Bordeaux •Appellation Pauillac Controlee
What We Say
TOP SECRET ALERT: Today’s wine is extremely rare and we have a very small allocation. If you are a fan of big Bordeaux wine be sure to pick up a few bottles. Comparable wines sell upwards of $75-100 and this wine is still improving.
Awards and Accolades:
91 Wine Spectator – March 2006: Lots of roasted fruit, jam and currant aromas here. Full-bodied and very chewy with loads of tannins. Mouthpuckering. This is very extracted and tannic. But softens with air. Needs time. Best after 2009.
Decanter on 2003 Bordeaux – Pauillac – 2003 was an exceptional vintage in weather terms and will be one of the most interesting vintages for the Bordeaux lover – SS
Mission Codename: The Left Bank – Part One
Operative: Agent Blush
Objective: Seek a rare red Bordeaux worth of spy accolades.
Mission Status: Complete
Current Winery: Château Fonbadet
Wine Subject: 2003 Pauillac – Grand Vin De Bordeaux
Winemaker: Pierre Peyronie
The villages and communes along the Left Bank of the Garrone in Bordeaux are among the most famous, talked and written about in all of wine lore. When you taste the wines from this region, you know why. The Pauillac appellation is considered part of the Haut-Médoc communes that also include Saint Julien, Saint Estèphe and Margaux and are primarily known for some of the best Cabernet Sauvignon grapes grown (Merlot grapes are the primary grape of the Right Bank). Specifically, the wines of Pauillac are particularly known for their consistency, great balance, structure and texture.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dark purple with garnet hues, long slender legs.
Smell – Big, rich and complex. The aroma and the bouquet of this wine is almost as good as it tastes. The well rounded tannins and complex fruit flavors evolve as the wine breathes.
Feel – Smooth, full, rich, tangy and dry with medium tannins that fill your mouth from one corner to the other.
Taste – Dark cherries and blackberries complemented by big earthly flavors that make this a complete wine.
Finish – This wine finishes almost as beautifully as it starts. The flavors taper off nicely and invite another sip.
Conclusion – This is an excellent Bordeaux and drinks much bigger than the 12.5% alcohol might indicate. If you haven’t tried this great French style, then this is one to try. It was excellent and many experts say that it will only get better with more age – but in this spy’s opinion it is delicious now!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of Château Fonbadet in Pauillac can be seen in this satellite photo.
Wine Spies Technical Wine Analysis:
Appellation: Appellation Pauillac Controlee
Varietals: Cabernet Sauvigon & Cabernet Franc
Production: 2,915 cases made.
What the Winery Says
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History of the Winery:
Chateau Fonbadet is on an outstanding vineyard site located north of the tiny village of Saint-Lambert. It forms an enclave among the finest great growths in the Pauillac appellation.
During the Middle Ages, Fonbadet owed allegiance to the seigneury of Chateau Latour, and everything seems to indicate that vines have been grown there for a very long time. However, written proof of Fonbadet’s winegrowing vocation dates “only” from just before the French Revolution.
The château changed hands several times thereafter, passing into several families who left a strong mark on the region. Pierre Gères de Loupes, Sous-Préfet of Lesparre and Justice of the Peace in Pauillac, purchased the estate in the early 19th century. Records show that it belonged to the widows Clarke and Chancel at the end of the Second Empire.
Chateau Fonbadet has managed to stay independent and family-owned despite the appetite of the prestigious estates that surround it. It has been in the family of the present owner, Pierre Peyronie, for over half a century.
Vintage & Winemaker:
Pierre Peyronie’s approach to winemaking is just as traditional. "Wine is a reflection of the soil, but also the work of the winemaker. We don’t make wine by computer here. We like to give nature maximum leeway and respect what the Good Lord has given us. We don’t “manufacture” wine. Some people like to play around with temperatures during fermentation. They heat the wine, cool it down and concentrate it by reverse osmosis. What has the world come to? It seems to me that this all tends toward standardised wines that all resemble one another… At Fonbadet, every vintage is different from the previous one … "
Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery » or so goes the old adage. Throughout the wine world, the name Bordeaux is whispered in hushed tones. This blessed region, this garden of Eden for connoisseurs of great wines is quite simply the best in the world. No other country can claim the track record or the large number of impressive wines produced by the South-West corner of France. The exceptional quality of Bordeaux wines, from the world famous reds to the delicate dry whites and luscious dessert wines, surpasses even the wildest dreams. Myriad vineyards, exceptional terroir, centuries of expertise and classic grape varieties all combine to create that special Bordeaux magic touch. Welcome to the world of Bordeaux! Most of the grapes grown in the Bordeaux region for red wine are Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc which give vigour, tannin and good keeping qualities, and Merlot which brings softness and suppleness. White wines are elaborated from Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Muscadelle.