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Bordeaux Primeurs 2022: Fronsac

Written by JW. Posted in Bordeaux

There is great consistency to the wines of Fronsac in 2022. The wines showed great colour, plenty of fruit, good structure, nicely handled extraction and ripe tannins at the Grand Cercle event back in April. As a bunch, they were very impressive. I find this appellation really intriguing and it certainly offers value in this vintage for the quality. The picks? Château Dalem, Château de la Dauphine, Château de la Rivière, Château Fontenil and Château La Vieille Cure are all seriously impressive and worth seeking out. This will be a vintage that will age well in bottle but should offer lots of drinking pleasure early on.

The following wines were tasted blind on Saturday 22nd April, 2023 at the Grand Cercle press tasting held at Château de la Dauphine.

Château Dalem, Fronsac, 2022

Deep and saturated; opaque at centre; mineral; some savoury; bright; nicely delineated; creamy and nice seam of fruit; attractive and nicely done; attractive sweet fruit; nicely vinous; textured palate; sophisticated. Savoury finish. Tasted April ’23. Drink 2026-2042. 90-92+

Château de la Dauphine, Fronsac, 2022

Very bold and dark; opaque; sweet and ripe; evidently deep; ripe and generous; some schist; bold; little one dimensional at present but a lot here; little drying on the finish. Chewy. Some wood on the finish. Little dry and chewy but should settle well. Tasted April 2023. Drink 2027-2042. 88-90+

Château de la Huste, Fronsac, 2022

Deepish; legs; sweet and ripe Merlot; little simple but has some purity and joy; pretty! Plenty of fruit but a little stewed; some wet rock; lacks interest on the palate; may settle further in élevage. Definitely has a mineral finish. Some morello cherry notes on the end. Drink 2026-2038. 87-89+

Château de la Rivière, Fronsac, 2022

Deep and concentrated; tight to the rim; purple note; oaky nose; some black cherry beneath but little disjointed; needs to meld a bit; aeration adds a bit; settles in the glass; nice entry; ambitious; tight and intense; plenty here; nicely done. Ambitious. Saline finish. Drink 2026-2042. 90-92+

Château Fontenil, Fronsac, 2022

Bold and dark; slightly less tight; attractive savoury nose; some rose petal and creamy fruit; minerality; composed and nicely done; creamy and well delineated palate; this has finesse; sophisticated; nicely balanced. Medium weight. Lacks a bit of zip on the finish but overall very impressive. Tasted April 2023. Drink 2026-2038. 90-92+

Château La Vieille Cure, Fronsac, 2022

Bold colour; intense and saturated; tight to the edge; very spicy and intense on the nose; creamy black fruits; intriguing; meal characters; definitely intense;  Inky; spicy like this; concentrated but sweetness to the fruit and ripeness to the tannins; nice and moreish. Good palate. Nicely done. Finishes fresh. Tasted April ’23. Drink 2026-2042. 91-93+

Château Les Trois Croix, Fronsac, 2022

Deep and saturated; bold looking; tight to rim; attractive mineral and fruit; ripe and concentrated Merlot; like this at lot; quite plush and caressing; some lifted notes; liqourice; attractive palate; seam of pure creamy fruit; very seamless; very composed and polished. Very good length. Excellent wine. Tasted April 2023. Drink 2026-2036. 91-93+

Château Moulin Haut-Laroque, Fronsac, 2022

Deep and saturated; little more purple at edge; more blueberry and black cherry fruit compote notes; plums; lacks the definition; bit looser in the middle and lacks the concentration but will work well in medium weight style. Falls a way and a bit flat on the finish. Tasted April 2023. Drink 2026-2032. 85-87

Château Villars, Fronsac, 2022

Mid depth; looser at edge; little mousy initially but then schist; wet rock; some sweet plum and cherry; clean entry; nicely composed; works well; mineral and schist; nicely textured; good palate; like this. Moreish. Elegance and texture. Life on the finish. Potentially very good. Tasted April 2023. Drink 2026-2038, 90-92


Château Moulin Pey-Labrie, Canon-Fronsac, 2022

Deep; dark; schist; blue fruit and purity on the nose; like this; nicely integrated oak; pretty; more restraint; creamy and layered aromatics; quite woody on the palate; needs to settle; rather disjointed at present; little austere. Chewy and dry on the finish. Quite extracted and this needs to settle. Tasted April ’23. Drink 2026-2032. 86-88

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