2005 Chateau Fombrauge 1.5 L

Year: 2005
Appellation: Saint-Emilion
Country: France
Wine Spectator: 91
Wine Advocate: 92+
Vinous Media: 90
Red Wine
Price :

"Dark in color, with intense aromas of dried mushroom and very ripe fruit. Almost raisiny. Full-bodied, with chewy tannins and lots of ripe fruit. Turns meaty and raisiny. A very mature style, but one that I like a lot. This is always a wonderful value. Best after 2013. 13,000 cases made."(WS)

"Another wine from Bernard Magrez, his 2005 Fombrauge (77% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc and 9% Cabernet Sauvignon from the largest vineyard in St.-Emilion) is special. More tannic and backward than usual, and much more masculine and bigger-boned, this is a full-bodied, textured and rich wine that should hit its prime in another 4-5 years, and last 15-20. It is a stunning effort from Fombrauge that has still not attained full maturity." (WA)

"($35-$55; 77% merlot, 14% cabernet franc and 9% cabernet sauvignon) Red-ruby. Sweet aromas of black raspberry, currant and mocha. Fat, lush and stuffed with fruit. The black raspberry and mocha flavors are seriously chewy. A very successful vintage for this wine, as even the cabernet sauvignon grapes on this cold clay soil ripened thoroughly." (VM)

I opened the ’05 Fombrauge last night and my first response was this is one huge tannic very youthful red wine. The kind of wine you put under a glass lid, with a note saying, “do not try again for another 3 years at least”, along with maybe a footnote saying that if you have more bottles the wine will continue to improve until maybe 2018 and keep well for another decade after that. By the way I kept a part of the wine and let it breath for several hours, tried it gain and it was about the same. Very enjoyable, but boy-oh-boy this is one young sturdy fellow. .In describing this wine I can do no better then quote Robert Parker when he rates the wine a 90/92 and writes: “An in-your-face style of wine….. the 2005 Fombrauge (with its) inky/purple color is followed by a big, sweet nose of chocolate fudge, jammy black cherries, blackberries, smoke, and pain grille. This chewy, powerful, decadent St.Emilion is a modern-styled, impressively endowed, pure, intense wine. It is another brilliant example of winemaking from proprietor Bernard Magrez.”

Chateau Fombrauge is the largest vineyard in St. Emilion covering nearly 130 acres and producing about 30,000 cases a year. The cepage of the ’05 is 77% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc and 9% Cabernet Sauvignon and aged in oak barrels for 18 months. The Chateau changed owners around 1999 and the new proprietor Bernard Magrez (who also owns Chateau Pape-Clement and La Tour Carnet) has markedly upgraded the quality of the wine. One of the reasons being that the world’s number one wine maker/consultant Michel Rolland is involved in the wine production of this estate and the others belonging to Magrez.

RATING:92 (ask me again in 3 years).

PRICE:$41.95 ***bargain

(Martin's Guide to Wine Bargains)