Red, Ready, but will improve

2011 Ch. Fonbadet, Pauillac

2011 Ch. Fonbadet, Pauillac

Red | Ready, but will improve | Ch Fonbadet | Code:  23718 | 2011 | France > Bordeaux > Pauillac | Cab.Sauvignon Blend | Medium-Full Bodied, Dry | 13.0 % alcohol


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The Producer

Ch Fonbadet

Ch Fonbadet

To the north of the little village of Saint-Lambert, the Château Fonbadet vineyard boasts a choice location, amidst the most reputed estates of the Pauillac Appellation, Château Mouton Rothschild, Château Latour, Château Lynch Bages, Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande and Château Pichon Baron de Longueville.

Fonbadet, the place that gave its name to the estate, is a typical place name in the Médoc terroir, a combination of the Gascon words meaning fountain (fon) of the little valley (badet). In the Middle Ages, the estate was part of the Château Latour domain and all the evidence dating back to that period shows that vines were planted very early on.

The vineyard was subsequently owned by families whose names are still remembered by the inhabitants of the region today. At the beginning of the 19th century, it was purchased by Pierre de Gères de Loupes, son of the Lord of Camarsac, who was the Vice-Prefect of Lesparre and Justice of the Peace in Pauillac, and was then owned by the Clarke and Chancel widows at the end of the Second Empire.

A century later, the other Médoc growth owned by the Clarke family, Château Clarke in Listrac, was linked to the Rothschild name. In fact, destiny was to link the Peyronie family to that legendary name on several occasions.

The 20-hectare vineyard of Château Fonbadet is planted with the traditional Médoc grape varieties: 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc, 20% Merlot and an additional 5% Petit Verdot and Malbec. The wines are aged 18 months in barrels, with 30% new oak.

The Grape

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.

In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.

In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and  Australia.

The Region



Pauillac is the aristocrat of the Médoc boasting boasting 75 percent of the region’s First Growths and with Grand Cru Classés representing 84 percent of Pauillac's production.

For a small town, surrounded by so many familiar and regal names, Pauillac imparts a slightly seedy impression. There are no grand hotels or restaurants – with the honourable exception of the establishments owned by Jean-Michel Cazes – rather a small port and yacht harbour, and a dominant petrochemical plant.

Yet outside the town, , there is arguably the greatest concentration of fabulous vineyards throughout all Bordeaux, including three of the five First Growths. Bordering St Estèphe to the north and St Julien to the south, Pauillac has fine, deep gravel soils with important iron and marl deposits, and a subtle, softly-rolling landscape, cut by a series of small streams running into the Gironde. The vineyards are located on two gravel-rich plateaux, one to the northwest of the town of Pauillac and the other to the south, with the vines reaching a greater depth than anywhere else in the Médoc.

Pauillac's first growths each have their own unique characteristics; Lafite Rothschild, tucked in the northern part of Pauillac on the St Estèphe border, produces Pauillac's most aromatically complex and subtly-flavoured wine. Mouton Rothschild's vineyards lie on a well-drained gravel ridge and - with its high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon - can produce (in its best years) Pauillac's most decadently rich, fleshy and exotic wine.

Latour, arguably Bordeaux's most consistent First Growth, is located in southern Pauillac next to St Julien. Its soil is gravel-rich with superb drainage, and Latour's vines penetrate as far as five metres into the soil. It produces perhaps the most long-lived wines of the Médoc.

Recommended Châteaux
Ch. Lafite-Rothschild, Ch. Latour, Ch. Mouton-Rothschild, Ch. Pichon-Longueville Baron, Ch. Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Ch. Lynch-Bages, Ch. Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Ch, Pontet-Canet, Les Forts de Latour, Ch. Haut-Batailley, Ch. Batailley, Ch. Haut-Bages Libéral.

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