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Château Villars, Fronsac, Bordeaux – BKWine Pick

Fronsac is not as famous as its illustrious neighbour Pomerol. But it would deserve to be. It is pretty rolling hills landscape, much nicer than the flat land in Pomerol. And the wines from the best chateaux are excellent classic clarets in style. In addition to the quality the have the great advantage of being affordable. Fifteen of the more dynamic properties have created an association that they call Expression Fronsac. Their idea is to market the Fronsac wines internationally with a joint effort.

One of the participating chateaux is Château Villars where the charming Thierry Gaudie makes elegant wines. He uses more cabernet franc than what is the norm; a grape that he says is needed and necessary to balance the merlot and to make the wines more interesting. He wants to enhance the expression of terroir in his wines and does not use much new oak. Chateau Villars 2005 has a very good structure with soft tannins. “2005 resembles the legendary 1961” says Thierry. His other cuvée, Charmes de Villars, is easy drinking – the first vintage was 2006. Interestingly he uses American oak for Charmes.

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