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Fronton Le Beau Vin, Château Bouissel 2016

Red Wine from France - SW France (excl. Bordeaux)
3.833330000 star rating 6 Reviews
Under new management, this estate in south-west France has returned to its former self. A lovely, soft, fruity red made from the local negrette grape, with syrah and malbec in support. Dark and plummy and quite delicious.
Price: £8.95 Bottle
Price: £53.50 Case of 6
In Stock
Code: FC40051

Wine characteristics

  • Red Wine
  • Medium-bodied
  • Negrette
  • 75cl
  • Now to 2024
  • 13% Alcohol
  • no oak influence
  • Cork, plastic

South-West France (ex Bordeaux)

Most of the wine regions representing the south-west of France are linked by river to Bordeaux and were once rivals of the Bordelais for trade. It was certainly not unknown for some of these wines to be brought to Bordeaux in order to stiffen the sinews of some of the thinner clarets in days gone by. However, there is more to the region than those appellations and the Vins de pays/ IGPs up-river of their erstwhile rival.

The south-west can be roughly compartmentalised in to four categories, as follows:

Bergeracois: running along both banks of the Dordogne River and including Bergerac, Monbazillac and other ACs where Bordeaux varieties proliferate, ably and interestingly supported by some local varieties.

Garonne: running along both banks of the River Garonne as far as Agen and featuring Côtes-de-Duras, Côtes-du-Marmandais, Buzet.

Haut-Pays: the area north and north-west of Toulouse including Gaillac, Cahors and the Côtes-du-Frontonnais.

Pyrenees: in the area between Adour and the Pyrenees. ...
Most of the wine regions representing the south-west of France are linked by river to Bordeaux and were once rivals of the Bordelais for trade. It was certainly not unknown for some of these wines to be brought to Bordeaux in order to stiffen the sinews of some of the thinner clarets in days gone by. However, there is more to the region than those appellations and the Vins de pays/ IGPs up-river of their erstwhile rival.

The south-west can be roughly compartmentalised in to four categories, as follows:

Bergeracois: running along both banks of the Dordogne River and including Bergerac, Monbazillac and other ACs where Bordeaux varieties proliferate, ably and interestingly supported by some local varieties.

Garonne: running along both banks of the River Garonne as far as Agen and featuring Côtes-de-Duras, Côtes-du-Marmandais, Buzet.

Haut-Pays: the area north and north-west of Toulouse including Gaillac, Cahors and the Côtes-du-Frontonnais.

Pyrenees: in the area between Adour and the Pyrenees. Here you will find Côtes de Gascogne, Madiran, Jurançon, Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh and Irouléguy, the latter of which is in real Basque country in the foothills of the Pyrennes, close to the Bay of Biscay.

The influence of the Atlantic Ocean is surprisingly strong even this deep inland and it merges with continental and alpine elements across such a large area to provide moist spring weather and wet winters counterbalanced by hot summers and long, sunny autumns just as the grapes are ripening. Naturally, the area is great enough in size for the soils to be incredibly varied across it. Alluvial and marine soils, often gravel and limestone respectively, are common factors in many areas, the former often on rising terraces above rivers or ancient watercourses.

In many appellations and IGPs it has taken the dynamism of forward thinking, passionate cooperatives and visionaries to save the vineyards and indigenous grape varieties of these regions from serious neglect or even extinction. The devastation of phylloxera around the end of the 19th century was particularly bad in these areas and it was not really until the 1970s, and even later in some cases, that a turnaround in fortunes occurred. The roll call of local varieites is impressive and promising – abouriou, arrufiac, baroque, duras, fer servadou, jurançon noir, len de l’el, petit manseng, gros manseng, mauzac, négrette, tannat and peiti courbu. It is a region that should make a curious wine lover’s mouth water.
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Château Bouissel

Fronton is a small district just outside Toulouse with a reputation for light sappy reds that go well with local cooking. It is also one of the oldest vineyards of France. The wines are made from the rare negrette grape variety, as legend has it brought back to France from Cyprus by returning Crusaders. The wide-terraced vineyards overlook the river Tarn on gentle slopes of sand and pebbles with iron and quartz below. Only red grapes are planted here with the dark-skinned negrette accounting for at least half of any blend.

Château Bouissel is an absolutely classic yet modern Fronton estate. 22 hectares of vines are farmed by Pierre Selle with the help of his wife Anne-Marie on one of the terraces left behind by the Tarn as it carved its way through the prehistoric landscape to link up with the Garonne. Pierre took over what was his family estate in 1978 and, having shared the produce of his vines with the local co-operative for the first few years, decided in 1986 to go it alone. He extended the cellar, bought new equipment and was joined two years later by Anne-Marie when she gave up her job in nursing to work beside him having qualified in viticulture and oenology at college.

They grow the indigenous negrette, cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc, cot (aka malbec) and some syrah and gamay to make a selection of red and rosé wines. Everything is done by hand, including the harvest. The influence of both the Atlantic and the Mediterranean can be felt, together with cooling...
Fronton is a small district just outside Toulouse with a reputation for light sappy reds that go well with local cooking. It is also one of the oldest vineyards of France. The wines are made from the rare negrette grape variety, as legend has it brought back to France from Cyprus by returning Crusaders. The wide-terraced vineyards overlook the river Tarn on gentle slopes of sand and pebbles with iron and quartz below. Only red grapes are planted here with the dark-skinned negrette accounting for at least half of any blend.

Château Bouissel is an absolutely classic yet modern Fronton estate. 22 hectares of vines are farmed by Pierre Selle with the help of his wife Anne-Marie on one of the terraces left behind by the Tarn as it carved its way through the prehistoric landscape to link up with the Garonne. Pierre took over what was his family estate in 1978 and, having shared the produce of his vines with the local co-operative for the first few years, decided in 1986 to go it alone. He extended the cellar, bought new equipment and was joined two years later by Anne-Marie when she gave up her job in nursing to work beside him having qualified in viticulture and oenology at college.

They grow the indigenous negrette, cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc, cot (aka malbec) and some syrah and gamay to make a selection of red and rosé wines. Everything is done by hand, including the harvest. The influence of both the Atlantic and the Mediterranean can be felt, together with cooling southerly winds during ripening, to moderate the effects of a semi-continental climate of hot summers and freezing winters.
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New Statesman

... a ripe, spiced-plum red made primarily from the negrette grape is [cheap] and ... has the dusty warmth of high summer.

Nina Caplan

joannasimon.com

I'm always delighted to find a red Fronton to recommend. We don't see many wines in the UK from this small appellation in southwest France (about 30km north of Toulouse), but they're always worth a look....
I'm always delighted to find a red Fronton to recommend. We don't see many wines in the UK from this small appellation in southwest France (about 30km north of Toulouse), but they're always worth a look. The best are deliciously supple, round and fruity, and yet with their own distinctive flavours thanks to the n�grette grape, which has to be the principal variety in any Fronton wine, red or ros� (there's no white). It's a grape variety almost unknown outside Fronton and a few neighbouring appellations, perhaps because it's susceptible to poor flowering and fruit set, to botrytis and mildew and to various insect pests. But it likes the various alluvial, sandy clay, gravelly and silty soils of Fronton and has been in the region for hundreds of years � since the Knights Templar returned from the crusades, it's believed � so growers there have the measure of it. This red, from the third-generation family-run Ch�teau Bouissel, is an unoaked blend of 60% n�grette with syrah, malbec and cabernet sauvignon. It was aged in concrete tanks, so there's no oak to get in the way of its perfumed, wild rose and spicy berry fruit, graphite freshness and soft tar and leather hints. Without oak and very modest tannin, it's easy-going with food. In the region, they quite often pair red Fronton with spices: I like it with spiced root veg, duck legs and quail (spices like cumin, coriander and five-spice), as well as with confit de canard, charcuterie, cassoulet and other bean casseroles. (I've also been served it with scallops by a grower, which might have worked if he hadn't chosen an ambitious, oak-matured, quite tannic example.
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Joanna Simon

JancisRobinson.com

Mid garnet. Smells wild and intriguing. Dark-fruited, herbal, leaf-mulch. Lots of interest for a modest price. Not terribly long but lots going on. Dry, light tannins. 15.5/20

Julia Harding MW

2016 vintage reviews

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