Wines to Seek Out
Château Fonroque is a biodynamic and organic estate that makes only two wines each year: Château Fonroque and a second vin, Château Cartier.
Château Fonroque Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Classé
The Château Fonroque is among my favorite wines from Bordeaux — a cloudy, brooding yet vital blend of Merlot (80%) and Cabernet Franc (20%). I've turned to this wine several times, including on Christmas dinner, and it never fails to impress with its velvety texture, and hints of decadence. Best of all, Merlot's potent blackberry-like fruit comes across as invigorating, while a walnut-like snap on the nose hints of Cabernet Franc's old soul. There is always a good deal to unpack when tasting this wine.
Château Cartier Saint-Émilion Grand Cru
Calling Château Cartier a second vin feels a bit backhanded: if anything, this 100% Merlot simply feels like a younger, more eager version of the grand vin. Side by side with the Château Fonroque, it comes across as fruitier and a little more eager. Perhaps that's predictable for a second vin, but the complex earthy and smoky tones are a wonderful surprise.