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Château Fombrauge Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2009, Bordeaux, France

The Winery

Château Fombrauge is the largest Grand Cru Classé of Saint-Emilion with a 58.6 hectare vineyard.The first written mentions of Fombrauge date back to about six centuries ago. In 1466, a medieval squire, named Jacques de Canolle, declares himself Lord of Fombrauge after having acquired the property.

According to historians, his family was descended from Sir Robert Knowles,an  illustrious English Captain. His grand-son, Peter Canolle, succeeded him in 1575 who became burgher of the city of Bordeaux. He rapidly started working to grow his land by planting the first vines. In the late 16th century the Fombrauge Estate formed an alliance with the Dumas family. 

In 1794, the descendant of Jacques Dumas was guillotined and the area became state owned until 1808, until when the children were able to assert their rights on the property. More than a century later, in 1987, Château Fombrauge was sold to a large Danish trading house for 12 years, which limited the sales to the Scandinavian markets.

Bernard Magrez

Bernard Magrez

In 1999 the entrepreneur Bernard Magrez, acquired the Château, developing the vineyard, the cellar, the reception facilities, the house and gardens. to enhance the quality of the estate. Magrez also owns Château La Tour Carnet Grand Cru Classé Haut Médoc, Château Pape Clément Grand Cru Classé  in Graves and Clos Haut-Peyraguey Premier Gran Cru Classé in Sauternes.

In September 2012, the Château received the highest award for the Saint Emilion appellation when it was officially classified as a Grand Cru Classé.

Blending of the grapes varieties is implemented in close collaboration between the teams of Château Fombrauge and the renowned oenologist Michel Rolland.

Michael Rolland

Michael Rolland

The wine

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2009 as well as 2010 are seen as top notch Bordeaux vintages and this 2009 Château Fombrauge is a nice illustration of what was achieved in that vintage with a very nice if not exceptional wine.  It was produced from a blend of a blend of 77% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc and 9% Cabernet Sauvignon.

The nose was not exceptional but had hints of blackcurrant and cherry and after a few hours the wine exhibited some very pronounced fruit notes on the palate, with tannins firmly in check and a nice overall balance making it very drinkable. Plenty of raspberry and blackcurrant with hints of vanilla.

At £27 this 2009 Fombrauge was not outrageously priced given its Grand Cru Classé status and good vintage and was a very pleasant Bordeaux which would be wonderful on a cold winters night with a good casserole.