Clos Fourtet 2010 – 98 points
Located just outside the village of Saint-Emilion, the 2010 vintage of Clos Fourtet was initially given a score of 95-97 when it was first tasted by critic Robert Parker in 2011. However, in his newly realased his updated ratings, Parker awarded the historic property a score of 98!
Clos Fourtet 2010 is composed of 87% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Cabernet Franc, combining freshness and power on the nose and in the mouth. The dominant aromas are black fruits, while notes of liquorice and exotic fruits are also present. The palate is charming and round, with ripe, tight tannins. The finish is very long and retains much of its freshness.
Clos Fourtet: A father and son’s dream
Armed with a love of wine and a stoke of good luck, Phillippe Cuvelier was given the chance to purchase Clos Fourtet in 2001 and he, along with his son Matthieu passionately began making wine. While the Cuvelier Family’s history at the estate may seem short compared to others, the history of wine at the estate dates back over a millennia as the origins of Clos Fourtet in antiquity may well coincide with the cultivation of vines by the Romans. While this cannot be known for certain, we do know that Emperor Probus (3rd century AD) — who in 92 lifted the edict declared by Emperor Domitian (to uproot all vines with a ban on replanting them) — allowed the region to start growing vines again, which would have allowed Clos Fourtet, together with many other Roman villas, to own acres of vineyards.
The reputation of the estate is rooted in its Burgundian style “clos” or closed vineyard, an exceedingly rare feature for a Bordeaux vineyard. The walls of Clos Fourtet protect and distinguish the 18.7 undivided hectares of vines, perched at the top of the famous limestone plateau that extends to the foot of the ancient walled village of Saint-Emilion.
This influence of the limestone soil is manifested as a distinct chalky mineral quality—the signature trait of a Clos Fourtet wine. The wines exude rich ripe berry aromas with silky tannins that are at once indulgent yet restrained as to not overpower the complexity of the ripe fruit flavour. Merlot gives the wines an unparalleled roundness which affords a harmonious and silky mouthfeel.
According to Matthieu Cuvelier, harmony is key to the typicity and balance of Clos Fourtet: “freshness is indispensible because a wine devoid of freshness and acidity would not be balanced, and a wine’s balance is above all in the harmony of its flavors.”