Chateau Fonroque (Futures Pre-Sale) 2018
The wines of Fonroque are naturally rich and racy. The clay terroir gives them strength and profundity. The limestone gives them a definite mineral quality. There is a lovely freshness on the palate, with much elegance and refinement. Its length foreshadows a substantial cellaring potential.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Barrel Sample: 93-96
Barrel Sample: 92-95
Barrel Sample: 92-93
One of the more aromatic wines St-Emilions in 2018, this is rippling with dark boysenberry and bilberry fruits, in a tighter register than usual. They have done a great job here, although I assume it's from small yields as it feels concentrated. The tannins are finely-wrought, and have plenty of juice. This should age very well. Alain Moueix is still the head of winemaking, even though there are now new owners, and it remains biodynamic despite the challenges of 2018. Drinking Window 2026 - 2040. Barrel Sample: 92
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.
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.
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. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the best of these are densely hued, fragrant, full of fruit and boast a structure that begs for cellar time. Somm Secret—Blends from Bordeaux are generally earthier compared to those from the New World, which tend to be fruit-dominant.