2022 Château de Fonbel, St Emilion, Bordeaux

2022 Château de Fonbel, St Emilion, Bordeaux

Product: 20221010237
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2022 Château de Fonbel, St Emilion, Bordeaux

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Description

This property has been owned by the Vauthier family of Ch. Ausone since 1971. The vineyard is to the south of the town of St Emilion, on sand, clay and gravel soils. Note the 5% Carmenère; this variety often plays an important role in the blend at Fonbel, adding some fresh fruit notes and bite to the palate. Overall, for a wine at this level, this is characterful and interesting. It has notes of herb and spice entwined with the lusher notes of the Merlot over well-composed tannins, and it will offer lovely earlier drinking.

Drink 2025 - 2035

Berry Bros. & Rudd (April 2023)

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Critics reviews

Jane Anson90/100
Black cherry, blueberry and cassis fruits on the opening beats, this is an intense Fonbel that leans into the vintage character but always stays on the right side of balance. A good quality wine with clear ageing ability, a little less immediately charming that in less highly charged vintages. Clay-sand soils with areas of gravel. Cellar master Philippe Baillarguet. 30% new oak. Harvest September 15 to 21, with the unusual addition of Carmanère in the blend.

Jane Anson, janeanson.com (May 2023) Read more
Antonio Galloni, Vinous90-92/100

The 2022 De Fonbel is gorgeous. Rich, plummy and super-expressive, Fonbel is an absolute delight in 2022. Succulent red cherry, plum, spice, rose petal and mocha are nicely pushed forward. The 2022 is a supple, charming Saint-Émilion that will drink well with minimal cellaring. In this tasting it is an absolute delight. The blend of 85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Carménère works so well here.

Drink 2027 - 2042

Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com (May 2023)

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Wine Advocate89-91/100

Exhibiting aromas of plums, raspberries and cherries along with an attractive top note of violets, the 2022 Fonbel is medium to full-bodied, fleshy and taut, with youthfully chewy tannins and a long, penetrating finish.

William Kelley, Wine Advocate (April 2023)

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About this WINE

Chateau de Fonbel

Chateau de Fonbel

Château de Fonbel is located in the Saint Emilion wine appellation and covers 16 hectares (39 acres) of vineyard. It is owned by Alain Vautier, proprietor of the celebrated Ch. Ausone and the highly regarded Ch. Moulin St. Georges.

Four grape varieties are grown for Château de Fonbel wine: Merlot (70%) dominates, supplemented by Cabernet Sauvignon (20%), Petit Verdot (7%) and Carmenere (3%). The wines are aged in 30% new oak barrels.

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St Émilion

St Émilion

St Émilion is one of Bordeaux's largest producing appellations, producing more wine than Listrac, Moulis, St Estèphe, Pauillac, St Julien and Margaux put together. St Emilion has been producing wine for longer than the Médoc but its lack of accessibility to Bordeaux's port and market-restricted exports to mainland Europe meant the region initially did not enjoy the commercial success that funded the great châteaux of the Left Bank. 

St Émilion itself is the prettiest of Bordeaux's wine towns, perched on top of the steep limestone slopes upon which many of the region's finest vineyards are situated. However, more than half of the appellation's vineyards lie on the plain between the town and the Dordogne River on sandy, alluvial soils with a sprinkling of gravel. 

Further diversity is added by a small, complex gravel bed to the north-east of the region on the border with Pomerol.  Atypically for St Émilion, this allows Cabernet Franc and, to a lesser extent, Cabernet Sauvignon to prosper and defines the personality of the great wines such as Ch. Cheval Blanc.  

In the early 1990s there was an explosion of experimentation and evolution, leading to the rise of the garagistes, producers of deeply-concentrated wines made in very small quantities and offered at high prices.  The appellation is also surrounded by four satellite appellations, Montagne, Lussac, Puisseguin and St. Georges, which enjoy a family similarity but not the complexity of the best wines.

St Émilion was first officially classified in 1954, and is the most meritocratic classification system in Bordeaux, as it is regularly amended. The most recent revision of the classification was in 2012

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Merlot

Merlot

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.

Merlot is now grown in virtually all wine growing countries and is particularly successful in California, Chile and Northern Italy.

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