2011 Fonbabet, Pauillac
Dark hued with layers of dark fruit (cherries, plums, blackberry) and other tertiary tones (graphite, ink) this solid and classic Pauillac CBS has good concentration with a noticeable structure (tannins, acidity, and wood spice). A modern Pauillac (medium bodied, mere 13% abv.) that gives uncomplicated, pleasurable drinking,
The 2011 Fonbabet in EP tasting was somewhat a ‘difficult’ according to our tasting notes. It displayed loads of structure (tannins and acidity in particular). Six years of bottle ageing, however, has turned this 2011 Fonbadet into a chic’ Pauillac (never backward, overdone, heady, over extracted).
Having tasted most of the vintages since 1997, we venture to suggest that in pre 2000 Fonbadet might have modelled on the traditional Pauillac Crus. With new style of vinfication(concrete fermentation, malo in vat, new oak 30% for 18 months storage, daily pump over, frequent barrel top-up) we believe Chateau Fonbadet is a contender for the best valued Pauillac, a chic Pauillac which is modish, casual , understated, elegant and stylishly fashionable) giving just right intensity, complexity, length and typicite.
Diligent vineyard practice(10000 vines per ha, old vines of over 50 years, handpicked, destemming, green harvest) and excellent natural endowment(vineyard sandwiched amongst Latour/Pichon Comtesse, Lynch Bages, and Mouton), this wines also maximized grape diversity(60% cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit verdot) to create adequate complexity. We are not saying this is the best Pauillac, Chateau Fonbadet has attained a very very high standard of rating. In the lack lustre vintages from 2011 to 2014, never had this wine been rated below 92 points in the ratings of WE and JS. To us this is almost a Pauillac Cru.
Leading scores are:
92 points Wine Enthusiast
Barrel sample. With big sweet fruits from the Cabernet Sauvignon, this wine has weight, structure and the juicy charm of the year. (5/2012)
Leading commentaries are:
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Tasted at the Cru Bourgeois tasting in London. The 2011 Fonbadet has a crisp bouquet, a little more floral than its Pauillac peers, with subtle raspberry and wild strawberry notes. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins, a gentle grip and Asian spices sprinkled towards the truffle-inspired finish...(NM) (3/2014)
Solid, with a bolt of graphite running from start to finish, connecting the plum cake, blackberry coulis and briar notes. Delivers a streak of underlying acidity. (Web Only—2014)