Francs, Côtes de Bordeaux
The appellation of the Côtes de Francs (since 2008 called Francs, Côtes de Bordeaux) owes its reputation to the Thienpont Family who settled in the region after World War II. They own Château Puygueraud, a medieval castle at one of the highest points. Franc is the smallest of the Bordeaux Côtes appellations including just less than 500 hectares of vines with around 50 different producers. It lies east of St. Emilion between the appellations of the Côtes de Castillon and Puisseguin St. Emilion. The region takes its name after the first King of the Franks victory over the Visigoths.
Mainly made up of clay and limestone soils in rolling hillsides, Francs makes mainly red wines from Merlot grapes with small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec. One wine, Cuvée George, made by Nicolas Thienpont in homage to his father, is made from 45% Malbec grapes.
A small amount of white wine (sold under the white Bordeaux appellation) is made from Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Muscadelle grapes.
The Côtes de Franc makes stylish, rich wines with lots of dense berry fruit and plums, firm structure and good tannic backbone. The quality level is very good across the board and the wines represent very good value for money.
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- 2016 Château PuygueraudFrancs, Côtes de Bordeaux0.375l Red€7.43 €6.14Purchased by Georges Thienpont in 1946 and home to his family of 13 children, Puygueraud is a testament to the Thienpont family who put the Côtes de Francs on the Bordeaux wine map. This is a really charming vintage with a dark crimson colour, fresh and spicy nose with wild herb aromas, blueberries and blackcurrants; lovely spice and freshness, on the palate with great persistence. Delicious with lots of life and verve. Super.
- 2011 Château La PradeFrancs, Côtes de Bordeaux0.375l Red€7.45 €6.16An appealling deep violet colour,very fragrant and spicy on the nose, opulent and round with sumptuous autumn fruit flavours on the palate-a mix of blackberries and boysenberries with a touch of wild herbs; nice spicy finish.
- 2012 Château PuygueraudFrancs, Côtes de Bordeaux0.375l Red€7.45 €6.16Very pretty vivid purple colour; appealling nose with crunchy red fruits; smooth on the palate showing good intensity of fruit, acidity and a touch of wild herbs, spicy and nicely oaked on the finish. Very pleasing. A great achievement.
- 2014 Château PuygueraudFrancs, Côtes de Bordeaux0.375l Red€7.71 €6.37This Thienpont family wine, made by Nicolas Thienpont is a blend of 75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 5% Malbec. It is intense and structured in the nose with spicy aromas of nutmeg and cloves. There are lovely black fruit flavours on the palate with good intensity and a good tannic structure leading to a rich finish.
- 2008 Château La PradeFrancs, Côtes de Bordeaux0.375l Red€8.16 €6.74Pretty colour and intensity. Ripe and expressive on the nose with a lovely fruity lift and autumn berry aromas. A pretty structure despite the preceptible tannins.
- 2016 Château La PradeFrancs, Côtes de Bordeaux0.375l Red€8.46 €6.99Located in Saint Cibard, near the Thienpont family home, Nicolas bought this estate in 2000 on the limestone plateau and this wine always has a note of freshness from this soil. The 2016 is very attractive and perfumed, rich in the nose with a blend of 88% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc. There is lots of dense Merlot fruit here, great freshness and personality. A lovely wine with good fruit and spicy intensity.
- 2017 Château La PradeFrancs, Côtes de Bordeaux0.75l RedNew€13.25 €10.95Made from a blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc with about half of the vineyard damaged by frost. Extremely juicy, fruity, cassis flavours in the nose; soft and ripe on the palate, very forward and sweet with attractive spice; round and soft, finish. Very attractive.
- 2018 Château La PradeFrancs, Côtes de Bordeaux0.75l RedPrimeur€13.85 €11.45Made from a blend of 88% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc, La Prade has a very dark, glossy colour, intense and ripe nose with fresh aromas of sloes, wild berries and spice. The freshness in this wine is very attractive and the taste is full of gorgeous fruit and spice. On the finish the wine is round, voluptuous and velvety, really gourmand with great freshness in the wines. Delivery from winter 2020-2021