Vintage weather conditions
2016 will be remembered as an improbable, ultimately rare vintage shaped by contrasts. It was characterised by an extremely damp spring followed by a particularly dry summer. Everything began under auspicious circumstances with early budding. This head start was quickly reduced by a rather cool and very damp period from March to June. Downy mildew became the main concern. Amid this threat to the vine’s overall cycle, the skies brightened for ten days, enabling quick, complete flowering. Summer arrived from 21 June in hot and above all extremely dry form throughout the season. Rainfall on 13 September, vital to ease the vines, allowed harvests to be performed at leisure.
Limestone plateau and limestone-clay hillside
90% Merlot – 10% Cabernet Franc
28 September to 11 October
Estate certified organic since 2006 and biodynamic since 2008 – member of Biodyvin.
30% new barrels and 70% that have contained at least one previous wine
50 hectolitres / ha
* For this Vintage.
The colour is dark and intense, promising a dense wine. The bouquet is refined, complex and pure with aromas of black fruits, violet, cinnamon and other sweet spices. In the mouth, the flesh is pulpy and generous. Mineral notes with a saline touch bring elegance and length. The right dose of acidity produces freshness and tension, with real density. The fruit is present, rich and ripe. On the finish, this wine never leaves you.
Notes updated by Alain Moueix – 2017
‘When everything goes well, it is vital to take your time and allow nature to do its work. This vintage reminded me that the key work happens among the vines. The memory I have kept is one of untroubled harvests in communion with what they produced. As the results were rich and well balanced, we knew that we could extract the wines without fear or excessive intervention. Tasting the wines beneath the marc was a delight. Their development was clear, and more encouraging as each day passed. The fruit was precise and clean, the tannins caressing, and the finishes lingering. Separation dates were unequivocal. Is that not another key element of a top vintage? A game of spontaneous harmony that you simply need to support. And the wine is already turning heads with its quality.’
‘The 2016 Fonroque, part of the portfolio of Alain Moueix, put in a killer performance this year. It has a lighter bouquet compared to its peers with dusky black fruit, quite tertiary and introverted at first, although it does gain more expression and vigor with time in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin on the entry, very refined and poised without compensating in terms of fruit. I adore the finish here, really sleek and stylish with very fine mineralité and classicism. Bravo Alain Moueix!’
The Wine Advocate by Neal Martin