About this WINE
Fronsac and its premium wine sub-appellation Canon-Fronsac lie in a serene landscape on the northern banks of the Dordogne, to the east of Libourne. Due to its proximity to that town and, thus, the presence of the major houses of Pomerol (most notably Jean-Pierre Moueix), the wines are considered to offer a good-value alternative to that appellation. In fact, in terms of style, the wines probably have more in common with St Émilion, having a fresh, crisp-fruit profile from clay and limestone soils, dominated by Merlot.
Only about half a million cases are produced in Fronsac, with Canon-Fronsac, from vineyards only around the villages of Fronsac and St Michel de Fronsac, contributing a further 150,000 cases. J-P Moueix owns or manages several properties in the region, the renowned oenologist Michel Rolland owns Ch. Fontenil, and Ch. du Gaby is also highly recommended.
Recommended Châteaux : Ch. Fontenil, Ch. du Gaby, Ch. Canon
The most widely planted grape in Bordeaux and a grape that has been on a relentless expansion drive throughout the world in the last decade. Merlot is adaptable to most soils and is relatively simple to cultivate. It is a vigorous naturally high yielding grape that requires savage pruning - over-cropped Merlot-based wines are dilute and bland. It is also vital to pick at optimum ripeness as Merlot can quickly lose its varietal characteristics if harvested overripe.
In St.Emilion and Pomerol it withstands the moist clay rich soils far better than Cabernet grapes, and at it best produces opulently rich, plummy clarets with succulent fruitcake-like nuances. Le Pin, Pétrus and Clinet are examples of hedonistically rich Merlot wines at their very best. It also plays a key supporting role in filling out the middle palate of the Cabernet-dominated wines of the Médoc and Graves.