|Sub-district||Saint Emilion & Satellites|
5% Carmenere, 5% Petit Verdot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon & 80% Merlot. Impressive nose, you can really sense the spice of the Carmenere. Immediatley attractive, bright red fruit with a tad of ripeness a menthol note adds interest and a certain finesse. Good drinking wine for 5-8 years. L&S (Apr 2015)
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The 2014 Fonbel is dark, supple and nicely balanced in the glass, with delicate fruit and a racy personality. The blend of 80% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Carmenere and 5% Petit Verdot is a bit unusual, but it works nicely. Expressive blue/purplish fruit, crushed flowers, mint and violets add complexity, while firm underlying veins of tannin give the 2014 its sense of freshness and energy. Rating: 88-91 Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.com(May 2015)
The Château de Fonbel 2014 is a blend of 80% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Carmenère and 5% Petit Verdot picked September 27-October 5, fermented in stainless steel and aged in 30% new barrels. It has a light but fragrant bouquet of wild strawberry and raspberry, not complex, but nicely defined. There is a little more complexity here compared to the Simard with light gravel and dried flower scents underneath the red fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with fine, slightly grainy tannin. This is not a rich or a flamboyant de Fonbel, but it has an easy-drinking approachability, the kind of Saint Emilion that I suspect will be one that you just want to drink. Drinking range: 2017 - 2030 Rating: 88-90 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com(Apr 2015)
Fruity and floral, the 5% each Carmenere and Petit Verdot emphasising the fruit aspect. Palate juicy and constructed with sufficient mid-palate fruit. Drinking range: 2017 - 2024 Rating: 86 James Lawther MW, decanter.com(Apr 2015)
Amongst the best value wines in St Emilion is Château Fonbel. It is owned by Alain Vautier, owner of near-by Château Moulin Saint Georges and Château Ausone. The 16ha of vineyard are planted with a slightly atypical mix – there is 70% Merlot, nothing unusual for St Emilion; 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, very high for St Emilion; 7% Petit Verdot, possibly the highest percentage in St Emilion; and 3% Carmenère, possibly the highest percentage in Bordeaux.
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