Ch Fonréaud 2009 Listrac-Médoc


From €11, 18 Swiss francs, $19.92, 2,226 yen, Ca$29.85, £84 for six bottles

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I know we could be accused of giving a bit too much space to Bordeaux recently, what with our extensive coverage of the current 2012 Bordeaux primeurs campaign and all. But I do feel strongly that anyone with a passing interest in red bordeaux should be taking advantage of the bargains at the bottom end of the price ladder among the 2010s and, especially, the flatteringly ripe 2009s while they are still available. Retailers will be moving on to the 2011s which will be much less fun, and to the 2012s among which inexpensive bargains are much more difficult to find. The great thing about 2009 is its consistency. It really does offer fun and tasting pleasure for all the family, and the wines are maturing fast.

Ch Fonréaud 2009 Listrac-Médoc is notably evolved. You could enjoy it tonight. Although far from the star of the vintage, it's an extremely decent cru bourgeois property that is rather handsome actually, just off the road to Pauillac from the main road up the Médoc. In less ripe vintages the wine, like so many Listracs, can be a tad lean but in 2009 it has produced a wine that is thoroughly sweet and luscious, with the cedary perfume of a classic left-bank bordeaux and quite enough freshness to keep it appetising. There's a little dry tannin on the finish so I reckon it will drink well any time this decade.


I had a chance to retaste a range of top 2009 bordeaux at the end of March but last Friday I had a chance to taste a range of 2009s rather lower down the ranks that are being offered online in cases of six by the leading British supermarket Tesco. The Fonréaud certainly wasn't the most ambitious but I preferred its combination of ripeness and freshness to some of its peers which seemed either too obdurate or too sweet. I'll be publishing my tasting notes on all these wines – Fonréaud, La Tour de Bessan, Potensac, Cantemerle, Sociando Mallet, Haut Bages Libéral, Talbot, Gruaud Larose and Beychevelle – next week.

You may remember that Tesco made a huge purchase of 2009 bordeaux at the top of the market and have been offering them by the six-bottle case online. They'll be doing the same for 2010, but not for 2011 or 2012. Their head honcho Dan Jago told me that the lesser wines have sold well, as have the mixed cases they are offering (the mixing being done by the négociants who have so delightedly sold them the wines) but they are clearly sitting on the likes of Lafite. As, presumably, are many others.

Take advantage of this particular bargain via Tesco Wine by the Case, being offered at the equivalent of £14 a bottle. It's a no brainer, really. And because so much of this wine was made, it's easy to find it all over the world. Just click the link below. See my recent tasting notes on a range of Bordeaux 2009s chez Tesco up to Gruaud Larose and Beychevelle.

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