Château de Fonbel, St Emilion Grand Cru, 2014

  Château de Fonbel

This 16 hectare estate on the St Emilion plain has a sandy, gravelly terroir, but despite the humble situation, Fonbel produces some sensational wines - hardly surprising given that this is an Alain Vauthier estate. Produced from 80% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Carmenere and 5% Petit Verdot, this has a wonderfully wild fruit profile. Notes of crème de mûre, sweet exotic bramble, earthy minerals and vegetation leap from the glass. There is a bit more restraint on the palate, with leafy Cabernet Franc flavours and red berry fruit. It is a little bit rustic, but it is fun and possesses real energy and life. Give this a few years and it will be a great drink.

Contains Sulphites.

About Château de Fonbel

This property lies below Ausone and Moulin St Georges and belongs to the same owner, Alain Vauthier. Despite very reasonable pricing, it benefits hugely from the attentions of Mr Vauthier, regarded by some as the finest winemaker in St Emiliion, and represents quite simply some of the best-value St Emilion available today.

Appellation: St Emilion

St-Émilion is a very different region to those of the Médoc, dominated by small-holding farmers and estates rather than grand Châteaux. Merlot is widely planted as is Cabernet Franc in some parts. The wines are enormously variable in style depending on the terroir, the grape variety make-up and winemaking style. Loosely the region is divided between the limestone Côtes, Graves or gravelly limestone plateau or the sandy alluvial soils nearer the Dordogne. Traditionally Médoc wines were trade from Bordeaux and St Emilions from Libourne so they have their own classification system separate to that of 1855. The classification is revised every ten years and falls into four categories, St Emilion, St Emilion Grand Cru, St Emilion Grand Cru Classé and St Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé
Most of the district's best properties are either on the steep, clay-limestone hillsides immediately below the town or on a gravelly section of the plateau west of St Emilion itself abutting Pomerol. There are several high profile estates in the region, including Cheval Blanc, Ausone, Figeac, Le Dôme, Valandraud and Pavie.