Château Fonroque, Saint Emilion, Grand Cru Classé, biodynamic wine pure

Château Fonroque, Saint Emilion, Grand Cru Classé, biodynamic wine pure


Alain Moueix inherited the Château Fonroque in 2001 from his ancestors, a family that originally began as wine merchants (négociant) and today owns numerous Bordeaux wineries, especially in Saint Emilion and Pomerol, but also in the Médoc and in California.




As an agricultural engineer and oenologist, he relied on nature's biological intelligence right from the start in order to use it to improve his wines and to interfere as little as possible with the natural cycle, but to support it with biodynamic methods. During its pragmatic application, he feels how the soil and vines react positively to it.

In 2006, Château Fonroque was certified organic and two years later it was certified as a biodynamic winery by the French association biodyvin.

Promoting the harmonious vibration of his 18 hectare vineyards, planted with 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, is an absolute priority for Alain Moueix. His keen attention to soil sustainability and terroir development continues to grow as he studies biological phenomena and their pragmatic applications. From now on, the goal is to use conscious methods to highlight the brilliance and balance of the wines. Eighteen years of collaboration with the Bordeaux wine trade and as many years of enthusiastic and research work have led the estate and its residents and employees to evolve towards a transition to organic farming and then to biodynamic farming. A patient and passionate adventure that gives this charming property the status of the very first Grand Cru Classé with biodynamic certification. The result is a very great Saint-Émilion wine whose international influence and recognition is constantly growing.

While the harvest obviously represents a fundamental step whose natural sustainability enhances our joy in the cyclical propagation of the best grapes, the next step, winemaking, very quickly determines its daily rhythm. It requires simple gestures and subtle decisions in everyday life to prepare the grapes for ripening in containers of different shapes, textures and sizes depending on the winery and terroir. Later, before the wine is bottled, the individual wines, grown separately according to grape variety and plot, must be analyzed and put together to form a cuvée. This moment requires maximum concentration and is the most creative of all, because it involves predicting how a cuvée will develop in 5, 10 or more years.

The ensuing journey gets under people's skin and nothing could be more inspiring for a winemaker than to contribute to the sensory magic that life brings.
“Winemaking follows fairly strict rules that are well known to winemakers. But obedience to already proven laws must never lead us to lose sight of the possible inventions that seek to intervene in traditional practices in order to develop them further. In this phase, as in others, we always observe our work and its impact, with a certain degree of openness to what new things might emerge.

Questions of evolution and adaptation now determine the life of Château Fonroque and its future, which also includes Châteaux Mazeyres. She also caught up with Alain Moueix in 2017, who sold the winery to the Guillard family from Nantes. Since then he has been employed there as a manager, but also advises and supports other wineries on their way to organic and biodynamic viticulture.

The reason for the sale is said to have been the lack of capital to modernize the Chateau Fonroque, i.e. its cellar, to replant some of it and to pay off his aunt, who had shares in the property.

Since the new owners are convinced supporters of biodynamic wine production and are willing to invest, they can continue to produce very good wines.

The maturation of the biodynamic wine

Alain Moueix says: the barrel is a Gallic invention originally intended to transport wine. Over time, winemakers have realized that it is also an excellent breeding tool. The wine is poured into the hermetically sealed barrel. The dissolved oxygen is spontaneously consumed, creating a vacuum. Air then penetrates through the pores of the wood between the staves, the boards that make up the barrel. This means that the air is supplied to the wine as needed and without direct contact with the air. This barrel is made of oak wood. The newer it is, the more aromas are released, which significantly affect the aromatic profile and structure of the wine, as well as its sweetness.

This contribution can be an interesting element of reinforcement and complexity, provided that the aromatic contribution of the wood blends completely into the wine and never dominates it. That is our view too.

In my opinion, the interest today lies in providing an answer to the following question. What type of viticulture could put the fruit on a pedestal without the aromatic influence of the material used in the cellar? In addition to the measured oxygen supply, the shape of the container also seems to have an influence.
When a wine ages in vats and is allowed to be aerated by racking, the weight of the wine puts pressure on itself that prevents the proper absorption of oxygen. Wine is molecularly fixed. In a small container, i.e. H. less than 30 hl, the shape of which is oval, the wine does not settle. The micro-changes in temperature and pressure associated with the process initially take place in the narrowest part of the container, creating a gradient in the medium and convection of the wine. It will move slowly and actually escape this stagnation by freeing itself from its own weight through movement. The rounded shape promotes this roundness. However, this consideration requires different approaches depending on the year.

At Château Mazeyres, in hot vintages on sandy soils, Merlot needs help to maintain its backbone and verticality. Maturation in egg-shaped 7 hl concrete containers (amphorae) delivers very good results. It promotes the verticality of the wine, emphasizes the fruit and refines the tannins. We have purchased fifteen egg tanks in the last three years and will continue to do so in the coming years. In addition, the use of 15 to 30 hl barrels seems sensible to us.

In both houses, the barrel will remain one of the maturation methods for around fifty percent of the volume. In combination with different containers, it supports the biodynamics in their work and brings out the expression of the fruits.

Because what distinguishes a great wine from a good wine is the subtlety of its aromatic expression and the silkiness of its material.


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New Château Fonroque, Saint Emilion Grand Cru Classé, biodynamic wine, from € 41.60

Product no.: 0455

42.00 / bottle(s) *
1 l = 56.00 €
In stock
Delivery period 1-3 days
Price incl. VAT, plus delivery