2003 Chateau Fombrauge

I had to try this wine primarily because I know how much anthony likes the winery, but also because of Parker's 91-93 rating and the fact that he said it is drinking great now. We had it with friends at dinner last night and drank it about three hours after splash decanting. I took no notes. My impressions:

The wine had a huge nose of spice and chocolate. On the palate its copious rich dark fruit flavors balanced the moderate tannins very well. I'm not so sure this wine will improve because the balance is there now. 94
Original Post
(repeat from other thread)

Well, if Board-O is drinking young Bordeaux wines, I would say that this proves that some Bordeaux Chateaux are making California styled wines! I think Bordeaux has lost a lot of business to West Coast Cabs, Aussie Cabs & Shiraz...
James- do you taste these wines immediately after the corks are pulled? If not, are they decanted? If so, for how long? If not decanted how long are they opened before beiong tasted?

We splash decanted this wine and tasted it after three hours. I took a little taste immediately after decanting and I might have rated it about a 90 at that time, but it really opened after three hours.

anthony, what took you so long? Smile
It's my fist experience with 2003 bordeaux.


Simply, this is a wine version of "Cherry Chocolate Cake " It has a very ripe and sweet nose of cherry,"Marguax" like nuance,a hint of mushrooms,great aroundness in the texture and perfectly well-integrated tannin,too. It's drinking well now. 92pts.
I had a bottle of this last night. Very nice wine. I'm going to have to get more. I'd like to know how long it will last....

Here's my first attempt at writing a TN for public consumption.

Opened but did not decant. Nose was dominated by spice, but also dark berry, some earth, maybe a little licorice. Tannins are well integrated. Very nicely balanced.

Looking back at others' notes, my wife detected cherry at opening, but I couldn't pull that out. Neither one of us brought up chocolate.
This is an excellent wine, I wish I had bought more. This is also the kind of Bordeaux you wished you found on restaurant wine lists but almost never do -- reasonably priced, from a good vintage, goes well with food, and can be consumed in its youth and thus without the exorbitant restaurant markups for older vintage Bordeaux.
I have enjoyed several bottles of the '03. Very ripe and more Cali like than a typical Bordeaux, typical for this hot vintage. The 14.5% alcohol tips it off. Great wine with steaks.

I have run into a couple of corked bottles, though. Hopefully the rest of my supply is OK. Sorry, for not having my notes handy, but I do like this wine! Razz
2003 Château Fombrauge - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru (8/25/2008)
WIML90,PURPLE90

Tasted August 24, 2008.

Opened and decanted about 30 minutes to an hour before serving. Purple color in the glass. Nose of cocoa, cedar,espresso, potpourri and dark fruits. Flavors of black cherries., berries and white pepper. Medium to high acidity, firm tannins. medium to full body. I'd recommend an extended decant or continue to hold obviously. (90 pts.)
We had this with friends last night. It seemed much softer than a few years ago and not as good. This bottle seemed to be a bit beyond optimal. Based on this bottle, I'd say to drink at your earliest convenience, but I'll open another soon to try and confirm this.
quote:
Originally posted by Board-O:
We had this with friends last night. It seemed much softer than a few years ago and not as good. This bottle seemed to be a bit beyond optimal. Based on this bottle, I'd say to drink at your earliest convenience, but I'll open another soon to try and confirm this.


Had one a few month ago and still seemed to be going strong, was as good or better than the 2 or 3 that I had tried previously, but I think someone else had comments similar to yours recently, so good opportunity to pop one. I won't pretend to know how to write a tasting note, but if I do pop one I will at least comment on impressions of quality, structure, balance, comparison to prior bottles, and then I will ask board-o is opening a 2003 bordeaux.

Hmmm...tasting it tonight, still has a pretty nice spicy/floral nose. Black fruit, not as sweet as last few bottles...actually has a nice bitterness. I love tannin, still enjoyably tannic to me, which means that everyone else on here would probably find it to be too tannic to be drinkable...some acidity also. Good moutfeel, maybe a bit of a gap at the very end of the midpalate, but a fairly long, bitter, black-fruited finish, with a few hints of richness/complexity showing up here and there on the finish. Not as rich or fruity as prior bottles, and if it were not for some recent opinions that this might be on its way downhill, I would think this bottle was a bit closed compared to the prior 3. Lets see what tomorrow holds...still have 8 or 9 left I think.

Night 2, more of the same. A little softer overall. Still enought fruit and enough of a tannic/acidic backbone to make me think my bottles are still doing ok. Less expressive than last few bottles, rich roasted meat notes were fewer and more subtle. I did buy a case and a few bottles from another store, so not sure which purchase this bottle came from. Still, it is probably worth popping another in the next few weeks to confirm apparent present state of this.
quote:
Originally posted by Board-O:
We had this with friends last night. It seemed much softer than a few years ago and not as good. This bottle seemed to be a bit beyond optimal. Based on this bottle, I'd say to drink at your earliest convenience, but I'll open another soon to try and confirm this.
I had this a few months ago (well, two bottles, the first one being corked). It was a nice bottle, and good "crossover appeal" Bordeaux for those who don't appreciate the more traditionally-styled clarets, but it seemed a little too soft and unstructured. I like Fombrauge, but I think it's in a style that shows better younger than this.
  • 2003 Château Fombrauge - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru (4/7/2009)
    Wow this is good. Popped and poured. Dark ruby in the glass with a slight bit of bricking. Berry fruit on the nose and earthy. On the palate, there are hardly any signs of tannin in this bottle - silky tannins if any. Dark fruit, maybe a little bit of vanilla. Medium length finish showing a little more of the tannins, but still very well resolved.

Posted from CellarTracker
  • 2003 Château Fombrauge - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru (10/12/2009)
    This seems to be getting even better. Outstanding.

    Decanted about 90 minutes. Very dark red, with a little hint of bricking. Dark fruit and black cherry with a little toasted oak on the nose. Mouthcoating feel with more dark fruit and dusty tannins. Good acidity. Long finish starting out with the fruit and ending on mineral and spicy black pepper notes.

Posted from CellarTracker
  • 2003 Château Fombrauge - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru (11/22/2011)
    Very nice. The nose has cigar box, lead pencil, smoke, and some red berry fruit. On the palate more of the same but with the red berry fruit replaced by plums perhaps and with some salty minerality. Some dusty tannins still. Long pleasant finish with the cigar box flavors becoming dominant.

Posted from CellarTracker

This is mighty tasty. I've gone through over a case and a half of this and still have a few more bottles. I would like to try this at 10 years but fear it will be gone by then.

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