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Bordeaux Primeurs 2012: Fronsac & Canon-Fronsac

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux


These appellations have produced a serious set of wines in 2012. There is plenty of fruit, complexity in many cases and no shortage of style. I’d expect these to be well priced and should prove good buys, better bets frankly than many of their similarly priced counterparts on the Haut-Médoc in this vintage. As you’d expect of Fronsac/Canon-Fronsac the wines are more structured than many of those in the Côtes de Bordeaux, less lush, more intellectual. Having just said that Chateau de la Dauphine looks an absolute treat. It is really seductive.

I was also impressed with Aria du Chateau de la Rivière [as well as Chateau de la Rivière], Chateau Dalem, Chateau Gaby, Haut-Carles and Chateau de Carlmagnus, but many others should also provide positive drinking, Bordeaux with freshness, fruit, structure and style. The following wines were tasted blind at the Cercle de Rive Droite at Chateau Barde-Haut in St Emilion on Sunday 7th April 2013.

Chateau de la Dauphine, Fronsac

Thick and dark looking; very lush, layers of ripe fruit; some jam; unctuous but attractive; some mocha and coffee; palate sweet and ripe very forward and lush; pretty seductive effort. Very nicely done. Modern, forward and lush. 89-91+

Aria du Chateau de la Rivière, Fronsac

Deep and saturated; serious nose; wet stone, strong and deep; purity and some genuine minerality. Strong palate; minerality; sense of terroir. Good. Some sap. Serious effort with some complexity. 88-90

Chateau Dalem, Fronsac

Saturated but earthy purple edge; quite deep; fresh, slightly earthy and black cherry note; guts and grip; works quite well. Length and ambition here. Some tannin and fresh acid but works. 87-89+

Haut-Carles, Fronsac

Deep and arterial; very saturated look; fresher, less unctuous and more minerality here; more linear on the palate. Good effort. Chewy tannin but plenty of guts. Elegance and sap with good length. Fine effort. 87-89

Chateau Gaby, Canon-Fronsac

Mid depth, earthy purple; attractive mixed berry nose; some spice, little lift; quite rich on the palate; depth of fruit; spicy oak. Quite serious and should fill out. Should be good. 87-89+

Chateau de Carlmagnus, Fronsac

Mid depth; red/purple at edge; very earthy terroir note; very attractive; some lift; cherry and spice. Nice acid and freshness and very drinkable. 87-89+

Chateau de la Rivière, Fronsac

Earthy edge; dark looking; sour cherry, fresh and has depth; perfumed; oak influence too; quite structured palate; depth and chew; balanced and grippy; nice blackcurrants. Think this will come good. 86-88

Chateau Les Trois Croix, Fronsac

Deep and saturated; freshness, jam and sour cherry; spice too; oak influence on the palate, chewy but nice freshness and acid. Not bad. 86-88

Chateau Villars, Fronsac

Deep and very saturated look; tight to the rim; dusty, tannic nose; feels like it will be chewy; some jam; ripe entry, chewy, lots of extract and fruit; actually better than expected. Lots of material here. 86-88

Chateau Fontenil, Fronsac

Deep and saturated, purple at edge; ripe, not overblown, some mineral tones. Richness beneath, some spice; mid-weight palate; ripeness but nice tension if lacks a bit of complexity. 86-88

Chateau Moulin Haut Laroque, Fronsac

Deep and arterial in colour; ripe and pretty thick on the nose; some marzipan and fruitcake notes; some prunes; oak and tannin and extract that builds; lots of meat but oak tannin too. Should settle. Pretty big and serious effort. Little dry on the finish 85-87

Chateau Chadenne, Fronsac

Deep and dense; vibrant edge and lots of saturation; quite reductive at first, blackcurrants and cherry fruit comes out; quite dense palate, chewy and serious. Lots of sap and chew; maybe a bit lean but should fill out. 85-87+

Chateau Moulin Pey-Labrie, Canon-Fronsac

Deep and saturated; legs; lots of super-ripe jam and lift; resin; very ripe, sweet entry, quite sublimated style; strawberries, red fruits. Very ripe. Dips at end. 85-87

Chateau Barrabaque, Canon-Fronsac

Pretty saturated look; plum and sour cherry tones with a little satin; full-ish palate, grippy on the finish. 85-87

Chateau La Vieille Cure, Fronsac

Mid depth; some earthy purple at edge; almost Morgon like; fresh fruit and cherry; spicy and fresh; very high toned and a bit acid. May settle. 84-86

Chateau Cassagne Haut-Canon, Canon-Fronsac

Earthy purple at edge; less dense colour than some; easy vibrant nose, fresh and some spice; almost Loire like; elegant palate, bit lean perhaps. May gain in weight but feels a bit hard at this stage. 84-86?

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