Fronsac is located in the Right Bank of Bordeaux. The commune has a rich history. Charlemagne, or Charles the Great, set up a fortress in Fronsac in the 8th century at the top of the highest hill when battling in Bordeaux. In the 17th century, French nobleman Cardinal de Richelieu acquired the land. Association with nobility and growth of maritime trade catapulted the wines to the international spotlight. Nowadays, Fronsac wines are appreciated for their elegance, freshness, and complexity.
Fronsac is part of The Libournais in the Right Bank of Bordeaux. It borders both the Dordogne River and Isle River. Fronsac is 10 kilometres from Saint-Émilion and 35 kilometres from Bordeaux.
Fronsac is a small appellation with a deep commitment to sustainable viticulture, with 70% of the properties in the commune committed to environmental certifications. Across 800 hectares of vineyards, there are 100 growers in Fronsac with the majority of the vineyards and Chateaus being family-owned. They produce 420,000 cases of wine each year. That translates to 5 million bottles per year!
The terrain is diverse made up of both hills and plateaus, with principal soils of sandstone and limestone. The climate is moderate. Merlot is the primary grape variety grown in Fronsac.
Fronsac AOC wines are dry still red wines. Merlot is the primary grape variety grown in the region. As a result, you will find single varietal Merlot wines. However, many of the wines are Bordeaux red blends including Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Carmenère, and Cot (Malbec).
The wines are generally a deep ruby red in colour, full-bodied with moderately high tannins and freshness. Fronsac wines are excellent candidates for aging allowing for aromas and flavours to develop and flourish with a little extra time in the bottle.
The primary grape varieties of Fronsac AOC wines are Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Wines must be comprised of at least 80% of these grapes. Accessory varieties in Fronsac AOC are Cot (Malbec), Petit Verdot, and Carmenère.
Fronsac wines that are Merlot-dominant generally express red berry aromas, violet, and graphite.
Cabernet Sauvignon-dominant wines showcase more black fruit qualities like plum, black currant, and black cherry. They also have a vegetal, green bell pepper quality to them. Cabernet Franc contributes tart red berry notes as well as freshness to the blend. Malbec also contributes freshness as well as black pepper notes.
Petit Verdot contributes black and blue fruits like blackberry, blueberry, and plum. It also contributes floral aromas of violet, lavender, and lilac.
Carmenère expresses vegetal green bell pepper notes to the wine.
Winemakers blend grape varieties to achieve their desired structure and aromatic characteristics.
Buy Fronsac AOC Wine from Hourlier Wines
We at Pierre Hourlier Wines are proud to partner with Château de la Dauphine to showcase their Fronsac Merlot. Cardinal Richelieu acquired Fronsac in the 17th century and passed it down to his great nephew Louis-Francois-Armand de Vignerot du Plessis, the Duke of Fronsac. He supplied the Chateau de Versailles with Fronsac wines, which were particularly appreciated by the Dauphine of France. She stayed at the Chateau and granted it her title in memory of her visit.
This 100% Merlot Fronsac AOC wine is fresh and has beautiful notes of jammy strawberry and liquorice. With 12 months of oak aging, its mellow tannins make it a perfect pairing for pork and cheeses.
What do Fronsac AOC Wines taste like?
Fronsac wines express aromas of ripe and jammy red and black fruit, including strawberry, raspberry, cherry, blackberry, and plum. Beautiful non-fruit characteristics of anise, violet, and graphite are expressed on the nose as well. The wines are fresh on the palate. Many Fronsac wines are aged in oak which brings out many of the non-fruit characteristics of the wine and mellows out the tannins.
Which food groups pair well with Fronsac wine?
Fronsac wines pair beautifully with roast pork, grilled chicken, roast turkey, veal, mushroom dishes, and sharp cheeses. The red berry fruit, violet, and anise aromas in Fronsac wines complement lean and earthy dishes.