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Chateau Villars 2010

Bordeaux Red Blends from Fronsac, Bordeaux, France
  • RP90
14.5% ABV
  • RP90
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The Château Villars offers a very intense, complex bouquet of ripe fruit, notably blackcurrants, strawberries and cherries, combined with oaky aromas of vanilla and tobacco. On the palate the attack is levely followed up with plenty of body and firm tannins. When the wine is young, it is marked by the wood, which diminishes with age while the wine gains complexity. The balance is excellent with a long fruity finish.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A terrific wine from proprietor Thierry Gaudrie, this wine, which has a similar blend to the La Vieille Cure (73% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Franc and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon), has an inky purple color and a big, sweet kiss of blueberry liqueur intermixed with creme de cassis, camphor, licorice and a hint of graphite. Full-bodied, rich and unctuously textured, this is a seriously endowed Fronsac to drink over the next 15+ years.
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Chateau Villars

Chateau Villars

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Chateau Villars, Fronsac, Bordeaux, France
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One of the leading properties in the much neglected Fronsac appellation. The wines are traditionally made, with long aging in barrel. Production is about 6600 cases per year; this wine ages beautifully in bottle.

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.

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.

IVA146992_2010 Item# 146992