The 40-year-old vines of Château Fontenil are on a slope with a southerly aspect, looking down on the river Isle (a tributary of the Dordogne) and the town of Libourne. The wine is a blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and is aged for 12 - 15 months in 60% new French oak barrels and is a serious and complex wine. Open, rich and opulent, it has very ripe, concentrated, black fruits and coffee on the palate with fine tannins on the long, silky finish. This château is owned by Michel Rolland and typifies his nature to work against the odds to bring the best out of a relatively lowly appellation.
The basic Fontenil (95% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon) has a deep bluish purple color and relatively hefty alcohol at 14.5%, but it is not noticeable in this full-bodied, layered, opulent wine, with lots of black raspberry fruit intermixed with some blueberries and crushed rock. Both of these wines have a good 10-15 years of potential in a fine cellar.