2016 Grand Cru Saint Emilion
|Grapes||Cab Sauv, Carménère, Merlot, Petit Verdot|
|Sub-district||Saint Emilion & Satellites|
70% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot, 7% Carmenère. We wrote when we tasted this in 2017 'should make a good bottle in four or five years' and indeed it has - lovely involving nose of soft ripe dark plum and cherry fruit, it has good volume and a fullish texture while remaining classical in its Saint Emilion feel. Drinking range: 2021 - 2025 L&S (Apr 2017)
*Case price discount: Mix any 12 bottles (or 9l equivalent) of wine or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits, Sweet Wine or Fortified to get the 'case price' for each bottle.
The 2016 Château de Fonbel from the team at Ausone is a brilliant Saint-Emilion in 2016. Tons of black raspberry and cassis fruits, notes of spice, and dried flowers, medium body, and a balanced, elegant texture all make for beautiful wine. It has the purity of elegance of the vintage front and center, and while it’s already hard to resist, it’s got 15 years of prime drinking ahead of it. Drinking range: 2019 - 2034 Rating: 92 Jeb Dunnuck, www.jebdunnuck.com (Feb 2019)
The 2016 Fonbel is a blend of 70% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot and 7% Carmenere picked from 29 September until 18 October at 50 hectoliters per hectare. It has a pretty cranberry and blackcurrant-scented bouquet, quite transparent and terroir-driven with nicely integrated oak (30% aged in new oak). The palate is medium-bodied with crisp tannin, a lively and breezy Saint Emilion, not the most complex you will find but full of personality. The freshness suggests that this will drink early, and that Carmenere just gives it something different (although Pauline Vauthier mentioned that she will regraft some of those vines). Drinking range: 2019 - 2028 Rating: 88-90 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (Apr 2017)
Rich and crimson-tasting with just a hint of pencil shavings. Very sweet. Just a bit too sweet. Drying end. Drinking range: 2023 - 2030 Rating: 16 Jancis Robinson OBE MW - www.JancisRobinson.com (Apr 2017)
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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