One taste of the 2011 Château de Fontenille Entre-Deux-Mers and you’ll know why this classic white Bordeaux garnered Gold (the coveted Medaille d’Or) at Europe’s most prestigious wine tasting event, the Concours Mondial Bruxelles. Château de Fontenille’s Entre-Deux-Mers is comprised of four of the five traditional grape varieties for Entre-Deux-Mers (Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Gris, Muscadelle, and Semillon), all of which add to the wine’s amplifying aromas and inviting flavors. Entre-Deux-Mers is a right bank appellation renowned for its beautiful crisp white wines, and the 2011 Château de Fontenille Entre-Deux-Mers delivers all that, and much more. Subtle scents and flavors of citrus, dried honey, fig, and melon meld with gentle minerality and inviting crispness to endow this wine from start to finish. In addition, it delights the palate and quenches the thirst. We prefer this beautiful white Bordeaux only moderately chilled (40°-45° F), but others may opt for serving it ice cold, so as you like it.
The 2011 Château de Fontenille Entre-Deux-Mers needs only a clean glass to shine. It performs beautifully as an aperitif, but that’s not all. Whether it is winter, spring, summer, or fall, a glass of Château de Fontenille’s Entre-Deux-Mers will cleanse the palate and enliven the senses. It goes down easily, almost too easily, offering subtle charms that serve to refresh the mind as well as the body. Yet, it accompanies all kinds of seafood with aplomb. Smoked salmon, sautéed oysters, grilled shrimp and scallops, and almost anything that once swam in the sea pair handsomely with Château de Fontenille’s classic 2011 Entre-Deux-Mers. Poultry and flavorful cheeses won’t cause this wine to fade either. So, bring on the fried chicken or better yet a plump breast of chicken, stuffed with a breadcrumbs, herbs, and Parmesan cheese. Add ripe Brie, Camembert, and Comté cheese to a platter of sliced apples and pears, and another winning combination of accompaniments to this wine is born, but why stop there? Château de Fontenille has created a white wine for almost any occasion. Enjoy!
Château de Fontenille sits upon hallowed ground, literally and figuratively. This ancient Bordeaux estate dates to the 13th century and dozes in the shadow of the venerable Abbaye de la Sauve Majeure. For centuries the monks of the abbey tended the vines at what is now Château de Fontenille, and the UNESCO protected pilgrimage route still runs through the château’s vineyards to the neighboring abbey. The property’s soil, a mixture of limestone, clay, and gravel, has been acclaimed since the Middle Ages as among the finest in the region, which no doubt accounts for much of Château de Fontenille’s success. The other part of the quality equation is the arduous renovation of this revered property by Stéphane Defraine.
Stéphane Defraine, President of the regional Syndicat, purchased Château de Fontenille in 1989 and methodically restored the property and its vineyards, which now comprise 104 acres. Approximately 74 acres are planted in red varietals (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc), while the remaining 30 acres are cultivated with four of the five white varietals permitted in Entre-Deux-Mers (Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Sauvignon Gris and Muscadelle). Both the red and white wines of Château de Fontenille consistently receive high critical acclaim and merit serious consideration from those seeking quality Bordeaux at an affordable price.
Bordeaux, meaning beside the waters, refers to this celebrated region’s proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and the broad estuary, the Gironde, for which the entire viticutural department (the equivalent of a county or state in the United States) is named. Bordeaux, the region as well as the department’s leading city, lie at the center of the confluence of the Dordogne and Garonne Rivers, which flow into the Gironde, which redoubles Bordeaux’s effort to live up to its aquatic name. Moreover, it is Bordeaux’s proximity to the sea that provides a stable, moderate climate, which is favorable to the production of fine wine. The region’s marriage to the sea has also provided the historical highway by which Bordeaux wines have traveled the world, gaining esteem and recognition long before most other landlocked wine regions were able to safely transport their wines overland to eager markets.
Bordeaux enjoys the reputation as the world’s largest fine wine producing region, as it encompasses hundreds of thousands of acres and dozens of individual appellations and communes. Communes such as Margaux, Pauillac, and St. Emilion are legendary as are the scores of collectible wines that flow from their vineyards. Indeed, the wine wares of Bordeaux (both the region and its wines are referred to as Bordeaux) enjoy the reputation as some of the finest and most expensive on earth. Furthermore, this renowned viticultural region, which has become synonymous with full-bodied red wine, as it claims Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot as native sons, also constitutes one of the planet’s largest and greatest sources of white wine, principally from Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon grapes. Entre-Deux-Mers is Bordeaux’s most important appellation for dry white wine.
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