This is really linear and tight for this winery and shows seriousness and polish. Medium-to full-bodied and a tight, compact palate. Very fresh and long, too. I can see a change to more linear and precise wines here.
94-95 points, James Suckling (Apr 2019)
The 2018 Château Fleur Cardinale shows the subtle change in style at this estate, offering slightly more elegance and finesse while still packing plenty of fruit and texture. Coming from a 23.5-hectare vineyard consisting mostly of older vines, the 2018 is currently a tentative blend of 70% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon that was harvested starting on September 27th, which is a record early date for this estate. It hit 14.5% alcohol and will spend 12-14 months in new French oak. Perfumed notes of cassis, black raspberries, violets, and spring flowers all emerge from the glass, and it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a layered, elegant texture, terrific ripeness, and sweet tannins. It’s an elegant yet still sexy wine that shows the vintage beautifully.
92-94+ points, Jeb Dunnuck (May 2019)
Ripe and juicy, this is a delicious wine with its fine tannins and acidity already in harmony. The structure of the wine is powerful with a dry core that will broaden out as the wine matures.
92-94 points, Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast (Apr 2019)
The 2018 Fleur Cardinale is gorgeous. Supple, racy and wonderfully persistent, the 2018 is shaping up to be a jewel of a wine. Blackberry jam, cloves, chocolate, new leather, licorice and sweet spice all build in a sumptuous, voluptuous Saint-Émilion loaded with class and potential. The question now is really how the 2018 will develop in élevage. Past vintages have been impressive en primeur but then suffered from too much oak during aging. Hopefully that won't be the case here, as the 2018 is really terrific. In the early going, the 2018 does feel a bit less extracted than in the past, and that is certainly a positive development. The blend is 70% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon.
91-94 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous (Apr 2019)
Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2018 Fleur Cardinale features pronounced baked blueberries, stewed black plums and blackberry preserves scents with touches of bay leaves, moss-covered bark and forest floor. Full-bodied and laden with black fruit preserves sparked by earth and dried herbs, it has a solid backbone of ripe, rounded tannins and just enough freshness, finishing long. Barrel aging is expected to be for 12-14 months in 100% new oak barrels. The tentative blend is 70% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon.
91-93 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate (Issue # Interim - Apr 2019)