Fronsac, dubbed the ‘Bridesmaid of Bordeaux’ (the Telegraph, September 2012) has recently caught the attention of the Independent (May 2017) with one of this appellations’ red wines making it into their ‘Best Buys’. We’re not surprised. The surge in Fronsac’s popularity has been a long time coming but it’s starting to make waves once more.
We’ve pioneered the introduction of petit chateaux (small producers) to the UK and highlighted many overlooked hidden gems from long forgotten regions. And we’ve been banging the drum for Fronsac since 2006 when we brought our first Fronsac claret to UK. We’ve been watching the wine press in the UK catch on to Fronsac in the ensuing years (the Telegraph got up to speed in 2014, including Fronsac amongst ‘lesser-known Bordeaux wines you’d be mad not to try’). We have continued to source excellent Fronsac clarets and our customers have quickly cottoned on to these wines’ heritage and quality; making them hot property.
- Situated overlooking the great River Dordogne, neighbouring Pomerol and Saint Emilion, Fronsac was once more important than both these appellations.
- Fronsac has an incredible wine making pedigree that dates back to Charlemagne and was one of Bordeaux’s most respected wine producers in the past . . . the very first Bordeaux claret to appear in an early Christie’s catalogue in 1780 was a Fronsac!
- Learn more about Fronsac here: Finding Fantastic Fronsac.
Fronsac may have been great in the past but it became eclipsed after the World Wars and fell into the shadows. With more powerful appellations shouldering Fronsac out of the spotlight it did seem that Fronsac’s destiny was to be ‘always the bridesmaid and never the bride’. However all was not lost and things began to stir in the 1980s. You just can’t keep good wine makers down. And with Fronsac’s terroir (climate and soil) they had a head start. With the jump in wine making fortunes came a revival and a raft of enthusiastic followers. At first a trickle, Fronsac’s following has developed into a steady flow.
- Fronsac has some big fans too, Arnold Schwarzenegger being one of them (pictured above with the Brotherhood of Fronsac Wines).
Our Wine of the Week is a cracking Bronze Medal Fronsac: Chateau Beausejour 2014. Priced at £9.99, we are offering 10% off on this supple, fuller bodied, dark claret until 25th October. Beausejour has been owned by the Melet family since 1870. The family also own Chateau Bel Air in the neighbouring AOC of Pomerol and are well known for their expertise in producing good quality Merlot based Clarets. Beausejour 2014 is a blend of 85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc. Bordeaux’s star oenologist, Stephane Derenoncourt, is Beausejour’s consultant wine maker and subsequently the chateau’s clarets have won many awards.
- Stop press – Chateau Beausejour 2014 has just been awarded a Gold Medal Concours de Bordeaux!
Deep, with sensuous, mellow tannins; Beausejour has rich flavours of blackberry, ripe raspberry, damson and dark cherry melting into sweeter tones of liquorice and red currant jelly. All this is overlaid with notes of vanilla, spice and smokey oak. Excellently balanced, it has a long, lasting finish and we recommend you decant 2 hours before serving to fully enjoy.
A formidable match for beef and lamb; Beausejour will compliment stronger flavoured meats such as pheasant, pigeon, duck, wild boar and venison, whilst being equally good with casseroles and stews. A rump steak would be perfect with it! Being heavier than most Clarets it is great with richly flavoured sauces; garlicky pates and terrines, nutty or fruit infused cheese and hearty vegetarian fare (especially nut cutlets and dishes based on aubergines and peppers).
Want to learn more about wine? Check out our previous wines of the week: