Chateau Fonbadet Pauillac 2020

  • 94 Points James Suckling " The ultra fine tannins are firm and formed, already giving this wine impressive energy."
  • Deep dark ruby with purple reflections at the rim, aromas of ripe cherries, cassis, with a hint of candied orange zest and a juicy, elegant pallet with integrated tannins and red berries linger on the finish.
  • Enjoyable now however the wine promises future complexities with cellaring.
  • 1 or more bottles
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  • James Suckling
    94 points
  • Decanter
    93 points
  • Alistair Cooper
    16.5 points
  • Jancis Robinson
    16 points

Editors notes

Chateau Fonbadet can date its creation back to the early 1800’s and has been owned by the Peyronie family for 4 generations. Juicy, crisp and fresh with firm tannins, medium-body and loads of sweet crémé de cassis, flowers, tobacco aromas for you to enjoy. The palate as aggressive tannins and herbaceous flavors, which is balanced by the black fruit, black current and blackberry. The wine is complex, and bright, with a lingering, red currant finish. Best served with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, roasted, braised and grilled dishes.


Tasting Profile

  • Light (Light)
    Full (Full)
  • Low Tannin (Low Tannin)
    Tannic (Tannic)
  • Sweet (Sweet)
    Dry (Dry)
  • Low Acidity (Low Acidity)
    High Acidity (High Acidity)
  • Aroma
    • Blueberry
    • Boysenberry
    • Herbal
  • Palate
    • Blue Fruits
    • Cassis
    • Graphite

Food Pairings

  • Pork
  • Red Meat

Critic Scores & reviews

  • James Suckling

    "A young red with depth and firmness. The ultra fine tannins are firm and formed, already giving this wine impressive energy."
  • Decanter

    "Succulent and grippy, with a cool blue fruit and chalky mineral edge, wet stones, slate and saltiness then coming through alongside blackcurrant and black cherries. This has soft muscles, gently flexing, giving a push to the fruit as well as supplying overall definition. Tannins are there but are fine and crisp. Power here, confidence as well; it's not too much with tension and focus. Pauillac-might but delicate."
  • Alistair Cooper MW

    "Has a very fragrant nose – cassis, floral hints and a spiced peppery note – classic Pauillac. Medium bodied, cool blue and dark fruits with very fine tannins, a suggestion of creamy, integrating oak – there is wonderful extraction here and it shows real finesse already. A nice streak of freshness keeps this focused and I expect this to blossom beautifully over the coming years – yet still will be drinking relatively early. Bravo!"
  • Jancis Robinson MW

    "Blackish purple. Very opulent nose but it still manages to be refreshing. There may be a hint of spicy oak here but it's reasonably classic red bordeaux with an overlay of a particularly warm summer. Dry but not drying finish. This may eventually please the budget-conscious."

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Wine is being produced throughout France and has been done for over 2,500 years with certain Châteaux dating their history back to Roman times, around 6th Century BC. Ranking second in the world in per-capita consumption and first in total production quantity. More so than the overall quantity of wine is the quantity of truly great wines coming out of France makes the nation the envy of wine-making nations worldwide.

Two concepts pivotal to the higher end French wines, in particular, are the idea of 'terroir' and the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) system. Terroir refers to the way the geography, geology and climate find their way into the glass, telling a story of the origin of the wine. The AOC was set up in 1935 and has the primary goal of protecting the authenticity of the wines and the livelihoods of the producers. Appellation rules strictly define which varieties of grapes and winemaking practices are approved for classification in each of France's several hundred geographically defined appellations, which can cover entire regions, individual villages or in some cases, like in Burgundy even specific vineyards.

Classic wine regions in France include Champagne (home of Champagne), Burgundy (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay), Bordeaux (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot), Alsace (Aromatic varietals), Loire Valley (Chenin Blanc, Crémant) and the Rhône Valley (Syrah, Grenache Mourvedre)

The Bordeaux classification of 1855 is still in use, as is the Sauternes and Barsac Classification of the same year. Wines from certain regions can be bought En Primeur, which is when the wine is sold prior to it being bottled.


Bordeaux has a rich history of winemaking, dating back to the Roman times. Today, it is known as one of the most significant wine regions in the world, with a reputation for producing complex, full-bodied red wines. The region is home to a diverse range of terroirs, each with its own unique microclimate, soil composition, and grape varieties.

The left bank of Bordeaux is dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, which thrives in the region's gravelly soils. These wines tend to be bold, tannic, and complex, with notes of blackcurrant, cedar, and tobacco. On the right bank, Merlot is king, producing wines that are softer and fruitier, with notes of plum, cherry, and chocolate.

Aside from the red blends, Bordeaux is also renowned for its sweet wines, particularly from the Sauternes and Barsac appellations. These wines are made using a unique process that involves botrytis, or "noble rot," which concentrates the sugars in the grapes, resulting in a lusciously sweet and complex wine.

Bordeaux's classification system has evolved over time, with some estates moving up or down the ranks depending on the quality of their wines. Today, the system includes five growths, with Premier Cru being the highest and Deuxièmes Crus being the second-highest. There is also a separate classification for the sweet wines of Sauternes and Barsac, with Chateau d’Yquem holding the highest rank.

Overall, Bordeaux is a region that continues to captivate wine enthusiasts around the world with its rich history, diverse terroirs, and exceptional wines.


Pauillac, a commune within Bordeaux, is considered to be the most opulent appellation in the region and produces wines that are renowned for their richness and power. Wine expert Hugh Johnson has even gone as far as to declare that if he had to choose just one commune in Bordeaux to top the list, it would undoubtedly be Pauillac. This village, situated on the left bank of Gironde and located between Saint-Julien and Saint-Estephe, spans over 1,200 hectares and is the largest in the Médoc, with a population of more than 5,000.

The vineyards in Pauillac are mainly dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, although they also include blends of other grape varieties, such as Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot. Despite its relatively small size, Pauillac's terroir differs significantly from the surrounding wine regions, which has allowed the winemakers to develop a unique and expert understanding of the area's flavor profiles. They have become skilled in accentuating the unique flavors of each individual vineyard, resulting in wines that showcase the essence of Pauillac.

The region's wines are characterized by a stark and blunt style, with a dominant flavor of black currant and hints of cedar-wood aromas. The wines are known for their robust and powerful nature, making them a favorite among wine enthusiasts worldwide. If you're a wine lover, then Pauillac is undoubtedly an appellation that you should experience for yourself.

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