Brilliant ruby colour. This relatively unsung St Emilion owned by the Vauthier family of Ch Ausone has delicious sweet plum fruit aromas, with a lovely broad volume of juicy ripe fruit flavours in the palate. This has subtle depth without being power-packed, and a refreshing touch of acidity on the finish. Good, long and a fine reminder of how rewarding St Emilion wines can be.
Made by Ausone’s perfectionist owner, Alain Vauthier, Fonbel is a sleeper of the vintage in 2009. Raspberry and black currant notes intermixed with incense, camphor and a note of crushed wet/rock steeliness offer up a complex set of aromatics. That is followed by a dense ruby/purple wine with excellent texture, fruit extract and an overall harmony among its various elements. Drink it over the next decade or more.
Made by Ausone's proprietor, Alain Vauthier, this attractive, round, pretty wine is soft and generous, with loads of blueberry and raspberry fruit as well as hints of incense and crushed rock. It should drink well for a decade or more. Drink: 2010 - 2020
Pretty Cabernet Franc aromas of crushed berries and some milk chocolate. Medium- to full-bodied, with soft and silky tannins. Long sweet fruit on the finish.
Clean, fresh, fruit-driven. Good value as always for early to mid-term drinking. Drink 2013-2022.
South of Pomerol lies the medieval, perched village of St Emilion. Surrounding St Emilion are vines that produce round, rich and often hedonistic wines. Despite a myriad of soil types, two main ones dominate - the gravelly, limestone slopes that delve down to the valley from the plateau and the valley itself which is comprised of limestone, gravel, clay and sand. Despite St Emilion's popularity today, it was not until the 1980s to early 1990s that attention was brought to this region. Robert Parker, the famous wine critic, began reviewing their Merlot-dominated wines and giving them hefty scores. The rest is history as they say. Similar to the Médoc, there is a classification system in place which dates from 1955 and outlines several levels of quality. These include its regional appellation of St Emilion, St Emilion Grand Cru, St Emilion Grand Cru Classé and St Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé, which is further divided into "A" (Ausone and Cheval Blanc) and "B" (including Angélus, Canon, Figeac and a handful of others). To ensure better accuracy, the classification is redone every 10 years enabling certain châteaux to be upgraded or downgraded depending on on the quality of their more recent vintages.