Chateau Fombrauge St. Emilion Bordeaux, Complete Guide


Learn everything about Chateau Fombrauge St. Emilion with wine tasting notes and wine with food pairing tips. Learn all the best vintages, the history of the property, and information on the vineyards and winemaking. If you want to read about other important, Bordeaux Chateaux: Links to all Bordeaux Wine Producer Profiles

Chateau Fombrauge History, Overview

Chateau Fombrauge is the largest vineyard in St. Emilion. It is also one of the oldest estates in St Emilion as it dates back to 1679. Although vines were cultivated on the site as far know as 1599.

The charming, regal chateau is one of the nicest chateaus in the Right Bank. In fact, it would be at home next to any chateau in the Medoc! Chateau Fombrauge takes its name from one of the earlier owners, Dumas de Fombrauge, who was also a member of the French government in the 1700s.

However, the modern age for Chateau Fombrauge really starts in 1999, when Bernard Magrez purchased Fombrauge from the Hans Just company. One of the first moves made by Bernard Magrez was to hire the ubiquitous Michel Rolland as their consultant.

Chateau Fombrauge is one of the numerous estates owned by Bernard Magrez who also has properties in the Left Bank, Sauternes, and of course in Pessac Leognan with Chateau Pape Clement.

Chateau Fombrauge Vineyards, Terroir, Grapes, Winemaking

The massive, 60 hectare Right Bank vineyard of Chateau Fombrauge is planted to 85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc. The vineyard is the largest Classified Growth in Saint Emilion and the second biggest vineyard in the entire Saint Emilion appellation.

This new planting represents a change in the vines, as today, the amount of Merlot has increased and all the Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as the Malbec vines, have been removed.

The vines average 30 years of age. The vineyard is planted to a vine density of 6,600 vines per hectare. The terroir is clay, limestone, and sandstone soils. But as you might expect, it’s more complicated than that.

The vineyards are basically located in 3 sections, with parcels close to the chateau on the slopes and flats, and they have also had vines that placed not too far from Chateau Pavie, on the limestone slopes with southern exposures. Chateau Fombrauge enjoys one of the highest elevations in the commune reaching up to 75 meters at its peak.

To produce the wine of Chateau Fombrauge, following a 4 to 8-day cold soak at 10 degrees Celsius, the berries are moved to large, oak tanks for fermentation.

For the vinification of Chateau Fombrauge, the estate utilizes 40 vats that are a mixture of wood, cement, and stainless steel that range in size from 80 hectoliters to 20 hectoliters. The vats are divided as follows, 21 wood vats, 18 stainless steel tanks, and 8 cement vats.

The grapes are whole better fermented. Malolactic fermentation is usually equally split between cement or steel vats and French oak barrels. The wine of Chateau Fombrauge is then aged in 50% new, French oak barrels for an average of 16 to 18 months before bottling. The actual length in the barrel of time can vary, depending on the character of the vintage.

Previously, Chateau Fombrauge produced a white Bordeaux wine, but that is no longer the case. The wine is now called Chateau Magrez Fombrauge Blanc and is associated with the other Saint Emilion of Bernard Magrez, Chateau Magrez-Fombrauge. This change took place starting with the 2011 vintage.

For the production of their white Bordeaux wine when it was produced as Fombrauge Blanc, the wine was typically a blend of 40% Semillon, 30% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Sauvignon Gris. The wine is produced from grapes planted in their slightly cooler, mostly limestone soils.

Close to 14,000 cases of wine are produced at Fombrauge in most vintages. There is a second wine, Prelude de Fombrauge. The second wine was previously sold under the name of Le Cadran de Fombrauge.

Chateau Fombrauge is made in a modern, forward, ripe, lush, open, style. Due to its fairly large production, the wine is still sold to consumers for a fair price.

Starting with the 2010 vintage, Chateau Fombrauge began taking anti-counterfeiting measures for their wines using the Intaglio method of bottle etching coupled with Spottag, which adds an invisible ink mark to the labels.

When to Drink Chateau Fombrauge, Anticipated Maturity, Decanting Time

Chateau Fombrauge is better with at least 4-6 years of bottle age. Of course, that can vary slightly, depending on the vintage. Chateau Fombrauge is best enjoyed in the first 5-20 years of life.

Young vintages can be decanted for about 1 hour or so. This allows the wine to soften and open its perfume. Older vintages might need very little decanting, just enough to remove the sediment.

Serving Chateau Fombrauge with Wine and Food Pairings

Chateau Fombrauge is best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift. Chateau Fombrauge is best paired with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, roasted, braised, and grilled dishes.

Chateau Fombrauge is also good when matched with Asian dishes, rich fish courses like tuna, mushrooms, and pasta.

Château Fombrauge Wine Tasting Notes

19 Vintages 125,745 Views Sort by Vintage-Rating

2019 Château Fombrauge  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 92

Deeply colored, with little effort you find roses. chocolate, licorice, smoke, espresso cherries and black plums. Lush, round, soft and polished, there is freshness and length in the fruit-packed, chewy finish. The wine blends ,90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. 92 Points

905 Views   Tasted

Dark in color with a blast of licorice, forest leaf, herbs, espresso and plums get you going. Rich, round, fruity, with layers of ripe, lusciously textured dark plums, licorice and smoke, all topped off with cocoa, the wine was made from blending 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. 90-92 Pts

2,270 Views   Tasted
2018 Château Fombrauge  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 92

Smoky, with a strong dose of licorice, espresso, chocolate fudge, black cherry and plum, this is a concentrated, full-bodied, rich, supple textured wine with layers of ripe, juicy, mouth-filling fruits. Give it at least a few years in the cellar for the oak to better integrate. The wine was made from blending 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. 92 Points

3,894 Views   Tasted

Clearly the most concentrated vintage of Fombrauge ever produced, the wine is round, supple, sweet and charming. The fruit offers freshness with licorice, smoke and just an accent of cocoa. The amount of oak used to age the wine has been dramatically reduced. The wine was made from blending 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc and is aging in 40% new, French oak barrels. 91-93 Pts

5,350 Views   Tasted
2017 Château Fombrauge  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 90

Forward, soft, round and on the fresh side, this wine offers sweet, black cherries, licorice and dark chocolate. Made from a blend of 93% Merlot and 7% Cabernet Franc, there is a bittersweet, cacao overtone floating in the juicy, red plum finish, adding more richness on the palate. 90 Points

4,233 Views   Tasted
2016 Château Fombrauge  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 92

Drinking just great today, the wine is lush, round, ripe, forward, concentrated, and easily focuses you on its chocolate-covered, black cherries, espresso, and licorice nose, and palate. 92 Points

3,645 Views   Tasted

Smoke, licorice, incense and ripe red fruits let you know you are in for a treat. The wine is round, spicy, lush, polished, sweet and silky, with a chocolate covered cherry and licorice finish. Drink this now, or age it for 5 years, drinking it over the following decade. 91 Points

4,386 Views   Tasted

Round, forward, soft, lush and polished in character, there is a sense freshness that keeps the wine on its feet, allowing the black cherry, cocoa, licorice, smoke and espresso filled wine to stand out in a crowd. 91 Points

5,383 Views   Tasted

Forward, round and easy to drink, this wine displays its licorice, black cherry, smoke and espresso with ease. 90 Points

4,569 Views   Tasted
2016 Château Fombrauge Harmonie de Fombrauge  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 90

Black raspberry jam, licorice and espresso are the key to the character here. Medium bodied, round and forward, this will offer delicious, ripe, fruity, black raspberry and red plum qualities with sweetness on release. 90 Points

918 Views   Tasted
2015 Château Fombrauge  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 91

The wine easily shows of its nose of espresso, dark chocolate, licorice and ripe, fleshy, sweet, round black cherries. Richly textured on the palate, the wine leaves you with sweet, soft, polished, ripe, red fruits. 91 Points

4,174 Views   Tasted

Forward, soft, silky and lush, the wine shows off with its espresso, dark chocolate, licorice and ripe, fleshy, sweet, round black cherries with just a swirl. This is the best vintage Fombrauge has ever produced! 91 Points

4,137 Views   Tasted

Already open and easy to drink, this forward, lush, round textured wine shows off with its espresso, dark chocolate, licorice and ripe, black cherry character with ease. 90 Points

4,598 Views   Tasted

Spice box, flowers, licorice, smoke and black raspberries create the nose. In the mouth, this wine is supple, flashy and round, with loads of spicy, smoky, dark red fruits and espresso beans that carry through. 90 Points

4,259 Views   Tasted
2014 Château Fombrauge Blanc  (Bordeaux) 91

Showing just great today. The wine is fresh, bright and crisp with a racy edge to the yellow citrus and honeysuckle. 91 Points

1,381 Views   Tasted
2014 Château Fombrauge  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 88

A licorice and black cherry-filled wine with a round, forward character and a slightly oaky finish. 88-90 Pts

3,464 Views   Tasted
2013 Château Fombrauge  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 88

The smoky, licorice and jammy berry nose leads to a forward, medium-bodied, short finish with fresh red berries. 87-89 Pts

3,201 Views   Tasted
2012 Château Fombrauge  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 91

Packed with licorice, black cherry, cocoa, coffee bean and lush textures, this round, fat, forward styled wine delivers a fleshy, chocolate covered black cherry finish. 90-92 Pts

4,534 Views   Tasted
2011 Château Fombrauge  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 87

Light and forward, with an earthy, cherry and oak entry, this will be drinkable on release. 87 Points

4,153 Views   Tasted

Coffee, licorice, smoke, black raspberry and truffle scents lead to a soft, medium bodied wine ending with a cocoa covered black cherry finish. 88-91 Pts

4,531 Views   Tasted
2010 Château Fombrauge  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 90

Chocolate covered cherries, coffee and licorice sticks create the aromatics. Round, sweet and oaky, give this a few years in the cellar to allow the wood to better integrate. 90 90 Points

5,709 Views   Tasted

Minerals, coffee, cassis and spice aromas open to a medium bodied wine, elegant textures and a dark berry, cassis and fennel finish that was slightly marred by a hint of tartness. 89-91 Pts

6,264 Views   Tasted
2009 Château Fombrauge  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 91

Fully mature, the wine is soft, round, fruity, smoky and easy to like. Lushly textured deep red fruits with a hit of espresso, earth, licorice and cocoa create the finish. You can enjoy this now for pleasure. 91 Points

2,961 Views   Tasted

A really nice wine here. Popped and poured late into the evening, the wine has an open, forward, corpulent, ripe, juicy personality. Lots of licorice, chocolate covered black raspberries, vanilla bean and plum. Drink it now for its hedonistic qualities, or age it for secondary characteristics. Produced from a blend of A blend of 77% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc and 9% Cabernet Sauvignon, from low yields of 27 hectoliters per hectare, the wine reached 15% alcohol and does not display any sensation of heat. This is the best wine I've yet tasted from Fombrauge. 92 Points

5,315 Views   Tasted
2008 Château Fombrauge  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 89

Licorice, truffle, cocoa, black cherry and coconut aromas, soft, round, polished textures and an open, medium bodied, fennel, chocolate, plum finish are what you'll find in this well-priced St. Emilion wine. 89 Points

3,136 Views   Tasted

Light ruby in color with coffee, herbs and cherry aromas, this medium bodied wine finishes with an oaky, cherry finish with hints of green flavors. Drink this on the young side. 87 Points

3,098 Views   Tasted
2007 Château Fombrauge  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 87

Fully mature, medium bodied, with a truffle, licorice, herb and black cherry personality, this requires drinking sooner than later. 87 Points

3,354 Views   Tasted
2006 Château Fombrauge  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 87

Licorice, stone, smoke, soil and plum aromas lead to a medium bodied wine. In the mouth, there is a dryness to the palate, with some hints of green olives in the red berry finish. Perhaps time will help the wine. 87 Points

3,703 Views   Tasted
2005 Château Fombrauge  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 90

Smooth and soft, this medium bodied, round textures wine is open, and ready for drinking with a blast of oak, licorice, cocoa and cherries in the finish. 90 Points

3,455 Views   Tasted

Smoky red berries, black raspberry and licorice make up the perfume. Still young, the fresh, soft, cherry dominated wine has some tannin to resolve. Give it a few more years in the cellar before opening a bottle. 90 Points

3,348 Views   Tasted

Still young, with good color, the wine required air and coaxing before the licorice, jammy black raspberry, black cherry, coffee, cocoa and spice scents emerged. From an assemblage of 77% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc and 9% Cabernet Sauvignon, this full bodied, supple textured, St. Emilion wine demands a few more years of bottle age. 90 Points

4,827 Views   Tasted
2003 Château Fombrauge  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 87

Medium bodied, oaky, with a licorice, jam and black cherry personality, this is past its best years and requires consumption. 87 Points

3,104 Views   Tasted
2000 Château Fombrauge  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 90

Fully mature, this open, round, supple textured wine is filled with sweet, ripe, jammy berries, earth, cocoa, fennel, espresso, smoke and black cherries. 90 Points

3,486 Views   Tasted