Named as a perennial “Sleeper of the vintage” in almost every vintage by wine guru Robert Parker, this top Fronsac estate, American-owned La Vieille Cure is run by New York’s Colin Ferenbach. This 45-acre vineyard is planted with 75% Merlot, 22% Cabernet Franc and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon. Bordeaux is the home to many of the greatest wines of the world. Its prices reflect that. Most top estates sell for hundreds of dollars. The trick is to find nearby properties with the same soil, microclimate, and great winemaking. Fronsac lies next door to Saint-Emilion and Pomerol, the two storied Merlot appellations. Since land prices are lower, so are the wine’s prices. Similar quality at half the price, that’s why we love Fronsac and it’s leading light, La Vieille Cure.

La Vieille Cure, Fronsac 2012 – $34.99
“Arguably the bright, shining star of Fronsac these days, this blend of 75% Merlot, 22% Cabernet Franc and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon from vines averaging 25 years of age seems to go from strength to strength. The 2012 is a knock-out, with an inky purple color and sweet cassis and kirsch notes as well as some licorice, mocha and earth. It is medium to full-bodied and concentrated, with silky tannins and a long, long finish. This is outrageously fine wine that sells for a song. It is a major sleeper of the vintage. Drink it over the next 10-12 years. 2015-2027. 91 points.”

La Vieille Cure, Fronsac 2006 – $33.90
“This American-owned estate produces one of the most impressive wines made in Fronsac. Fashioned primarily from Merlot, the saturated ruby/purple-colored 2006 reveals superb sweet kirsch, black currant, licorice, forest floor, and earth characteristics, a textured, medium to full-bodied mouthfeel, sweet tannin, and a long finish. Another super-star Fronsac, it, like virtually every wine from this appellation, sells at a realistic price. It is the perfect wine in these troubled economic times. Drink it over the next 10-12 years. Excellent value. 2009-2021. 90 points.”

La Vieille Cure, Fronsac 2004 – $33.99
“As was the 2003, this is another big time sleeper of the vintage. The dense ruby/purple-tinged 2004 offers a sweet perfume of framboise, black cherry liqueur, cedar, and spice. Supple-textured, medium to full-bodied, expansive, and savory with superb purity and texture, it can be drunk now and over the next 10-12 years. This property has been on a qualitative roll and still remains one of Bordeaux’s finest values. 2007-2019. 90 points.”

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