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When Alain Raynaud, consultant winemaker to numerous Right Bank properties, says, ‘We’re more peasant on the Right Bank,’ it’s hard to know whether to take him seriously. There he is in his immaculately cut tweed jacket and a tie that probably came from Hermès, looking like a wealthy landowner at a Sunday drinks party. What he means is, of course, that he and his fellow Right Bank winemakers get their hands dirty. Whereas the Left Bank consists of châteaux worthy of the name – large, imposing and turreted, and very often owned by big, wealthy companies, big, wealthy families or zillionaires not from the wine world – on the Right Bank, the term ‘château’ is more likely to be a figure of speech than an architectural description, and the owner will live on the premises rather than in Paris.

Left Bank properties can be 50ha–80ha (hectares) or more; on the Right Bank, 5ha is pretty normal; 10ha substantial; 30ha exceptional. And yet these Right Bank serfs, supposedly with earth under their fingernails from toiling in their few miserable hectares day and night, are making the running in Bordeaux – sky-high prices are asked for wines that appear from nowhere, and names you’ve never heard of are now getting 98 points from Robert Parker. The spotlight has shifted, and you could be forgiven for thinking that a shadowy chill has fallen on the echoing salons of the Left Bank, as the millionaires struggle to catch up, struggle to copy the peasants across the river. For the first time, there is a sentiment that the Right Bank is exerting more of an influence on the Left Bank than vice versa


About Fronsac: Fronsac is an appellation for red wines produced in an area in the east of the Bordeaux wine region. It is located close to the northern bank of the Dordogne river, just a few miles to the west of Libourne – the town that gives its name to the Libournais region. Libourne is home to prestigious appellations on the Right Bank such as Saint-Emilion and Pomerol, as well as Fronsac itself.

Like Saint-Emilion, just a few miles to the east, Fronsac has a picturesque landscape made up of woodland and hills. It also has a rich history reaching back hundreds of years, when the area was much favored by French nobility.

Varietals: 90% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc

Alcohol: 13.0% by volume

Tasting Notes: Good structure and grace are the keywords for this delightful wine! With a nose of raspberry, blackberry and on taste turning blackcurrant-redcurrant towards a silky yet classic structure. Pepper and bay leaf arrive just in time at the finish.

Food Pairings: Perfect with “boeuf Bourguignon” or “coq au vin” (literally chicken cooked in wine), and great with hearty stew and chili. Enjoy this wine during the cold weather…it will warm you up!

Jim Lutfy’s thoughts: “Polished and elegant. The wine is supple and soft, and has a long refined finish. Great balance and good complexity. A great wine to enjoy during these winter months!”-JL

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