Alain Moueix – Château Fonroque 2013

I choose 2013 because it was probably the most difficult vintage of my career, along with 1992. In circumstances like these, there is no point trying to make a dense wine, as the structure is just not there. Making a light wine would not have been compatible with our position as a Grand Cru Classé. The focus had to be on the quality of the vintage, even if there was only one version, and to see what there was that could be reconciled with my idea of a fine wine. It could not be rich. But it could be refined with a harmonious shape. A wine happy with its pedigree and not seeking to be what it is not. René Char said ‘we never achieve the impossible, but it serves as a lantern’. And I would add that the path this illuminates can be unusually poetic. The trick is to carefully push the boundaries.


We tried to produce elegance and express sophistication in its simplest form, not extract ordinary tannins, and above all not resort to oak window-dressing. We paid attention to the message that the final wine would offer, and kept everything in balance thanks to the coherence of our composition.
Château Fonroque 2013 is not the finest wine I have ever produced, but it is definitely one of my successes when it comes to pinpointing and bringing out the best in the vintage despite misleading surroundings.


It has a medium-density ruby red colour. The nose is a complete landscape in itself. It begins with olive, cigar box and cherry aromas, before developing wild strawberry and violet notes. Then come some distinct marine touches. The overall wine offers a minerality reminiscent of hot stone.
The landscape of aromas holds through from nose to palate, which is not always the case. The same combinations appear in the same order. The pronounced verticality goes hand in hand with a soothing, silky feel.
The finish holds its own very well for a vintage as difficult as this, offering up orange peel and cocoa before blossoming into one or two saline touches.

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