There are good wines to be had in Fronsac and Canon-Fronsac in 2014. Eleven wines tasted blind shown by the Grand Cercle last month in St Emilion had attractive fruit tones, freshness and a fair bit of ambition. These wines appear to have early to medium term prospects but are probably best enjoyed in their youth when they are vibrant and full of fruit. That said several have the structure to age for up to a decade. The picks for me were Château Dalem, Haut-Carles, Château La Vielle Cure and Château Les Trois Croix in Fronsac and Château Moulin Pey-Labrie and Château Gaby in Canon-Fronsac.
The following notes were taken at the Grand Cercle’s event held at Château Bellefont-Belicier over the weekend of 28th – 29th March 2015. It’s also important to add that tasting any barrel sample is a tricky business and in trying to judge such infant wine you’re casting judgement on a work-in-progress. Often those wines which feel disjointed now do [usually] settle and I’ve tried to take that into account with the reviews. Any tasting, especially one that is blind where the bottles are identified only by number, is something of a beauty pageant. Those samples that don’t sing on the day obviously don’t compete well with those that do. That’s life I guess.
Château Barrabaque [Canon-Fronsac]
Mid depth; very earthy; green bean/capsicum notes; similar flavours on the palate; easy and soft; earthy notes; easy drinking; little tannin; soft and early maturing style. Easy and earthy red. Drink 2018-2022. 83-85
Château Dalem [Fronsac]
Deep and attractive; nice tones; blackcurrants; some saline notes; little olive; measured; clean and pure; nice balance – elegant blackcurrant tones; some texture too but nicely measured and polished; like this; ranks high on the digestibility index; good effort. Drink 2018-2025. 88-90+
Château La Dauphine [Fronsac]
Mid depth; little liquorice note; plum pudding; ripe and easy; red fruits; little raisin note; later picked style; red fruits; some silk and satin; quite forward and ripe style. Drink 2018-2024. 85-87
Château Gaby [Canon-Fronsac]
Deep looking; dark; lift; some beetroot notes; some sweaty tones; later settled with some red fruit tones; sweet fruit entry; spicy, red fruit style; some satin qualities; easy if lacks a little depth; bit more length on the finish than you might have thought. Will fill out. Drink 2018-2023. 85-87
Mid depth; purple edge; attractive blackcurrant fruit; polished and elegant; nice aromatics; glossy entry; purity and nicely linear; good seam of fruit and emphasis on the fruit which comes through; this is impressive and pure; silky aspect here. Soft and ripe tannins on the finish. Very enjoyable. Drink 2017-2026. 88-90+
Château Moulin Haut-Laroque [Fronsac]
Deepish; vibrant edge; fullish Merlot; lacks complexity; some oak; little hard-edged and disconnected from the fruit; has the elements but a bit of a jumble; lacks bit of class too. Needs to settle. Drink 2018-2023. 83-85.
Château Moulin Pey-Labrie [Canon-Fronsac]
Mid depth; deep at centre; healthy looking; little saline note; some fresh cherry; vibrant; sappy on the nose; this has polish; could be good; cool entry; fresh cherry again; tense; textured red; has good purity and should come good; fresh and quite nicely handled. Should settle well. Nice purity on finish. Drink 2018-2025. 87-89+
Château de la Rivière [Fronsac]
Mid depth; vibrant at edge; some plum tones and ripeness; little wood; light ish palate; feels a bit short of fruit and flesh; little stretched on the finish. Lightish – some wood on the end. May fill out but not certain. Drink 2018-2022. 82-84.
Château Les Trois Croix [Fronsac]
Deep-ish; saturation; nice fruit; ripe; red fruit tones but full; some minerality; palate has bite, blackcurrants; depth and nice fruit tones; this works well; has some earthy purity here; nicely moreish; good tension. Nice ambition here. Drink 2018-2025. 86-88+
Château La Vielle Cure [Fronsac]
Mid depth; dark at centre; blackcurrant; little reduced at first but this dissipates on aeration to show vivacious fruit; has purity and feels linear; nice purity again on the palate; blackcurrant tones; very good and nicely balanced; nice texture and balance between the texture, the flesh and the grip. Moreish and very good. This will settled nicely. Drink 2018-2025. 88-90+
Château Villars [Fronsac]
Saturated look; red at edge; little fuller more burnt; some oak but well managed; smoke; capsicum notes; earth; some blackcurrants; textured palate has flesh but also grip; not that bad in an earthy style; finishes soft and easy. Drink 2018-2025. 85-87+
Tags: Bordeaux, Bordeaux 2014, Canon-Fronsac, Chateau Dalem, Chateau de la Rivière, Chateau Gaby, Château La Dauphine, Château La Vielle Cure, Chateau Les Trois Croix, Château Moulin Haut-Laroque, Chateau Moulin Pey-Labrie, Château Villars, Fronsac, Grand Cercle, Haut-Carles