Chateau Fonbadet Pauillac 2016
|Region||France, Bordeaux, Pauillac|
This 50-acre, family-owned property is surrounded by some of the most famous names in Pauillac. The wine shares some of the same fine Cabernet Sauvignon flavors, ripe with intense black-currant fruitiness that partners with dusty tannins and acidity. It's a wine for aging. Do not expect to drink before 2025.
The 2016 Fonbadet is absolutely lovely. Soft curves and a good dose of sweet red cherry jam make a strong opening statement. Lavender, rose petal, spice, leather and chocolate all flesh out as this effortless, racy Pauillac shows off its alluring personality. A wine of total seduction, the 2016 will prove impossible to resist pretty much upon release. Tasted three times.
This is very Pauillac with blackcurrant, lead-pencil and blueberry aromas and flavors. Full body, round and chewy tannins and a flavorful finish. A blend of 60 per cent cabernet sauvignon, 15 per cent cabernet franc, 20 per cent merlot and five per cent petit verdot and malbec. Needs two or three years to soften. Try from 2023.
Château Fonbadet has turned out an incredibly successful 2016, a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot raised in 50% new oak. It has outstanding notes of tobacco leaf, graphite, and some earthy black and blue fruit as well as medium to full-bodied richness and depth on the palate. While I never feel this cuvée hits the highs of its neighbors, the estate certainly seems to have all the right materials, with high density vineyards consisting of 60-year-old vines planted in the classic gravelly soils of the appellation. Yields are miniscule, everything is hand harvested (in 2016 harvest occurred between the 3rd and 25th of October), vinification occurs all in concrete, the wine sees malolactic in barrel, and they use judicious yet high-class oak. I suspect this is an estate to keep on your radar.
Aged in 50% new French oak barrels and blended of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot, the medium to deep garnet-purple colored 2016 Fonbadet offers up expressive notions of warm plums, blackberries and kirsch plus unsmoked cigars and spice cake scents with a waft of dusty soil. Medium-bodied and laden with juicy black fruits plus loads of spicy accents, it has a finely grained, approachable texture and great length.
A great wine, with well judged extraction that is tight without being rustic. It takes you right up to the edge and could perhaps have let in a little more juice on the finish, but I love the complexity on the nose, the cassis and menthol on the finish and the brushing of Petit Verdot spice. This is a recent change to a Michel Rolland consultation, overseen by Julien Viaud for the past two years. 33% new oak following vinification in cement, from a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot.