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December 05, 2018

Chateau Fonplegade 2016, 6×75, £180, 96+ Pts, The Wine Advocate

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Following Lisa Perrotti-Brown’s in-bottle Wine Advocate scores, released on Friday, we are delighted to be able to offer the leading wine with the lowest Price over Points ratio. It can now be confirmed that the 2016 vintage is a modern great. In her report Perrotti-Brown stated that ‘the best news for consumers is that 2016 is the most consistently great year since 2009 and 2010, both at the top of the market and in terms of good value wines.’ Today we are delighted to be able to offer Chateau Fonplegade 2016, the exceptional St. Emilion wine which has just been awarded 96+ points from Perrotti-Brown, who says it ‘opens with a very savory nose of smoked meats, tapenade, sautéed herbs and beef drippings over a core of plum preserves, chocolate-covered cherries and cedar chest plus wafts of violets and cigars’. That is an exceptional description, as is our price today on release of £180 per case of six, or £30 per bottle in bond. This is truly incomparable, unheard of from a St. Emilion wine, making it the best value leading wine in Bordeaux, let alone St. Emilion! The score of 96+ points gives it a Price Over Points ratio (POP) of 22. A leading Bordeaux wine with a POP score of 22 is a unicorn! The Estate produce 3,500 cases a year, similar to Petrus!

The score of 96+ points also marks the biggest jump to be seen from barrel to bottle, originally scored 91-93 points. Although the Estate is not unfamiliar with superb scores, which since being bought for 30 million euros by Denise and Stephen Adams from the Moueix family, who owned it since 1953, has excellent scores, especially in stellar vintages. In fact, it was originally owned Jean-Pierre Beylot, who sold it to the Duke of Morny, the step brother of Napoleon III. Since 2004, under the recent American ownership, it has received the love, care and devotion it deserves, seeing enormous investment and thereon experiencing a renaissance. It remains, however, brilliantly priced, as is clearly derived from a comparison to similar score Right Bank wines from the vintage, this truly is a must own wine in 2016!

Chateau WA Price 12×75 POP
La Fleur Petrus 97 £1,800 106
Valandraud 96+ £1,550 94
Peby Faugeres 96 £1,500 94
Gazin 95 £1,440 96
Troplong Mondot 95+ £1,200 77
Le Gay 95+ £1,040 67
Pavie Macquin 96 £720 45
Fonplegade 96+ £360 22

Fonplegade is ideally situated on the South hillside, as you travel just South from Chateau Ausone and East of Pavie and La Gaffeliere. Sited near these great Estates it shares similar aspect, which allows for ample sunshine and provides sloping plots that help provide natural drainage. The 18.5 hectare estate boasts incredible soil composition, with limestone, clay and sand. The vineyard has a superb tapestry of 27 individual blocks, with more than ten clones of Merlot and an average age of over 25 years. Their oldest vine age is over 70 years old, dating back to 1954 and are a source of great pride. Fonplegade helped to pioneer organic viticulture in Bordeaux and their vineyards have been certified ‘Agriculture Biologique’ by ECOCERT since 2013. Since 2003 they have focused on fewer clusters per vine and smaller grape clusters, reducing yields by 30%, which has resulted in extremely richly flavoured grapes.

The stunning vineyards here date back to the Roman Empire, as the old Roman paths above the vineyards attest. Over the course of the last two decades the Estate has renovated their winemaking facilities, creating one of the most state of the art wineries on the Right Bank of Bordeaux. Moreover, they have put together a leading winemaking team, which guided by Denise and Stephen Adams, includes the legendary Consulting Oenologists Michel Rolland and Stéphane Derenoncourt, two names synonymous with the world’s greatest wines. The wine is aged for 18-24 months in 60% new French oak and 40% one-year old cooperage, the blend is 95% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc. All this adds up to a wine which has flown somewhat under the radar, yet with every composite part required for brilliance.

Chateau Fonplegade means full or bent mountain and in 2016 its springs have produced a marvel which has all but sold out since the re-score – we are delighted to offer this parcel today, it is unmissable!

To buy this wine please click here