2005 Magrez Fombrauge, St-Emilion (Elsewhere $139)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
This 80% Merlot/20% Cabernet Franc blend from the finest five acres of the Fombrauge vineyard (St.-Emilion’s largest working vineyard) is a big, sexy, full-bodied effort with impressive concentration as well as aging potential. While it will not compete with such great vintages as 2000, 2001, and 2005, the 2004 is top-notch. A deep ruby/purple hue is accompanied by notes of graphite, creme de cassis, sweet cherries, and vanilla. The wine offers tremendous opulence, richness, and depth in addition to the potential to last and improve for 15 or more years.
Aromas of blackberry, mineral, vanilla and milk chocolate follow through to a full body, with super well-integrated tannins and a long, caressing finish. Balanced, refined and harmonious. Best after 2011.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Deep red-ruby. Aromas of raspberry, smoked meat, mocha and marzipan convey an almost exotic ripeness. Fat, large-scaled and supersweet; undeniably thick and concentrated but perhaps a bit unrefined. Finishes with huge but sweet tannins. A major mouthful of wine. Fans of sheer size will rate it higher.
Barrel sample. From a small parcel of Château Fombrauge, Bernard Magrez has created this small-production cuvée. It's quite modern, packed with spicy new wood and superripe fruit. The acidity, though, creates balance.