This beautiful wine from Fleur Cardinale performed great in its youth, both from barrel as well as post-bottling. A gorgeous blend of 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon made by the Decoster family, the 2005 provides more evidence that this property is fully exploiting its tremendous potential. A few years away from reaching its plateau of maturity, its stunning nose of black cherry liqueur, cassis, licorice, earth and spice is followed by a full-bodied, concentrated and pure wine. Drink it over the next 15 or more years. Drink 2015 - 2030.
|Score: 94||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (219), June 2015|
A stunning sleeper of the vintage, quality at this property has soared under the relatively new owners, Dominique and Florence Decosters. The 2005, a blend of 70% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, was fashioned from yields of 33 hectoliters per hectare. This concentrated wine possesses a gorgeous bouquet of smoke, black currant liqueur, lead pencil shavings, cedar, and Asian spices. In the mouth, it displays a chocolaty richness, a beautiful texture, an expansive, multilayered mouthfeel, and a 45-second finish. A fabulous effort, it will be drinkable in 4-5 years, and should last for over two decades
|Score: 95||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (176), April 2008|
Tasting even better than it did last year, one can’t say enough about the efforts being made by Dominique and Florence Decosters at this property, which is now one of the bright, shining superstars of St.-Emilion. Michel Rolland’s top assistants, Jean-Philippe Fort and Jean-Luc Thunevin, are both consulting at Fleur Cardinale. The 2005's blend of 80% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc, and 6% Cabernet Sauvignon has resulted in a formidable wine that even eclipses recent top vintages. A cold terroir has provided a high level of acidity that has admirably balanced this powerful wine’s richness. Yields were only 33 hectoliters per hectare, which undoubtedly accounts for the 2005's extraordinary concentration. Pure creme de cassis, graphite, cedar, incense, and white flower characteristics, full body, moderately high tannin, and good underlying acidity are found in this offering. A fabulous sleeper of the vintage, it should be approachable in 5-6 years, but keep for two decades or more. Great value!
|Score: 93/95||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (170), April 2007|
Fleur-Cardinale’s new owners, Dominique Decosters and his beautiful wife, Florence, of Havilland porcelain fame, assisted admirably by the top oenologist in Michel Rolland’s laboratory, Jean-Philippe Fort, have turned this 40 plus acre vineyard into one of St.-Emilion’s bright shining stars. There are just under 6,000 cases of this stunning blend of 80% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc, and 6% Cabernet Sauvignon. Its dense purple hue is followed by glorious aromas of flowers, black cherries, cassis, new saddle leather, and subtle wood. The wine reveals fabulous purity, beautiful symmetry, an expansive mouthfeel, a multilayered texture, magnificent richness, high tannin, and refreshing acidity. The alcohol is an unusually high 14.5% (a characteristic of many 2005 Right Bank efforts). This superb classic is not to be missed. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2025.
|Score: 92/94||Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (164), April 2006|
|Score: 93||James Suckling, WineSpectator.com, February 2008|
Good deep red-ruby. Superripe, slightly high-toned aromas of black cherry, blackberry, mocha and licorice, with a hint of minerality adding complexity. Sweet and generous but with excellent flavor definition and plenty of underlying structure; in fact, this very juicy, fresh, mineral-driven wine shows a restrained sweetness and seems to be shutting down in the bottle. Builds impressively on the back end, with the chewy tannins coating the teeth. This should be superb in seven or eight years.
|Score: 92+||Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar|