Jeb Dunnuck 97James Suckling 97Review Score 97Review Score 96
Bordeaux

2016 Clos Fourtet

One of the gems in the vintage that should be snatched up by readers is the 2016 Château Clos Fourtet. Coming from a magical 20-hectare vineyard located on the upper, limestone-driven plateau just outside Saint-Emilion and a blend of 90% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 3% Cabernet Franc from small yields of 38 hectoliters per hectare, it spent 16 months in 60% new French oak (and a small portion of the blend saw malo in barrel as well). Its saturated purple color is followed by a monster bouquet of ripe blackberries, cassis, graphite, and crushed rocks, and it picks up more blue fruits, truffle, and limestone minerality with time in the glass. This deep, full-bodied, powerful Saint-Emilion has some similarities to Canon yet is deeper and richer, with a more powerful yet still elegant style. It’s a brilliant bottle of wine to hide for 4-5 years and drink over the following 2-3 decades. Read more
Critic Reviews
Expert Review
97 POINTS
Jeb Dunnuck

One of the gems in the vintage that should be snatched up by readers is the 2016 Château Clos Fourtet. Coming from a magical 20-hectare vineyard located on the upper, limestone-driven plateau just outside Saint-Emilion and a blend of 90% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 3% Cabernet Franc from small yields of 38 hectoliters per hectare, it spent 16 months in 60% new French oak (and a small portion of the blend saw malo in barrel as well). Its saturated purple color is followed by a monster bouquet of ripe blackberries, cassis, graphite, and crushed rocks, and it picks up more blue fruits, truffle, and limestone minerality with time in the glass. This deep, full-bodied, powerful Saint-Emilion has some similarities to Canon yet is deeper and richer, with a more powerful yet still elegant style. It’s a brilliant bottle of wine to hide for 4-5 years and drink over the following 2-3 decades.

Expert Review
97 POINTS
James Suckling

Love the dark-berry and intense black-olive and chocolate aromas that follow through to a full body and firm and chewy tannins that deliver a rich and delicious finish. Such polish and, at the same time, finesse. But one of the cellar. A blend of 90 per cent merlot, seven per cent cabernet sauvignon and three per cent cabernet franc. Try from 2022.

Expert Review
97 POINTS
Bettane & Desseauve - Bettane & Desseauve

Délicatesse raffinée confondante, tannin élégant, fraîcheur brillante, fruit frais précis, grande finesse. Le meilleur premier cru dégusté dans un ensemble pourtant fort réussi.

Expert Review
97 POINTS
Antonio Galloni MW - Vinous

The 2016 Clos Fourtet is vivid, explosive and simply captivating. Inky blue/purplish berry fruit, lavender, spice and white flowers are all vivid in the glass, but it is the wine's silky, seamless personality that elevates it into a place among the wines of the vint In 2016, Clos Fourtet is stunningly beautiful and utterly compelling. This is a tremendous showing from proprietor Matthieu Cuvelier and consulting winemaker Stéphane Derenoncourt. Tasted two times.

Expert Review
96 POINTS
Yves Beck - Yvesbeck.wine

Rouge grenat denses. Bouquet complexe, aux notes fruitées et épicées où je perçois de la menthe, du graphite et des fèves de cacao. Agréables parfums de baies noires. Au palais, le vin est friand, crémeux et doté d'une belle intensité aromatique. Les tannins sont parfaitement intégrés et se révèlent lentement en prenant soin de tenir tête à une structure qui assure la vivacité et la fraîcheur. Ils sont puissants, élégants aux grains fins. Superbe intensité fruitée en bouche, beaucoup de fraîcheur, de jus et de race. Une fois encore, Clos Fourtet est exceptionnel. 2024-2051 96/100

Expert Review
96 POINTS
Roger Voss - Wine Enthusiast

Barrel Sample. This wine is full of ripe fruit, starting on the nose and following through to the structured palate. It's an imposing wine from an estate that seems at the top of its form. It should age well for many years.

Expert Review
96 POINTS
Neal Martin - Wine Advocate

The 2016 Clos Fourtet is a blend of 90% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Cabernet Franc aged in 60% new oak. It has a generous, well defined licorice-tinged fruit that is very focused. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, blackberry and boysenberry fruit with that salted licorice theme continuing. This Clos Fourtet has impressive concentration, yet there is real elegance and persistence, fanning out wonderfully towards the finish. Mathieu Cuvelier has overseen another outstanding Clos Fourtet. Tasted twice, with a second bottle demonstrating a tad more backbone but equally admirable.

Expert Review
96 POINTS
Jane Anson - Decanter

This showcases why Clos Fourtet is such a confident, powerful wine. It gets the balance right between the sappy, saline quality of its limestone terroir and yet reflects the ripeness and flashiness of Merlot that makes St-Émilion such a well loved appellation. Excellent, serious quality, cerebral but sexy. Drinking Window 2027 - 2050

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Technical Attributes
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Winemakers Note

Clos Fourtet, one of Saint-Emilion's jewels Clos Fourtet is the heir to the 'Camp Fortet,' a military camp that protected the main entrance of Saint-Émilion during the Hundred Years' War. The 20-hectare vineyard forms a single plot, planted upon the highest slopes of Western Saint-Émilion. Ever since the beginning of the classification in 1956, Clos Fourtet has been a member of the elite ‘Premiers Grands Crus Classés’ of Saint-Émilion. In 2001, Philippe Cuvelier bought the estate and entrusted its management to his son, Matthieu. One of the property's specificity is deeply located: a cavernous 13-hectare underground cave network weaves far and wide beneath the vineyards of Clos Fourtet. The vastness of this limestone enclave is hidden 6 to 12 metres below the earth. This natural cellar breathes pure air, which circulates to create an exceptional natural climate for the ageing of the wines. The wines’ aromatic purity and precision on the palate reflect the outstanding terroir of Clos Fourtet, the expression of which the Cuvelier family has been careful to bring out over the last 20 years. After a decade of operation by the Clos Fourtet teams, the INAO gave its approval in 2022 for an integration, which some might consider natural, of the Château Grandes Murailles plots into Clos Fourtet.

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