Chateau Fontenil (375ML half-bottle) 2019
Blend: 100% Merlot
The Barrel Sample for this wine is above 14% ABV.
*Please note that the price on Wine.com of this 2019 Bordeaux Future does not include any tariffs. As of June 2020, there remains a 25% tariff imposed on French wines at or below 14% Alcohol-by-Volume by the U.S. and approved by the World Trade Organization related to the Airbus/Boeing dispute. We are hopeful that this is a short-term tariff which will not be in place when the wine is ready to be imported into the U.S., as Bordeaux Futures typically ship 2-years after they are offered. Should tariffs still be in effect when the wine is ready to be imported, we will contact affected customers with an update to our plans and timing.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The 2019 Château Fontenil is, I suspect, mostly Merlot, and it's another fine Fronsac in this vintage. Ripe black cherries, forest floor, Asian spices, and chocolate notes all emerge on the nose, and it's full-bodied, ripe, and sexy on the palate, with sweet tannins, no hard edges, and wonderful overall balance. It dishes out tons of pleasure and is a much more approachable, forward wine compared to the Le Défi de Fontenil while still possessing the class to evolve for 10-15 years. Best after 2022.
Plenty of sweet-tobacco, graphite, and dark-berry aromas follow through to a medium to full body with attractive ripe fruit and chewy yet round tannins. It’s a little one-dimensional on the palate now, but will develop complexity and drinkability in a short time. Try after 2023.
Barrel Sample: 90
In 1986, they acquired a few hectares in the commune of Saillans, which they called chateau Fontenil, after the name of one of the plots in the vineyard. The renovation work on the installations lasted until 1999; the vinification cellars, the barrel cellar and the storage cellar were all equipped with high-performance material.
Perfectly organized, tradition remains alongside new technologies: small stainless steel and wooden vats, double sorting table, barrel stock of which 60% are renewed each year and where malolactic fermentation is carried out – yield control from pruning the vines until green harvesting- sustainable viticulture, manual harvesting plot by plot using small crates.
The vines are on a slope with a southerly aspect, looking down on the river isle – a tributary of the Dordogne – and the town of Lilbourn. This magnificent setting frames an estate whose wines are among those which have enhanced the reputation of the Fronsac appellation.
Home of the very first remarkable Right Bank wines, dating back to the 1730s, Fronsac and Canon-Fronsac actually retained more fame than Pomerol well into the 19th century. Today these wines represent some of Bordeaux’s best hidden gems.
Fronsac is a very small region at an unusually high elevation compared to other Bordeaux appellations. Its vineyards unroll along the oak-dotted hills bordering the river’s edge, making it perhaps Bordeaux’s prettiest and most majestic countryside.
Merlot covers 60% of the vineyard acreage; the rest of the vines are Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. The Fronsac and Canon-Fronsac appellations are limited to the higher land where soils are predominantly limestone and sandstone. Lower vineyards along the Dordogne River mainly qualify for Bordeaux AOC status
The best Fronsac are deeply concentrated in ripe red and black berry; they have a solid mineral backbone and are rich and plush on the finish.
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.