Chateau Fombrauge 2018
Blend: 90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
A gorgeous wine that shines on all account, the 2018 Château Fombrauge sports a dense purple hue to go with loads of blackcurrant and black cherry fruits as well as tobacco leaf, damp earth, chocolate, and cedary herbs. With full-bodied richness, a deep, layered mid-palate, silky tannins, and outstanding length, this rock star Saint-Emilion can be enjoyed any time over the coming 20-25 years or more. It's hands down the finest vintage I've tasted from this estate.
Ripe-plum, black-cherry, milk-chocolate, walnut and vanilla aromas and flavors. It’s full-bodied with plush, velvety tannins. Creamy and polished. Very tight now. From organically grown grapes. Try from 2023, when it will begin to open up.
A successful vintage for Fombrauge, showing good balance and rich texture. This will develop into a full-bodied, enjoyable wine majoring on berry fruit with a few more years in bottle, although there is a flash of heat through the finish. Michel Rolland is the consultant. There is Malbec in the vineyard here now, but not yet in this wine. Aged in 40% new oak. Drinking Window 2024 - 2040
Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2018 Fombrauge needs some swirling to unlock notions of preserved plums, blackberry compote and Black Forest cake, with wafts of tree bark, tar and licorice in the background. The medium to full-bodied palate delivers impactful black fruits with a firm, grainy framed and soft acidity, finishing on a lingering aniseed note. Give it a good 2-3 years in bottle to spread its wings and drink it over the next 15+ years. Rating: 93+
The heart of an area of 75 hectares, 52 planted to date, is beautifully situated on a limestone plateau. The vineyard possesses the three main soil profiles of Saint-Emilion, producing wines of great finesse.
Marked by its historic fortified village—perhaps the prettiest in all of Bordeaux, the St-Émilion appellation, along with its neighboring village of Pomerol, are leaders in quality on the Right Bank of Bordeaux. These Merlot-dominant red wines (complemented by various amounts of Cabernet Franc and/or Cabernet Sauvignon) remain some of the most admired and collected wines of the world.
St-Émilion has the longest history in wine production in Bordeaux—longer than the Left Bank—dating back to an 8th century monk named Saint Émilion who became a hermit in one of the many limestone caves scattered throughout the area.
Today St-Émilion is made up of hundreds of independent farmers dedicated to the same thing: growing Merlot and Cabernet Franc (and tiny amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon). While always roughly the same blend, the wines of St-Émilion vary considerably depending on the soil upon which they are grown—and the soils do vary considerably throughout the region.
The chateaux with the highest classification (Premier Grand Cru Classés) are on gravel-rich soils or steep, clay-limestone hillsides. There are only four given the highest rank, called Premier Grand Cru Classés A (Chateau Cheval Blanc, Ausone, Angélus, Pavie) and 14 are Premier Grand Cru Classés B. Much of the rest of the vineyards in the appellation are on flatter land where the soils are a mix of gravel, sand and alluvial matter.
Great wines from St-Émilion will be deep in color, and might have characteristics of blackberry liqueur, black raspberry, licorice, chocolate, grilled meat, earth or truffles. They will be bold, layered and lush.
One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the best of these are densely hued, fragrant, full of fruit and boast a structure that begs for cellar time. Somm Secret—Blends from Bordeaux are generally earthier compared to those from the New World, which tend to be fruit-dominant.