Chateau Fonplegade Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Classé 2019

Chateau Fonplegade Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Classé 2019

France : Bordeaux
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Merlot, Cabernet Franc

75cl * 15.0% ABV * Organic & Biodynamic * Saint-Emilion, Bordeaux, France

A near neighbour to the more famous Angélus, this small estate (18.5 hectares) in Saint-Emilion is on the classic clay and limestone soil of the region. Château Fonplégade's name (literally "fountain of plenty") was derived from the historic 13th century stone fountain that graces the estate's vineyard which quenched the thirst of passing pilgrims for hundreds of years.

Grapevines have thrived at this exceptional site, perched on the limestone plateau, since the late 1500s. In 1852, legendary wine merchant Jean-Pierre Beylot purchased the estate and built the elegant château that still stands on the property. Today, the estate is owned by American couple Denise and Stephen Adams. Many years ago, they honeymooned in Saint-Emilion and after returning years later to Saint-Emilion to repeat their wedding vows, they discovered Château Fonplégade.

When the Adams's acquired the estate in 2004, they completely renovated the winery, replanted many of the vineyards and begun farming organically to bring it up to the quality that it is today. In addition to Château Fonplégade in Saint-Emilion and Château l'Enclos in Pomerol, they are the owners and caretakers of ADAMVS on the slopes of Napa Valley's Howell Mountain.

This Château Fonplégade 2019 is aged for 16-20 months in a mix of new French oak barrels (40%), 1-year-old French oak barrels (30%), egg-shaped concrete vessels (20%), and amphoras (10%), which offers incredible complexity and texture to the fruit. With an impeccable balance, this wine is characterized by a sophisticated minerality, consistent from year to year, with soft and supple tannins and a velvety texture. It is made from the estate's oldest vines, meticulously hand-farmed using organic and biodynamic practices to bring out the finest quality in each cluster. Predominantly Merlot, the blend includes just enough Cabernet Franc (10%) to imbue the wine with an elegant tannic structure.

An immensely versatile food-wine, it will make a great match for Galician bone-in-ribeye, Greek minced lamb dishes, barbecued Korean-style beef sirloin, roasted vegetables, cold meats, poultry and game, hard and soft cheeses, and desserts.

Drinking Window: 2026 - 2040

"A fine texture with rich tannins and powerful structure give this wine its richness. The wine, under the ownership of Californians Denise and Stephen Adams, is concentrated and juicy, superripe, a sign of the high proportion of Merlot in the blend, and full-bodied." 94/100 points, Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast

"Gorgeous aromatics include cherry, aniseed and menthol freshness, in a medium-bodied palate evoking Burgundian refinement. There is a whiff of oak in the initial, powerful attack, but then the wine broadly coats the palate with violet, plum, cherry and lead pencil aspects, exhibiting fresh notes in its vinous palate. A long finish. Clearly of high calibre." 95/100, Panos Kakaviatos, Decanter Part of St-Emilion: Worthy candidates for classification promotion (Apr 2022)

"Silky, rich, juicy blueberry and raspberry fruits, this is good quality and will age. It's less immediately voluptuous than the 2018, acidity seems a little higher, giving elegance and balance, with a mint leaf edge that gives a lovely cooling finish from an estate that is going from strength to strength." 94/100, Jane Anson, Decanter (June 2020)

"Nicely fragranced on the nose. Good definition all the way through, I love the generosity of the bright strawberry and red cherry fruits at the beginning morphing into a sweet sticky black liquorice root and eucalyptus flavour. It has a chunky frame with a smooth texture, clearly powerful with punch. Sculpted and well presented with some St-Emilion gloss and glamour against a steely, stoney understone." 94/100, Georgina Hindle, Decanter (Jan 2022)