Château Fontenil – 2017


Official Tasting Notes:
A solid red for the vintage with dark berries, dark chocolate and some crushed-stone character. Medium body, a pretty core of fruit and a clean finish.
91-92 points – James Suckling

The 2017 Fontenil is well defined, and quite focused compared to the previous two vintages. It has a rather conservative bouquet that nevertheless has fine intensity with attractive black fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with firm tannin, just a nagging green vein towards the second half that just discombobulates the finish and lingers unwanted on the aftertaste. That may dissipate during the élevage – we will see.
90-91 Neal Martin

The 2017 Fontenil is racy and sumptuous as it always is, but with a bit less textural richness than it often shows. Raspberry jam, floral notes give the wine much of its immediacy and sheer appeal, while rose petal, lavender and spice overtones add lift to the soft, open-knit finish. the 2017 is a very pretty Fontenil built more on grace than opulence. In 2017, Dany Rolland did not bottle Le Défi, her top selection.
90 points Antonio Galloni

John’s View:
Lighter than previous vintages due no doubt to the poor summer and late frosts but it is priced accordingly and is excellent value for money. I actually liked Galloni’s description of it being more about “grace than opulence”. Not designed for long term investors but will be lovely to drink later this summer and will still keep until 2025 at least.

Available on back-order

Château Fontenil is a small 7 hectare vineyard in the Fronsac village of Saillans high up above Pomerol and St Emilion. Fontenil is the family home of the world famous Michel Rolland and produces largely Merlot-based red wines that are balanced with some Cab Sauvignon. At the vanguard of the ‘new vignerons’ who are beginning to make Fronsac great again. Attention to detail are the watchwords here, hand-picked grapes placed into small crates to minimize bruising, hand sorting on small tables and a manageable chai that enables head of chai Gerald to be on top of the wine all the time.