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Château Renard Mondésir, FronsacBordeaux, France 1999 (750mL)

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Château Renard Mondésir, Fronsac Bordeaux, France 1999 (750mL)

Fruit
Earth
Body
Tannin
Acid
Alcohol

We’re only doing one offer today, and the reasoning behind it is simple: No wine should pull attention away from this 1999 Right Bank masterclass. This is value Bordeaux at its grandest, with a price so reasonable it’ll cause a collective double-take. I imagine most of you are already lurching at the opportunity to secure a case but others may be staring at “Fronsac” and wondering exactly what or where it is. Famously called “the historical cradle of great Bordeaux” by French geologist/author Henri Enjalbert, Fronsac practically neighbors Right Bank powerhouses Pomerol and Saint-Émilion, and today it exists as an undercover titan for sensational, affordable Merlot. 


Château Renard Mondésir’s substantial 22-year-old Grand Vin has confirmed my belief in the region’s ability to compete with high-performance Bordeaux. In fact, this ’99 is drinking better than a number of swanky $100+ labels from the same vintage, and has outlasted a number of them too (it helps that our parcel spent two decades in a cold, sunless Bordeaux cellar!). Ultimately, the provenance here is impeccable, the wine is brimming with life, and savory Bordeaux pedigree lurks behind every sip. Best of all, this phenomenal value will stay in a prime drinking window for several more years, so there’s no need for you to deplete your case in a hurry. 

NOTE: This parcel is on the last leg of its journey from Bordeaux. We anticipate it arriving at our warehouse in 2-3 weeks. 



As in so many of Bordeaux’s lesser-known regions, Fronsac has been a hotbed of investment and revival. Perched on the Dordogne River, Fronsac has the right soils and plenty of history—including one of Charlemagne’s ancient fortresses—to compete with its illustrious neighbors. Located just west of Saint-Émilion and Pomerol (four miles away as the crow flies), across a small tributary of the Dordogne, Fronsac sits at a slightly higher elevation and features even more limestone outcroppings than Saint-Émilion’s famed plateau (along with clay and sand). 


Purchased by Xavier Chassagnoux in 1978, this tiny property came with gnarled, disused vines and a crumbling stone house built back in the 1700s. After decades of restoration, this estate has been secretly churning out small-production, Merlot-based gems of incredible distinction. Most impressive of all, no herbicides or pesticides have been used here for nearly a quarter-century and the estate will be Certified Organic by 2023. For today’s special cuvée, which the Chassagnoux family only produces in vintages they deem worthy, Merlot was sustainably sourced from a south-facing, three-hectare parcel rich in limestone and clay a half-mile from the river. Following harvest, the grapes fermented in temperature-controlled vats, and the resulting wine was transferred into French barriques, 35% new. After bottling, today’s parcel rested in their cellar for over two decades!


Though today’s 1999 Fronsac certainly looks the part of a well-aged wine, you'll be stunned when discovering still-youthful aromatics and plush, vibrant textures on the palate. I’d confidently call this mature Right Bank Bordeaux (perhaps even a Pomerol!) in a blind tasting, but most of all, I’d be downright shocked to see it sporting such an absurdly affordable price tag. To best enjoy this wine, I recommend standing the bottle upright for several days prior to pulling the cork to allow the sediment to settle. When it comes time for enjoyment, use an ah-so opener if you have one, otherwise, extract the cork with your wine key as gently as possible—no tugging! Then, pour into large Bordeaux stems and enjoy the ride over the course of two hours. There’s a lot to savor here: dried red plum, dried raspberry, red and black currant, wet gravel, cedar, cigar box, bay leaf, spearmint, licorice, crushed rose petal, clay, and hints of clove. The palate is full-bodied and velvety soft with zero angles and edges, and while the fruit very much still has a pulse, the savory explosion of earth, spice, and crushed minerals steals the show. Enjoy now and over the next 3-5 years. Cheers!




Château Renard Mondésir, Fronsac Bordeaux, France 1999 - SommSelect

  • CountryFrance
  • RegionBordeaux
  • Sub-RegionFronsac
  • SoilLimestone & Clay
  • FarmingSustainable
  • BlendMerlot
  • Alcohol13%
  • OakFrench Barrels, 35% New

  • CountryFrance
  • RegionBordeaux
  • Sub-RegionFronsac
  • SoilLimestone & Clay
  • FarmingSustainable
  • BlendMerlot
  • Alcohol13%
  • OakFrench Barrels, 35% New
  • Temp.Serve at 60-65° F
  • GlasswareBordeaux Stem
  • DrinkingNow-2026
  • DecantingOptional
  • PairingStuffed Quail w/ Braised Red Cabbage