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2020 Château Fonplégade En Primeur

We first visited Fonplégade around 5 years ago and were shown around the estate, then in biodynamic conversion, by owner Denise Adams.  Adams and her husband bought Fonplégade from the Moueix family in 2004 and set about restoring the château to its former glory.  The wing on the right (if we remember correctly) in the picture above did not exist, having been destroyed during the Second World War.  The Adams' had it painstakingly recreated so that it is now indistinguishable from the original parts.  

This struck us as American chutzpah at the time, but after seeing the whole estate, we fell in love with the Adams' vision and with the wine they were making.  Reintroducing bee hives and many other methods to encourage biodiversity, their approach seemed idyllic after visting the sometimes barren monocultures of the famous Left Bank estates.

Happily, half a decade on, estates across the region are rapidly re-wilding their vineyards and adding diversity, whilst the Adams' wines seem finally to be getting recognition.  Jane Anson is a particular fan, scoring the 2020 95 points.  Neal Martin finds it has a Burgundian quality (always a good sign) and we found the fruit definition heady and intense.  As Anson says, this is a buy!

Bordeaux En Primeur, Landing in spring 2023

Limited availability.  To order, e-mail us at 


Château Fonplégade, St.-Émilion

Producer Profile

Château Fonplégade, St.-Émilion

Château Fonplégade is a Grand Cru Classé and one of the oldest estates in St.-Émilion, with Roman era remains giving evidence to suggest their was a vineyard here circa 400AD.  The name related to a well-spring (or font) and an ornate stone font is at the heart of the vineyard today.  Jean-Pierre Beylot built the château in 1852 and the estate was later owned by the Duke of Morny, step-brother to Napoleon III.  From 1953 to 2004 Fonplégade was owned by the Moueix family, before being sold to Denise and Stephen Adams.  The Adams' made their wealth in banking, television and radio, before buying Dry Creek Valley estate in Sonoma in 1995. 

Since arriving at Fonplégade, the Adams' have renovated the property and vineyards.  The château was missing one of its wings, destroyed in the Second World War but now rebuilt.  The vineyards have been converted to biodynamics (fully certified from 2020).  The estate has been ten years or so ahead of the now more widespread trend for rewilding and cultivating biodiversity in the vineyards in Bordeaux.  The wines have been improving year in year and in April 2020 Jane Anson wrote in Decanter that "recent vintages of Fonplégade easily compete with the best in the appellation for sheer quality".

See Denise Adams introduce the estate in the video below:

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