Entre-Deux-Mers is Bordeaux’s treasure trove of excellent, moderately priced white wines, and Château de Fontenille provides ample proof in the 2013 Château de Fontenille Entre-Deux-Mers of the quality one can expect from this esteemed appellation. Moreover, the 2013 vintage in Bordeaux favored the production of white wine over red. While 2013 looks to be mediocre at best for the region’s reds, it is truly an excellent, if not outstanding vintage for Bordeaux’s white wines, and that is especially true in Entre-Deux-Mers. A previous recipient of the much coveted Medaille d’Or or Gold Medal at Europe’s most prestigious wine tasting event, the Concours Mondial Bruxelles, Château de Fontenille has followed up in 2013 with another splendid and equally impressive Entre-Deux-Mers. Much of the wine’s inherent charm lay in its brilliant cépage, or blend, of nearly equal parts Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Gris, Muscadelle, and Semillon, all of which add to the wine’s amplifying aromas and inviting flavors. The 2013 Château de Fontenille Entre-Deux-Mers delivers a beautiful aroma as well as plenty of scintillating citrus, fig and melon flavors that gain further interest and complexity from a subtle underpinning of minerality. Crisp and vibrant in the mouth, the 2013 Château de Fontenille Entre-Deux-Mers enlivens the palate and quenches the thirst. It also promises to improve further in bottle, which may make it the best bargain in white Bordeaux. We prefer this beautiful Entre-Deux-Mers only moderately chilled (40°-45° F), though others may opt for serving it ice cold, so as you like it. Salut!
The 2013 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 serves to 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, sushi and almost anything that once swam in the sea will pair handsomely with Château de Fontenille’s classic 2013 Entre-Deux-Mers. Poultry and flavorful cheeses provide excellent pairings, too. So, bring on the fried chicken or plump breast of chicken, stuffed with breadcrumbs, herbs, and Parmesan cheese. Add ripe Brie, Camembert, and Comté cheese to a platter of sliced apples and pears, and more winning accompaniments to this wine are born, but why stop there? Château de Fontenille has created a white wine for any occasion or season. 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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