Chateau de Fonbel 2004

89+ points

Saint-Emilion. 13%

Made by the owners of Ausone.  Robert Parker is quite a fan, and predicted this would produce early drinking pleasure, but I’ve found that it’s taken some years to open up a bit and show its class.  It’s not a showy, or oaky wine.  It’s quite poised, not a deep plummy left-bank wine but certainly merlot (perhaps also a reasonable amount of Cab Franc ?).

Best kept for a year or two before trying again.

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Chateau Beaumont 2005

86 points

Haut-Medoc. 13.5%

This Southern Medoc (between Margaux and Pauillac) tastes in 2005 more like it comes from Southern France. Perhaps it is the mood I’m in, or perhaps this is what a number of non-classed growths of 2005 have become. Certainly the ripeness us extra-ordinary – these are wines of sunshine.