Chateau Fleur Cardinale St. Emilion Bordeaux, Complete Guide


Learn everything about Chateau Fleur Cardinale St. Emilion with wine tasting notes and wine with food pairing tips. Learn all the best vintages, a 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 Fleur Cardinale History, Overview

Chateau Fleur Cardinale was purchased by Dominique Decoster and Florence Decoster in 2001. Before the Decoster family bought the property, it was owned by the Asseo family.

Prior to buying their first vineyard, they were in the fine porcelain and China business in the Limoges region of France. They were helped by Jean Luc Thunevin and Murielle Andraud in deciding to purchase the vineyard.

Chateau Fleur Cardinale is located next door to Valandraud and Rol Valentin. Chateau Faugeres is only a stone’s throw away as well and Chateau de Pressac is only a few minutes away.

If you did not know, Fleur Cardinale takes its name was the myriad of roses and other brightly colored flowers that are planted in front and surrounding the chateau, which is the family home. Following their initial purchase of Chateau Fleur Cardinale, they renovated the entire estate and all the wine-making facilities.

Over the past few years, the children of Florence Decoster and Dominique Decoster, Caroline Decoster, and Ludovic Decoster have been taking increased roles in managing the estate and will eventually be placed in charge of Chateau Fleur Cardinale.

Chateau Fleur Cardinale Vineyards, Terroir, Grapes, Winemaking

The 24.5-hectare St. Emilion vineyard of Fleur Cardinale is planted to 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 1% Cabernet Sauvignon at a vine density of 6,500 vines per hectare. The new 24.5-hectare vineyard includes 4 hectares of vines that were added to the estate in 2012.

There are also 2 hectares of white Bordeaux wine grapes planted to Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Sauvignon Gris. The first vintage for their white wine is 2021.

Those vines were previously used to produce Croix Cardinale. The new plots are planted to a higher density of 8,500 viners per hectare. The vines are old, with an average age of 40 years. They have older vines, with some of their Merlot vines dating back 60 years.

The terroir is dark red clay over limestone soil in the St. Etienne-de-Lisse sector, which is situated due east of the St. Emilion village. The vineyard is ideally situated, on a gentle slope, next to the chateau that reaches 75 meters at its peak.

Fleur Cardinale has a cooler, late-ripening terroir, which coupled with the Decoster’s drive for picking ripe fruit, often has Fleur Cardinale is one of the last chateaus to finish harvesting in the Right Bank.

The vineyard is farmed using organic, self-sustainable farming techniques. In 2013, Fleur Cardinale was awarded their certification by the Environmental Management System (S.M.E.).

In the vineyard, de-leafing and crop thinning are handled with no chemical products or pesticides of any kind. Only organic fertilizers are used. After a first selection in the vineyard, the grapes are harvested manually and placed into small boxes so that the ripe grapes are not crushed.

The grapes are sorted twice by hand, before and after the destemmer. To aid in the sorting process, the estate uses the Tribaie sorting machine, which sorts the grapes by the desired level of density.

To produce the wine of Chateau Fleur Cardinale is a very labor-intensive process. For the vinification, the juice undergoes a cold maceration at 5 degrees Celsius for 5 or 6 days. This is followed by alcoholic fermentation and a warm maceration for 2 to 3 weeks. All the pumping over is done by gravity, which avoids stirring the musts.

Vinification takes place in 25 small, thermoregulated, stainless steel vats. The number of vats is equal to the various parcels of vines. This allows the vinification to be done by on a parcel by parcel basis. The vats range in size from 25 hectoliters up to 90 hectoliters. However, most of the vats are 70 hectoliters.

Malolactic fermentation takes place in 100% new oak barrels and in tanks. The wine of Chateau Fleur Cardinale is aged in 100% new, French oak barrels for an average of 12 to 15 months. Fortunately for consumers, there is a lot of wine made each year.

There is a second wine that made its debut with the 2018 vintage, Intuition. On average, the production of Chateau Fleur Cardinale is close to 10,000 cases of wine per vintage.

The best vintages of Chateau Fleur Cardinale are: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2008 and 2005. Earlier vintages are not at the same level of quality, especially those which were produced prior to the purchase by the Decoster family.

Fleur Cardinale Croix Cardinale

In 2011 the Decoster’s added Croix Cardinale to their Fleur Cardinale portfolio of Saint Emilion wines. With the name Croix Cardinale, are you sensing there is a pattern here with the Cardinale theme? Purchased in April 2011, the 4-hectare vineyard has a terroir similar to Fleur Cardinale with its clay and limestone soil.

The vineyard is planted to 70% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, sharing the same St. Emilion vineyard plantings as well. On average the vines are 40 years of age. The vineyard is planted to a vine density of 5,500 vines per hectare. Not much wine is made, as the average production is close to 1,200 cases per vintage.

The Decoster family also produces Bois de Cardinale as well as Secret de Cardinal. Secret de Cardinale comes from vines located on a 1.20-hectare plot bordering Chateau Fleur Cardinale. This 100% Merlot wine is made using the same growing and wine-making techniques as Chateau Fleur Cardinale.

2010 Fleur Cardinale April

When to Drink Chateau Fleur Cardinale, Anticipated Maturity, Decanting Time

Chateau Fleur Cardinale is better with at least 6-9 years of aging in good vintages. Young vintages can be decanted for 1-2 hours or more.

This allows the wine to soften and open its perfume. Older vintages might need very little decanting, just enough to remove the sediment. Chateau Fleur Cardinale offers its best drinking and should reach peak maturity between 8-22 years of age after the vintage.

Serving Chateau Fleur Cardinale with Wine and Food Pairings

Chateau Fleur Cardinale is best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift.

Chateau Fleur Cardinale is best paired with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, roasted, braised, and grilled dishes. Chateau Fleur Cardinale is also good when matched with Asian dishes, rich fish courses like tuna, mushrooms, and pasta.

Secret de Cardinale was an early effort at producing wine from 100% Merlot. The wine came from their clay and limestone soils and was aged in 100% new, French oak barrels for an average of 13 months. The final vintage for Secret de Cardinal was 2012. The wine is no longer being produced. The vines are now being used for the production of Fleur Cardinale.

Château Fleur Cardinale Wine Tasting Notes

33 Vintages 358,684 Views Sort by Vintage-Rating

2020 Château Fleur Cardinale  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 94

Dark in color, the wine is all about its dark red fruits, licorice, smoke, wet earth and tobacco leaf characteristics. On the palate. the wine is rich, lush, ripe and voluptuous, with a finish that packs in layers of espresso, black fruits, licorice and dark chocolate. Full-bodied, concentrated and long, this is the best Fleur Cardinale I have tasted in a few years. 93-95 Pts

1,397 Views   Tasted
2020 Château Croix Cardinale  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 91

5 spice, cocoa infused red berries, smoke and herbs open the wine. On the palate you find soft, layers of sweet plums and cherries. Medium-bodied, fresh and with an intriguing touch of spice, the wine ends with notes of bitter chocolate, espresso beans and red plums. 90-92 Pts

755 Views   Tasted
2019 Château Fleur Cardinale  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 93

Medium/full-bodied with a real sweetness and soft, lush quality to the fruit, this wine delivers more freshness than you usually find here in all the gorgeous black, red and blue fruits. The wine is a blend of 76% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 4% Cabernet Sauvignon. 92-94 Pts

4,358 Views   Tasted
2019 Château Croix Cardinale  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 91

Dark in color, with a kick of smoke, licorice and chocolate-covered black cherries on the nose, the wine is soft, round, fruity, sweet, plummy and forward. You can enjoy this on release. 90-92 Pts

2,459 Views   Tasted
2018 Château Fleur Cardinale  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 94

Full-bodied, round, lush and polished, this richly textured wine is filled with espresso, dark chocolate, licorice, and dark red fruits. The wine is round, full of flesh and flash with an endless supply of dark chocolate and ripe fruits. The wine is a blend of 70% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. 94 Points

2,317 Views   Tasted

Loaded with licorice, chocolate, coffee bean and black fruits, the wine is fleshy, round, fruit-filled and finishes with lusciously textured, espresso, dark plums, licorice and even darker cocoa. The wine is a blend of 70% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. The harvest took place September 27 - October 24. 93-95 Pts

5,502 Views   Tasted
2018 Château Croix Cardinale  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 91

Medium/full bodied, silky, polished, forward and juicy, this wine is a show off with its ripe fruits, licorice, smoke and chocolate. Enjoy this early drinking charmer while waiting for its big brother to develop. 90-92 Pts

1,336 Views   Tasted
2018 Château Fleur Cardinale Intuition  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 90

The debit vintage for the new, second wine from Fleur Cardinale isr Round, soft and forward with a core of chocolate covered plums and licorice, this is prefect to enjoy today while waiting for its big sister to develop. 90 Points

1,929 Views   Tasted
2017 Château Fleur Cardinale  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 93

Due to heavy frost damage, only 1,000 numbered magnums were produced for this vintage. Blue-black dark with a faultlessly effective density of flavor, richness and length, the wine is round with impressive quantities of dark chocolate, licorice and juicy plums. 93 Points

4,314 Views   Tasted
2016 Château Fleur Cardinale  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 94

Deep in color the wine offers round, luscious textures that allow the full weight of the fruits to come though on your palate. Concentrated, with waves of licorice, smoke, dark chocolate, black cherries and espresso, the wine is rich, fat and juicy, ending with a blast of opulent chocolate-covered plums, coffee bean and black cherry. 94 Points

5,593 Views   Tasted

Luscious textures with purity of fruit, this wine is all about the chocolate-covered plums and black cherry with their licorice and floral accents. The tannins are soft, the texture is velvety and the dark red fruits, anise, smoke, cocoa and earthy personality really shine in the finish. 95 Points

5,713 Views   Tasted
2016 Château Croix Cardinale  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 92

Medium/full bodied, soft, round, fresh and loaded with ripe, dark, juicy fat berries, licorice, chocolate and mocha, the wine is forward, spicy and fresh. Drink this wine while waiting for its big sister to develop. 92 Points

1,725 Views   Tasted

Lushly textured, medium/full bodied, fresh, ripe and juicy, there are loads of sweet, silky, soft fruits and licorice that will satisfy any hedonist. 92 Points

1,331 Views   Tasted
2015 Château Fleur Cardinale  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 94

Is there a better wine for the money in St. Emilion today? I don't think so! This sexy little beast is loaded with juicy dark fruits, chocolate, licorice, espresso and plums. This should offer pleasure early and age for years as well. 94 Points

5,954 Views   Tasted

It's the texture that reels you in and rolls you over. A lavish, satiny cloud of luscious fruits, flowers, coffee bean, juicy plum liqueur and sweet black cherries coated in chocolate keep you involved with this wine. Concentrated, rich and round, the wine was produced from a blend of 75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Reaching 14.5% alcohol with a pH of 3.47, the wine is aging in 100% new, French oak barrels. 94 Points

7,521 Views   Tasted
2015 Château Croix Cardinale  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 92

Silky, plush and polished with weight, density and freshness, the licorice-covered, spicy fruits and sweet, polished tannins feel and taste great on your palate. 92 Points

1,732 Views   Tasted
2014 Château Fleur Cardinale  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 93

Flowers, espresso, plum, truffle, chocolate notes, this wine is supple, round, ripe, sensuous, pure, clean and fresh. A very elegant, vintage for Fleur Cardinale, this wine is produced from a blend of 75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Reaching 14% alcohol, the wine is aging in 100% new, French oak barrels. 92-94 Pts

6,189 Views   Tasted
2014 Château Croix Cardinale  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 89

Chocolate-covered cherries with a hint of truffle in the nose, this wine is silky, smooth and inviting with sweet berries and coffee bean in the finish. 89-91 Pts

1,724 Views   Tasted
2013 Château Fleur Cardinale  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 92

Deep garnet in color with licorice, coffee bean, flowers, stone and spicy, plum scentsthe wine offers a supple, plush, polished and sweet finish brimming with boysenberry, fresh cherry, spice and cocoa. The wine was made with a blend of 60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and reached 13.5% alcohol. After sorting, the yields were only 16 hectoliters per hectare. The wine is aging in 100% new French oak for close to 12 months. 91-93 Pts

4,345 Views   Tasted
2012 Château Fleur Cardinale  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 92

Forward in style, you can already enjoy the supple textured, multi-layered, sweet, ripe, dark red, juicy fruits, mocha, chocolate and black cherries found here. 92 Points

4,753 Views   Tasted

Ripe, sweet, black cherry, plum, licorice and chocolate scents greet your nose. Your palate is introduced to lush, sensuous textures and a rich, polished finish. 93 Points

4,923 Views   Tasted

Truffle, earth, spice, blackberry, plum and cocoa scents open to a full bodied, sweet, round wine with character and ripeness. 92-94 Pts

8,723 Views   Tasted
2012 Château Croix Cardinale  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 90

This Merlot dominated wine delivers a medium bodied blast of chocolate covered cherry, licorice and cocoa with soft, round textures in a forward style. This is already drinking well. 90 Points

1,735 Views   Tasted

Lush, sweet, fleshy, ripe and over ripe berries, with licorice, dark chocolate and black cherry liqueur. 90-92 Pts

1,880 Views   Tasted
2012 Secret de Cardinale  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 90

From 100% Merlot, the wine is supple textured, soft, round and filled with jammy, chocolate covered cherries. This is perfect for early drinking. 89-91 Pts

2,103 Views   Tasted
2011 Château Croix Cardinale  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 92

2011 is the debut vintage for the Decosters, the owners of Fleur Cardinale and Secret de Cardinale. With the name Croix Cardinale, are you sensing a pattern here? Truffle, chocolate, licorice and jammy black berries are found in the perfume. Rich, polished, sexy and long, the plush finish is filled with chocolate-covered plums. From a blend of 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine reached 15% alcohol and will be aged in 100% new oak. 91-93 Pts

2,261 Views   Tasted
2011 Secret de Cardinale  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 92

From a parcel that is separate and distinctive from Fleur Cardinale and planted with 100% Merlot, the vines are 35 years of age. Deep in color with purple accents, vanilla, chocolate, plum and black raspberry scents, this plush, supple-textured wine opens into a long, ripe and pure dark chocolate-, black cherry- and blue fruit-filled finish. 91-93 Pts

2,496 Views   Tasted
2011 Château Fleur Cardinale  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 90

Medium bodied, forward in style, and while not mature, this is definitely ready to drink, with its soft, round textured, dark cherries, espresso, cocoa and fennel notes, in the perfume, palate and finish. This is perfect for drinking, while waiting for the 2009 and 2010 to reach maturity. 90 Points

3,736 Views   Tasted

Dark chocoalte, flowers and black cherry notes are easy to find in the aromatics. Soft, round, forward and open, this early drinking wine delivers a lot of pleasure in the glass with its lush style. 91 Points

4,949 Views   Tasted

Packed with black licorice, floral, stone, blackberry and chocolate, this blend of 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon produced a lush, round, St. Emilion that ended with chocolate covered black cherries. This is a very successful wine for the vintage. 90-93 Pts

4,734 Views   Tasted
2010 Château Fleur Cardinale  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 94

It is so easy to drink this right now, the wine is lush, round, opulent, dark in color and fruit, concentrated and loaded with licorice, smoke, black cherry and chocolate. 94 Points

4,312 Views   Tasted

Rich, concentrated, and loaded to the gills with velvety, fat, lush, juicy, sweet, dark, fleshy fruits. Deep in flavor and color, the wine is still quite young, yet it's also hard to not pop a cork and dig it, for what it shows today. With its extra jolt of freshness and purity, this is probably the best vintage yet produced by Fleur Cardinale. 95 Points

5,990 Views   Tasted

Everything about this wine is great from the start, with its showy aromatics to the opulent, sensuous, rich layers of fat, ripe, sweet, fresh fruits. Yes, I know its young. But all great wines show well young and get better with age. There are not many wines at this level of quality that sell for this reasonable price. 94 Points

6,425 Views   Tasted

If there is a better in St. Emilion, I’d like to hear about. The remarkable level of consistency displayed in the wines of Fleur Cardinale is also tough to beat. Packed with black and blue fruits, licorice, dark cherry jam, earth and chocolate, the wine is intense, dense and opulent in texture, finishing with layers of sweet, ripe, rich, fresh, polished fruits. 94 Points

8,454 Views   Tasted

Fleur Cardinale From an 18 hectare, clay and limestone vineyard, located next to Valandraud, Florence and Dominique Decoster put a lot of effort into their 2010, starting with reducing their yields to 36 hectoliters per hectare. With its deep color, cassis, blackberry, licorice and jammy liqueur aromas exude from the glass. This full-bodied wine offers layers of opulent dark fruit ending with a fresh, licorice, blackberry, dark cherry and chocolate finish. From an assemblage of 78% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Merlot, the wine reached 14.5% alcohol. This is the best wine from the estate since their outstanding 2005. For consumers not yet familiar with this estate, Fleur Cardinale is one of the most consistent Bordeaux producers making wines that combine price and quality. 93-95 Pts

10,703 Views   Tasted
2009 Château Fleur Cardinale  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 93

A true wine of pleasure with its layers of ripe, black plums, dark chocolate, licorice, smoke, espresso, and cherries. The wine is plush, polished, and long, leaving you with a richly textured, fruit-packed finish. Popped and poured, the wine is ready to go. 93 Points

1,587 Views   Tasted

Just a pop and a pour is all this needs to get going. The chocolate covered, dark cherries, licorice, smoke and juicy array of plums are al wrapped up in a plush, opulent finish that is ready to go. If you can keep your hands off this beauty, the truffle notes found in the background will come on much stronger. 93 Points

2,621 Views   Tasted

Round, opulent, forward and loaded with chocolate covered black cherries, plums, licorice, espresso and smoke, this lushly textured wine really delivers the goods. 94 Points

3,810 Views   Tasted

Luscious, sensuous, opulent, perfectly ripe, inky, dark fruits. Gobs of black licorice, dark chocolate, smoke and espresso also show up for the party. The wine is long, concentrated, deep and mouth filling. This wine of pleasure has the ability to age and evolve. And the best part is, this is still available at a fair price too! What more can you ask for? 94 Points

4,175 Views   Tasted

Lush, opulent, sweet, ripe fruits, licorice, chocolate and earth, with hedonistic textures are already available, if you like your wines young. 94 Points

5,310 Views   Tasted

Opulent, rich, concentrated and plush, the chocolate covered plums, cherries and truffle notes with that fresh kick of boysneberry are hard to resist. Still, its best days are in the future. 94 Points

4,673 Views   Tasted

From a blend of 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, fennel, dark chocolate covered boysenberry, plum and spice aromas, full bodied, silky, round and rich in texture, the wine ends with sweet, fleshy, juicy, licorice, spice and plums. 94 Points

8,812 Views   Tasted

2009 Fleur Cardinale, 70% merlot, 20% cabernet franc, and 10% cabernet sauvignon, offers a nose of kirsch, black raspberry, espresso, and jammy blackberries. Full bodied, rich, and ripe, this wine finishes with sweet black cherries, licorice, mocha, and spice. 91-94 Pts

9,377 Views   Tasted
2009 Secret de Cardinale  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 93

From 100% Merlot, black licorice, smoke, coffee, black cherry liqueur and vanilla scents lead to an intense, full bodied, concentrated wine packed with fat layers of sweet chocolate, boysenberry, blueberry, licorice and cocoa. Lusty, thick and opulent, this will drink well young. This is my favorite vintage of Secret de Cardinale produced by the Decosters yet! For people that appreciate details, 2009 Secret de Cardinale could win the title for making wine from the lowest yields of the vintage. The wine was produced from an amazing 7 hectoliters per hectare! 93 Points

3,111 Views   Tasted
2008 Château Fleur Cardinale  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 92

This is so deeply colored, it looks like a baby. The wine is loaded with layers of black cherries, plums, cherries and licorice, Lush, rich, and long, the finish brings it all home with its juicy, black cherry, chocolate and licorice finish. 92 Points

2,235 Views   Tasted

Still with nice, deep, color, you can easily find the licorice; truffle, crushed stones, dark, plums, black cherries and smoke. There is length and freshness and the finish is replete with sweet, juicy, plums and dark chocolate. Give this a few more years and it should rock! 92 Points

3,328 Views   Tasted

No need to decant. Just pop and pour this licorice, chocolate covered cherry, fudge and earthy scented wine and enjoy its open, lush, round, fruit filled pleasures. 91 Points

3,936 Views   Tasted

Already drinking well, this medium bodied, round, soft, sweet expression of St. Emilion is probably best enjoyed on the young side. 90 Points

6,332 Views   Tasted

Chocolate, licorice and jammy black raspberry notes work well with the soft, lush, round, inviting textures. The wine ends with sweet plums and cocoa. This tasty wine is already offering pleasure. 91 Points

5,118 Views   Tasted

08 Château Fleur Cardinale, from 70% merlot, 20% cabernet franc, and 10% cabernet sauvignon, is dark with purple accents. Filled with jammy black fruit, oak, and fennel, this fat, concentrated, plush wine offers ample quantities of licorice coated black fruit in the long, opulent finish. 91-94 Pts

4,843 Views   Tasted
2008 Secret de Cardinale  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 91

08 Secret de Cardinale, from 100% merlot, is deep ruby, with oak, licorice, and ripe black fruit in the nose. The wine shows a sweet, opulent character, but seems lighter than its better known relative, Fleur Cardinale. 88-91 Pts

3,135 Views   Tasted
2007 Château Fleur Cardinale  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 89

Fully mature with a salty, mineral character, coupled with red berries, licorice, tobacco and forest leaf. Medium bodied, soft and ready, the wine needs to be consumed sooner than later. 89 Points

3,119 Views   Tasted
2006 Château Fleur Cardinale  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 90

A firm, masculine vintage for this normally, soft, polished, sexy wine. Here, you find harder tannins than usual, and a crisp, fresh character the wine sweet, dark, red fruits. This should age longer than most vintages of Fleur Cardinale. An hour to 90 minutes of air, could help soften the wine. 90 Points

3,813 Views   Tasted

A bit on the muscular, structured side for Fleur Cardinale. The nose, with its licorice, caramel, earth, dark chocolate and black cherry personality charms you. But there is a firmness on the palate that I was not expecting in this normally seductive wine. Made from a blend of 75% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, I'd give it 2-4 more years in the bottle to soften the tannins. 90 Points

4,546 Views   Tasted

It took about 45 minutes before the truffle, chocolate covered black cherry, smoke, licorice and spicy nose hit full bloom and the tannins softened. The finish is soft, with a red and black, sweet and tart plum quality, along with a hint of dryness in the finish. 90 Points

3,038 Views   Tasted

Licorice, spice and gobs of black cherries in the nose, supple textures and a round, fennel, blackberry filled finish. This is drinking great today. 90 Points

4,353 Views   Tasted

With licorice coated black and blue fruit, this is a more structured, firm style of Fleur Cardinal. Full bodied and rich, the wine ends with a blend of cassis and spicy blackberries. 90 Points

4,907 Views   Tasted
2005 Château Fleur Cardinale  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 93

Lush, ripe, round, open and loaded with licorice, smoke, espresso, black cherry, chocolate and plums. Clearly a wine for hedonistic pleasure that while it is still youthful, is offering a lot of pleasure today. Popped and poured, this is not a wine requiring decanting, it is fully ready to go. 93 Points

3,275 Views   Tasted

The first bottle of my second case, shows you how much I like this wine. With 30-45 minute of air, it is easy to see why, as the wine fills out on the full bodied, rich palate. Now, you find secondary notes of wet earth, roasted cherry, licorice smoke and burnt wood. In the mouth, the soft textured ripe, sweet, chocolate covered cherry and plum feels great. You find a bit of licorice in the end note. This is probably close to fully mature. It might get a bit better from here, but this is so tasty now, why wait? 94 Points

3,682 Views   Tasted

Still youthful at 12 years of age, the offers depth of color, flavor and intensity. The fruit is perfectly ripe, the tannins are lush, lending an opulent quality to the texture. Dark chocolate, licorice and loads of black cherries are all over the place. This has been a joy to drink since it was bottled and it should remain at this high level for at least another 15 more years. 94 Points

3,936 Views   Tasted

While the wine might not be gaining in complexity, the chocolate, sweet, black cherry, truffle and cigar wrapper notes are already charming. Where the wine already shines is on the palate, as the texture continues to soften, adding more silky touches as the wine fills out. If you own it, this is a good time to start popping your corks. The bottle was decanted for about 30 minutes at most. This is definitely ready to go. 93 Points

5,435 Views   Tasted

The first of many vintages that really showed how good this estate can be, is ready to drink. The wine is already showing its plush, round, opulent silky mouthfeel. With a nose of dark chocolate, licorice, espresso, dark cherry and truffle, the wine finishes with a blast of chocolate covered, ripe black cherries, thyme and sweet juicy plums. 93 Points

4,686 Views   Tasted

Licorice, cocoa, black cherry, plums, truffle and chocolate scents create the nose. On the palate, this luscious, sensuous, rich wine leaves a silky, smooth, plush sensation that lingers. 93 Points

5,322 Views   Tasted

This is really coming around. The soft, plush, ripe, polished character with layers of lush, sweet juicy fruit is more than ready to go. That being said, there is no hurry to drink it, but there is no need to wait either. 93 Points

5,704 Views   Tasted

This wine has never closed down. It's been delicious since it was first bottled. Chocolate covered black raspberries, black cherries, licorice and hints of wet earth are paired with concentrated, opulently textured fruits and a sensuous finish that comes alive with 30 minutes of air. This is a wine for pleasure seekers! 93 Points

6,001 Views   Tasted

With its licorice, truffle, smoke, black cherry and earthy aromas, soft, round textures and sweet dark berry with black cherry, cocoa and plum finish, this is a pleasure to drink today. 94 Points

7,019 Views   Tasted

With its showy nose of licorice, espresso bean, earth, dark cherry, plum and cocoa, coupled with silky, plush textures, this is pure bottled pleasure. Still young, this is showing great now. It’s going to get better, but there is no reason to wait before popping a cork. 94 Points

6,213 Views   Tasted

Deep in color with a perfume that pops from the glass with notes of licorice, chocolate, blackberry liqueur, stone, smoke, espresso and plums. Rich, opulent, concentrated and flamboyant in texture, this sexy St. Emilion is offering a lot of pleasure today. Still primary, because the tannins are ripe and plush, it's worth opening a bottle today to experience its lush qualities. 94 Points

11,023 Views   Tasted

With swirling and coaxing, juicy black plums, jammy blackberries, coco, licorice and kirsch greet your nose. This concentrated wine fills your mouth with pleasure ending with a long opulent, sensation of rich, chocolate covered dark pit fruits, cassis and fennel. Another 5-7 years will add a lot of complexity and texture to this wine. 94 Points

12,870 Views   Tasted

Already approachable due to its sexy style, this concentrated wine is filled with dark berries, blue fruit, licorice, chocolate and spice. With the structure to age, this will add complexities with a few more years of bottle age. 94 Points

4,886 Views   Tasted
2004 Château Fleur Cardinale  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 90

Only the third vintage for the new owners, and it is obvious that things continue improving here. Medium bodied, and soft in texture, the dark red fruits offer the right levels of sweetness and freshness. The smoke, tobacco, fennel, and earthy notes add to the fruits and to the fun. However, this is fully mature and should be consumed before the wine hits 20 years of age. 90 Points

3,249 Views   Tasted

Either there is bottle variation, or I was extremely unlucky as it took 3 bottles to find one that showed the opulent, chocolate covered cherry, licorice and lush profile that we usually expect from Fleur Cardinale. 89 Points

2,554 Views   Tasted

Better on the nose than the palate with its licorice, earth and black cherry perfume. This medium bodied, easy to like, round wine seems to be less interesting than it was a few years ago. I'd opt for drinking this over the next few years before it drops more of its fruit. 88 Points

3,768 Views   Tasted

Black raspberries, espresso bean, licorice and cassis get you going. Opulent in texture and concentrated with sweet ripe, jammy berries, this delicious wine is already drinking well. 92 Points

4,631 Views   Tasted
2003 Château Fleur Cardinale  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 90

Soft, polished and while not concentrated, there is ample, ripe, lush, dark cherries, licorice, fig, dark chocolate, smoke and kirsch in the nose and on the palate. With bricking to the color starting to kick in, this is not a wine to hold for further development. 90 Points

2,416 Views   Tasted

Fully mature, the plush, dark cherry, chocolate and truffle filled personality is delivering its all today. I’d opt for drinking this over the next 3-5 years. 90 Points

2,307 Views   Tasted

Licorice, blackberry jam, smoke, chocolate and earthy scents offer their charm with little effort. Lush textures, medium body and a ripe, mocha, cherry tinged sensation are found in the finish. There is no reason to hold this wine any longer. It’s close or at full maturity. 91 Points

3,863 Views   Tasted

This is the first vintage that showed real promise to Florence and Dominique Decoster. Ripe Jammy plums, licorice and black cherries make up the perfume. This round and lushly textured wine offers ample jammy black raspberries, chocolate, spice and hints of fennel. This is drinking perfect today. I've tasted this wine numerous times with consistent results. I'd drink this over the next 5-7 years 92 Points

5,233 Views   Tasted
2002 Château Fleur Cardinale  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 85

Fully mature, medium bodied, with juicy, sweet and tart plums, freshness, and hints of leafy herbs in the finish. 85 Points

1,796 Views   Tasted

This fully mature wine shows coffee, cassis and truffle aromas. There is some green flavors in the plummy finish. Drink up. 87 Points

3,422 Views   Tasted
2001 Château Fleur Cardinale  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 86

Fully mature, the debut vintage for the new owners, the Decoster family is on the light side, with more red fruits than black in its makeup. Here, you also find freshness, licorice, sweet cherries, tobacco, soft textures and an earthy quality. The wine needs to be consumed sooner than later, if you are lucky enough to have a bottle. 86 Points

2,121 Views   Tasted

This slightly past fully mature wine is medium bodied and displays dark berries and earthy flavors. The tannins do not feel fully ripe. This is the debut vintage of this wine for Dominique and Florence Decoster. 85 Points

2,722 Views   Tasted