balanced style on the palate. It doesn't match the 2015 yet is a beautiful, elegant, nuanced wine to drink over the coming 10-15 years.
JS 90
James Suckling
This has a beautifully bright array of red fruit on the nose with a fresh and energetic palate that has plenty of fresh acidity and a fresh, sheet-like kick of tannins. From biodynamically grown grapes. Biodyvin certified. Try from 2021.
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Chateau Fonroque

Chateau Fonroque

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Chateau Fonroque, France
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Chateau Fonroque is the birthplace of the Moueix family in Saint-Emilion. This property was bought in 1931 by Jean and Adèle, the great grandparents of Alain Moueix, who is now director of this lovely wine estate.

In 2005, as a logical progression of all the procedures undertaken by Alain Moueix and his team, biodynamic methods were implemented for the entire vineyard (started in 2002).

For Alain Moueix, this type of viticulture brings more coherence to his commitment to ecological and high-quality winegrowing. His motivations take into account the environment, the durability of the soils and an aim to bring out the best expression of the terroir as well as the intensity and fine balance of the wines.

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St-Émilion

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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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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.

MCF254848_2016 Item# 254848

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