The roads that head north-west, north and north-east out of the top of the town of St Emilion are worth exploring. One will lead you to Libourne and the gravelly vineyards of Pomerol (provided you take the right turning, halfway along). Another takes you to Montagne-St-Emilion, one of the better of the St Emilion satellite appellations; you cross the Barbanne, and the road then gradually ascends a plateau of hard limestone, an under-rated terroir. The third will eventually deposit you among the vineyards of Castillon, another under-rated region rich in clay and great depths of the very best limestone.
Along the way you will pass any number of St Emilion domaines, some of which are familiar names, some less so. Some have châteaux that tower over the road, while others are rather more demure, set well back from the thoroughfare. One in this latter group is Château Fonroque, its rather understated presence perhaps appropriate, as it seems in keeping with the style of the wine. This is a long-established property which was, from the early years of the 20th century until its sale in 2017, in the hands of the Moueix family, although the full extent of its story in fact goes back many centuries.
In this profile I explore the history of Château Fonroque, as well as looking at the wines made here today. As always I have looked back to try and establish its origins, as best I can; the story begins, at least as far as we can establish it, in the early 17th century, during the Ancien Régime.Please log in to continue reading: