Too often, the ‘Satellites’ of Saint Emilion deceive, showing little in common with their illustrious neighbor except for ambitious pricing. But real quality is possible, as Pierre Taïx is proving at Chateau Fongaban. Blessed with naturally propitious vineyard sites – well-exposed hillsides with thin clay topsoil over pure limestone – he practices ‘lutte raisonnée’ in the vineyards, and sorts the harvest by hand to eliminate any substandard grapes. The winemaking is thoughtful, with fermentation in cement for better heat exchange, gentle extraction by ‘delestage’, no racking, and lees stirring in the Burgundian manner. The Fongaban wines are aged in 1 and 2 year old barrels, while top cuvée Pierdon (from a single 30 year old vineyard) is aged in 50% new oak for a distinctly modern-styled, but authentic, wine.
Chateau Fongaban, Cotes de Castillon
Chateau Fongaban Puisseguin, St. Emilion
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