Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2018 Fonplegade needs no convincing, charging out of the gate with bold notions of black cherry preserves, mulberries and ripe, juicy black plums, leading to suggestions of Indian spices, dried roses and smoked meats plus a touch of tar. The medium to full-bodied palate is beautifully crafted, dripping with poise and sophistication, draped in plush tannins and seamless freshness, finishing on a lingering black cherry note. A very polished showing!
95 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate (Mar 2021)
Based on 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, coming from a gorgeous terroir on the Côte Pavie, the 2018 Château Fonplégade reveals a dense purple/ruby color as well as a charming, ripe, sexy style in its red and blue fruits, flowers, toasted spice, and loamy soil aromas and flavors. It shows more floral nuances with time in the glass, has a distinct earthy minerality, ripe tannins, and outstanding length. It takes lots of air to show at its best, and it will ideally be given 4-5 years of bottle age to integrate its oak, but unquestionably, everything is the right place, and this is a beautiful Saint-Emilion.
95 points, Jeb Dunnuck (Mar 2021)
The currant and light vanilla come through on the nose with some flowers, too. It’s full-bodied with lots of rich fruit and chewy tannins that need to soften. Powerful and intense. Try after 2024.
95 points, James Suckling (Mar 2021)
The 2018 Fonplégade is super-elegant and refined. Some of the youthful exuberance the 2018 showed from barrel has naturally subsided, revealing a Saint-Émilion of real finesse and nuance. Crushed red berry fruit, mint, spice, blood orange and cinnamon are all beautifully layered. Even so, the 2018 was a bit more impressive en primeur. Hopefully, it is just closed post-bottling. We will see.
93 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous (Mar 2021)
This is nicely packed with plum, black cherry and boysenberry compote flavors that have good energy and are backed by a mix of savory, violet, anise and applewood notes through the finish. Buried chalky spine should help this age nicely in the cellar too. Drink now through 2030. 3,000 cases made, 300 cases imported.
93 points, James Molesworth, Wine Spectator (Mar 2021)
This well-balanced wine is ripe, with dense black fruits shot through with ageworthy tannins. Poised and already offering fruitiness and ripeness built for long-term aging, this wine will be ready from 2026. Organic and biodynamic.
93 points, Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast (May 2021)