Mission Codename Franc-o-phone
Whoa, that Sauternes deal was so sweet it’s GONE!
So here’s a Double Agent riddle for ya next…
What’s two doors down from Cheval Blanc but costs 20 times less?
Seriously. Like neighbors. There’s a great brasserie between them, La Terrasse Rouge, you should try it!
Meanwhile, here’s Saint-Émilion’s VALUE OF THE CENTURY. Or close. Whatever. Can you buy a Harlan Estate neighbor for 38 bucks? With hefty scores? Nuh-uh. Not even close. You’re welcome.
While this neighborhood thrived for centuries, Jean Faure got somewhat forgotten, despite its distinctly privileged situation. Wine Spectator profiled the remarkable resurrection about a decade ago “we all have the dream - to maybe one day buy a little rundown winery in some out-of-the-way wine area and spend our time fixing up the place” they wrote, “but how about a Bordeaux fixer-upper? One in St.-Emilion, located right next door to the famed Château Cheval-Blanc? Now that’s jumping into the deep end. But it’s exactly what Olivier Decelle and his wife, Anne, have done.”
Continuing with the history: “Château Jean-Faure was originally a well-respected Grand Cru Classé, but it was dropped from the classification in 1986 and it had languished ever since… Decelle has learned first hand how to make a small fortune in the wine business (start with a large one) and he feels the pressure to see Château Jean-Faure listed among the great names of Saint-Émilion once again… As we tasted through a vertical covering the 2004 through 2009 vintages, it was clear that Decelle has Jean-Faure on an upward trajectory.”
Guess what? That trajectory’s gone exponential since, and Jean Faure is BACK IN THE BIG LEAGUE! And being one of the first to know that, go ahead and steal it at the best price anywhere - we’ll look the other way…
With a mere 100 cases imported per the Spectator don’t say we didn’t warn ya!
95 Points – Decanter
“Wonderfully floral cherry notes on the nose here - ripe, vibrant and appealing. Such great juicy impact, strawberries, cherries and redcurrants, really just hits the palate with brightness, energy and verve. An approachable style but with lots of layers, great acidity and a cooling menthol undertone. Really enjoyable with underlying power and precision. Excellent. Drink 2027-2044.”
94 Points – Jeb Dunnuck
“The exotic, incredibly perfumed 2019 Château Jean Faure comes from the upper plateau region, closer to Pomerol, and just behind Cheval Blanc. Based largely on Cabernet Franc and Merlot, it has loads of red and blue fruits, exotic flowers, sandalwood, and foresty, earthy nuances that develop nicely with time in the glass. Medium to full-bodied, it’s pure, balanced, and elegant on the palate, with ripe yet polished tannins and a great finish. This singular beauty needs a good 4-5 years of bottle age but is going to impress over the following two decades or more. Drink 2026-2048.”
93 Points – Antonio Galloni’s Vinous
“The 2019 Jean Faure, next door to Cheval Blanc of course, was picked from 16 September to 8 October and fermented in two-thirds concrete and one-third oak vats. The vineyard is certified organic. It’s a quirky Saint-Émilion because of the high percentage of Franc in the blend, which lends soaring aromatic intensity. The unorthodox blend (65% Cabernet Franc, 30% Merlot, 5% Malbec) makes it stick out from the rest. If you want something different than this might be the ticket. Sage, mint, tobacco, cedar, licorice and red berry fruit all build in the glass, with bright, saline notes that give energy and shape. Jean Faure is one of the most distinctive Saint-Émilions readers will come across. The 2019 turned out beautifully. Drink 2023-2039.”
93 Points – Wine Spectator
“This has the ripe and rich fruit of the vintage, but is a bit sleeker in feel than most of its brethren, offering a savory streak and a flash of iron. Nice, lingering juniper and black tea notes make this distinctive too. Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Malbec. Best from 2023 through 2035. 100 cases imported.”
What the Winery Says
2019 St.-Émilion Grand Cru
- Marie-Laure Latorre
- 65% Cabernet Franc, 30% Merlot, 5% Malbec
- Saint-Emilion, Bordeaux, France
- Vineyard Size
- 18 ha
- 40 hl/ha
- Average age of vines
- 45 Years
- 8,000 vines per ha
- 18 months
- 30% New French Oak, 30% 1 Year Old Oak, 20% Concrete Vat, 15% in 12hl Casks