For the savvy buyer, the combination of a high-class vintage such as 2016 and the winemaking skill, pedigree and heritage of the Vauthier family, offers an unmissable opportunity.
This morning we see the release of two Right Bank stars: Moulin St Georges and Fonbel.
Moulin St Georges borders the southern entrance of St Emilion with its vineyards adjoining those of the iconic Chateau Ausone. In 2016 it is beautifully crafted and as gorgeous as ever. It shows the high-class wines that are being produced at this estate, with a mere 1,833 cases being produced.
Every one of the critics applauded this wine, Galloni calling it ‘Understated and gracious… absolutely delicious’ and Neal Martin giving a score of 90-92, on par with the 2015. We completely agree, at under £25 per bottle, for us this is one of the top value buys of the Right Bank.
Fonbel should also not be overlooked. Situated below Ausone and Moulin St Georges, it offers a charmingly juicy and supple wine that will provide early drinking pleasure at a very reasonable price of under £13 per bottle.
In today’s Bordeaux market with the pedigree these wines hold, surely this is where some of the clever money will be spent.
Ch Moulin St Georges Grand Cru St Emilion 2016
£280.00 per 12 bottles IB
£290.00 per 6 magnums IB
Situated on the southerly entrance to the town of St Emilion, this is a beauty, consisting of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. Vibrant purple in colour, this is all subtlety and elegance. Lovely perfumed aromas, with hints of violets and blossoming wild flowers. Very rounded with a silky texture. Long and hugely rewarding. Fabulous. Drink 2023 -2035. 93-95 points, Goedhuis & Co
The 2016 Moulin St Georges is a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc picked from 11-15 October and matured in 85% new oak. This has a slightly lighter and airy bouquet than the Haut Simard, perhaps a touch of more austere compared to the 2015 last year. The palate is medium-bodied with supple, juicy tannin that belie the structure underneath. There is just a touch of tightness here, expected at this nascent juncture, quite linear towards the finish, yet there is good persistence here. On par with the 2015 for sure, although we have to wait and see whether it will be better. 90-92 points, Neal Martin
A very firm and focussed wine, Moulin has taken a step up in 2016 with much more length and power coupled with more detail on the palate and a more enchanting aroma, too. This is a superb wine. 17.5+ points, Matthew Jukes
The 2016 Moulin Saint-Georges is a soft, supple Saint Émilion that will drink well pretty much upon release. Understated and gracious, the 2016 offers lovely purity from start to finish. Sweet floral notes add striking aromatic lift to a wine that is built on length and persistence as opposed to size. Even at this early stage, Moulin Saint-Georges is absolutely delicious. 88-91 points, Antonio Galloni
A deep and pretty wine with lovely texture and fruit. Medium body, fine tannins and a savory finish. Delicate. 90-91 points, James Suckling
Ch de Fonbel St Emilion 2016
£155.00 per 12 bottles IB
£165.00 per 6 magnums IB
The 2016 Fonbel is a blend of 70% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot and 7% Carmenere picked from 29 September until 18 October at 50 hectoliters per hectare. It has a pretty cranberry and blackcurrant-scented bouquet, quite transparent and terroir-driven with nicely integrated oak (30% aged in new oak). The palate is medium-bodied with crisp tannin, a lively and breezy Saint Emilion, not the most complex you will find but full of personality. The freshness suggests that this will drink early, and that Carmenere just gives it something different (although Pauline Vauthier mentioned that she will regraft some of those vines). 88-90 points, Neal Martin
The 2016 de Fonbel is soft, supple and quite pretty. Sweet, floral aromatics and gently lilting small red fruits give the 2016 its delicate, gracious personality. A model of understatement and class, the 2016 should drink well pretty much right out of the gate. Today, the 2016 is a touch compact. It will be interesting to see if it fleshes out a bit more during its aging. 88-91 points, Antonio Galloni
Very linear, purple-hued and smooth with some oak evident, but the main theme is a velvety plum feel which is plump and direct. Not overly long or expressive, this is an elegant, accurate Fonbel for medium term drinking. 16.5 points, Matthew Jukes
Rich autumnal hedgerow packed with ripe blackberry fruits and overlaid with a fresh, herbal, spicy edge that pulls the mid-palate inwards and allows it to expand on the finish. Expertly done and very enjoyable. 70% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot and 7% Carmenere. From the Vauthier stable. 91 points. Decanter