91 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate - A superb effort from this property’s new American ownership, the 2006 exhibits a deep ruby/purple color along with aromas and flavors of creme de cassis, spring flowers, crushed rocks, charcoal, and background toast. Full-bodied, rich, and complete with a juicy mid-palate as well as sweet tannins, it can be drunk now or cellared for 12-15 years.
91 Points James Suckling - A firm and subtly fruity red with plum and berry character. Full body, with fine tannins and a chocolate, berry aftertaste. Just starting to open. Drink or hold.
91 Points Stephen Tanzer - Good red-ruby. Captivating aromas of dark raspberry, graphite and crushed rock. Dense, ripe and sexy, with palate-saturating flavors of raspberry, cherry pit, candied violet, licorice, minerals and smoke. At once smooth and energetic, sweet and firmly structured. Finishes broad and suave, with smoke and roasted coffee notes and a strong impression of soil. A very successful modern-style Saint-Emilion.
Château Fonplégade represents the purest and most typical expression of the terroir. Enriched with a mosaic of ideal soils and a wonderful diversity of geology and geography, the estate vineyard is divided into 27 parcels on 45.5 acres. These hand-farmed blocks comprise the artist's palette of the terroir, providing a wealth of flavor components for the development of the wines.
With an impeccable balance between fruit, complexity and aromatic length, this wine is characterized by a sophisticated minerality, consistent from year to year, with soft and supple tannins and a velvety texture. It is made from the estate's oldest vines, meticulously hand-farmed using organic and biodynamic practices to bring out the finest quality in each cluster. Predominantly Merlot, the blend includes just enough Cabernet Franc to imbue the wine with an elegant tannic structure.
Weather - It was a year characterized by a most unusual alternation of strong heat (in July and September) and cool temperatures in August.
Harvest - The harvest began on 26th of September for Château Fonplégade. They are spread over 3rd of October. Hand-picking with 4 different steps of sorting from the vines to vibrating-belts before and after destemming. The selected berries are then conveyed to the wooden tanks by gravity.
Winemaking - Cold maceration for 5 days in select thermo regulated oak vats. Skin maceration for 40 to 45 days with both pumping-over and hand punching on the cap. Malolactic fermentation in new oak barrels.
Aging - 100% new French oak barrels during 18 to 24 months.
Blend - 91% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc and 2 % Cabernet Sauvignon.
- Color - Deep purple color with solid concentration.
- Nose - Hints of fresh berries and delicate graphite.
- Mouthfeel - An intense, full-bodied and well-defined wine with a dramatically long finish, sweet notes of red and black fruits and a hint of both crushed rock and new oak.