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Poor Mans Pomerol

Once again I am sacrificing my liver for my customers by opening a bottle way before noon! Chateau Tessendey is a wine not often seen in the US as the Dutch and the English tend to hoard it all. And for good reason. This wine punches well above its price point. So if you love Bordeaux but hate the high prices look no further.



Fronsac is one of the satellite appellation of it’s more famous neighbors, St Emilion and Pomerol. Located just west of Libourne, it enjoys a long and rich history first planted by the Romans and up until the late 1800’s the wines from this region were actually priced higher than those from St Emilion and Pomerol. Château Tessendey has been in the hands of the Arfeuille family since 1972. At that time, Martine and Paul-Bernard d’Arfeuille undertook a vast program to renovate the vineyards and cellars. Tessendey is slowly becoming a name.The d’Arfeuille are far from foreign to the world of wine.Present in the Libournais since the 18th century, they watch during the 20th century on the castles Toumalin (Fronsac) and La Pointe (Pomerol) while developing a trading activity on the banks of Libourne.Martine d’Arfeuille will also be co-owner of Cheval Blanc, Saint-Emilion’s Premier Grand Cru Classé.She will sit on the board of management until the sale of the estate in 1998.In 2012, forty years after his parents, Arnaud d’Arfeuille took Tessendey in his hands.With the help of his brother, he sets new ambitions for the estate, restructures some plots, improves the breeding process.Arnaud is also involved in the management of Château La Serre, Grand Cru Classé of Saint-Emilion and owned by his uncle, Luc d’Arfeuille.The desire to do well is a family legacy.

*2014 Chateau Tessendey Fronsac
$15.75bbtl/$170.10 per case
(Jim Sirna 94)

This wine is pure elegance in a bottle from soils that consist mostly of sandstone and limestone. It is a blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc. Very pretty color in the glass. The nose is a potpourri of exotic spices, ripe black fruits and a complex stony mineral quality. Even at 11AM there is no abrasive element on the palate. Balanced and silky with super fine tannins and lots of black cherry and dark raspberry fruit there is good energy from the nice acidity. The finish has excellent length, purity and texture that lingers quite long. Poor Mans Pomerol?