Red, Ready, but will keep

2010 Ch. de Fonbel, Grand Cru, St Emilion

2010 Ch. de Fonbel, Grand Cru, St Emilion

Red | Ready, but will keep | Chateau de Fonbel, St. Emilion | Code:  7737 | 2010 | France > Bordeaux > St-Emilion | Merlot | Medium-Full Bodied, Dry | 14.0 % alcohol


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Scores and Reviews



The Wine Advocate




Wine Spectator






The Wine Advocate - A very good, competent St.-Emilion with notes of cedar, roasted herbs, lavender, black cherries and spice, there is something southern Rhone-like to this wines aromatics. However, on the palate, the wine is classic Bordeaux, with moderate tannin, medium weight, and good freshness and precision. Drink it over the next decade.
Robert M. Parker, Jr. - 28/02/2013

Jancis - Ch. de Fonbel is the sister of Ausone. The 2010 wine is dark cherry red. Very rich nose. Then thick and flattering. A bit sweeter than one associates with a premier grand cru. Then a little bit dry but not forced.
Jancis Robinson MW- jancis, Apr 2011

Wine Spectator - Taut with briar and blackberry flavors, this shows sappy black cherry on the finish, with buried minerality.
James Molesworth – The Wine Spectator – Apr 2011

Parker - A very good, competent St.-Emilion with notes of cedar, roasted herbs, lavender, black cherries and spice, there is something southern Rhone-like to this wine’s aromatics. However, on the palate, the wine is classic Bordeaux, with moderate tannin, medium weight, and good freshness and precision. Drink it over the next decade.
87 Robert Parker- Wine Advocate- Feb 2013

From Alain Vauthier, the proprietor of Ausone, Fonbel’s 2010 reveals surprisingly high acidity as well as a more narrow constitution than expected given the winemaking team responsible for its production. It exhibits a dense ruby/purple color along with some minerality and red and black fruits, but it seems monolithic compared to its peers. Drink it during its first 10-12 years of life.
85-87 Robert Parker- Wine Advocate- May 2011

Decanter - Chateau de Fonbel, Saint-Emilion  is a lively, fresh  wine, accented towards the fruit. Has the originality of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère and Petit Verdot in the blend. Good value, easy drinking.
James Lawther MW- Decanter – Apr 2011

The Producer

Chateau de Fonbel, St. Emilion

Chateau de Fonbel, St. Emilion

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.

The Grape



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.

The Region



St Emilion 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 Emilion 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 Emilion, 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 Emilion 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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Storage Details
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