- Nick's Import
2018 Chateau Fonplegade
Dense inky black heart with a very deep dark red black hue. A heady mix of ripe blackcurrant, liquorice and black cherry scents greet the nostrils with vanillin cedar, earth, subtle dried herb and spicy black olive scents also evident. Amply weighted, rich blackcurrant, liquorice, black cherry and subtle dark chocolate fruits signal that the wine is already open for business. The back half firms up with lingering ascents of earthy graphite, spicy vanillin cedar, black olive and dried herbs. Sturdy, slightly grainy tannins provide great structure. Excellent power and concentration with a long opulent yet muscular conclusion.
Drink over the next 6-8 years.
Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2018 Fonplegade needs no convincing, charging out of the gate with bold notions of black cherry preserves, mulberries and ripe, juicy black plums, leading to suggestions of Indian spices, dried roses and smoked meats plus a touch of tar. The medium to full-bodied palate is beautifully crafted, dripping with poise and sophistication, draped in plush tannins and seamless freshness, finishing on a lingering black cherry note. A very polished showing!
Lisa Perrotti-Brown - Wine Advocate
Quite ripe, featuring boysenberry and plum reduction notes, backed by a healthy dose of anise and fruitcake flavors. Stays focused, with solid, graphite-edged grip carrying the finish. Really promising.
James Molesworth - Wine Spectator
The currant and light vanilla come through on the nose with some flowers, too. It’s full-bodied with lots of rich fruit and chewy tannins that need to soften. Powerful and intense. Try after 2024.
Fonplégade is rich, layered and sumptuous, to a degree it has not been before. Raspberry jam, mocha, espresso and licorice all burst out of the glass. Sensual and alluring, Fonplégade is absolutely gorgeous in 2018. The oak is just a bit pronounced at this stage, but the wine appears to have all of the natural depth to handle it. Proprietors Denise and Stephen Adams, along with consulting winemaker Stéphane Derenoncourt and his team, continue to take Fonplégade to new heights. The 2018 is 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, from yields of just 27 hectoliters per hectare, down from the more typical 35 or so. Tasted two times.
Antonio Galloni - Vinous
Based on 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, coming from a gorgeous terroir on the Côte Pavie, the 2018 Château Fonplégade reveals a dense purple/ruby color as well as a charming, ripe, sexy style in its red and blue fruits, flowers, toasted spice, and loamy soil aromas and flavors. It shows more floral nuances with time in the glass, has a distinct earthy minerality, ripe tannins, and outstanding length. It takes lots of air to show at its best, and it will ideally be given 4-5 years of bottle age to integrate its oak, but unquestionably, everything is the right place, and this is a beautiful Saint-Emilion. Drink 2025-2045.