'The 2016 Clos Fourtet is vivid, explosive and simply captivating. Inky blue/purplish berry fruit, lavender, spice and white flowers are all vivid in the glass, but it is the wine's silky, seamless personality that elevates it into a place among the wines of the vintage. In 2016, Clos Fourtet is stunningly beautiful and utterly compelling. This is a tremendous showing from proprietor Matthieu Cuvelier and consulting winemaker Stéphane Derenoncourt. Tasted two times. 2024-2056'
97 points, Antonio Galloni
"The 2016 Clos Fourtet fulfills the promise shown out of barrel. It bursts from the glass with extremely well-focused, copious blackberry, licorice and undergrowth aromas. Medium-bodied on the palate, displaying finer tannin than the 2015. Beautifully balanced, but – as is typical of this estate – there is real weight and grip toward the finish, which fans out with confidence. 2023-2048"
96 Points, Vinous
"Love the dark-berry and intense black-olive and chocolate aromas that follow through to a full body and firm and chewy tannins that deliver a rich and delicious finish. Such polish and, at the same time, finesse. But one of the cellar. A blend of 90 per cent merlot, seven per cent cabernet sauvignon and three per cent cabernet franc. Try from 2022."
97 Points, JamesSuckling.com
St.-Émilion is the star of Bordeaux’s Right Bank, north of the Dordogne River. The rich red wines produced in St.-Émilion, based on Merlot and Cabernet Franc, are less tannic and generally more fruit-driven in flavour than the Cabernet-based wines of Left Bank. Merlot thrives on the plateaus high above the Dordogne, where the soil is filled with sand and clay, a perfect medium for creating opulent, fruit-forward wines. With a typically savoury character, St.-Émilion wines are sometimes called the “Burgundies of Bordeaux.” These refined reds, with loads of finesse, are elegant companions to beef, chicken, pork and duck.
The wines of St.-Émilion were not included in the famous 1855 classification of Bordeaux, which ranked wines of the Left Bank. In 1955, St.-Émilion published its own classification, based on soil analysis, wine quality and reputation of the properties. Unlike the 1855 classification, St.-Emilion’s system requires properties to continuously prove themselves. The list is revised regularly, most recently in 2012. There are two tiers within the classification, Premier Grand Cru Classé and Grand Cru Classé. There are currently just 18 Premier Grand Cru properties and 64 Grand Cru Classé properties.
The St.-Émilion appellation is home to hundreds of individual producers, enhancing the variety of wines made there. Many of the properties remain small, family-run enterprises, unlike the large châteaux of the Left Bank. The area is also the base of France’s controversial micro-châteaux or garagiste wine movement; these innovative winemakers operate outside the traditional classification system, making very high quality (and very expensive) highly extracted wines.