Chateau Fonreaud Le Cygne is a dry white Bordeaux wine made from a typical blend of Bordeaux white wine grape varieties: Sauvignon, Semillon and Muscadelle. It is made at Chateau Fonreaud who are arguably better known for their red wines.
Chateau Fonreaud is a Membre de l’Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux and is located in the Listrac Medoc wine-growing region of Bordeaux. The commune of is situated in the Médoc on the Route Nationale 215, between Bordeaux and Le Verdon-sur-Mer. The name “Fonreaud” is derivation of the name “Font-réaux” meaning “Royal Fountain” and legend has it that, in the 12th century, the King of England and husband of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Henry II Plantagenet, stopped here to quench his thirst and drank from a spring of cool water. The spring can be found on the estate today. There were cellars on the site in the 17th century but the current Chateau was built in 1850 by Henri Le Blanc de Mauvezin in 1850. Today the estate is owned by Jean Chanfreau (whose sister, Caroline, owns the nearby estates of Chateau Caroline and Chateau Lestage). The wine is classified as a Cru Bourgeois. Jean’s grandfather Leo has been a winemaker in Algeria and purchased the estate in 1962 on his return to France. The estate then comprised 17 hectares and was managed by Leo’s son Marcel until Jean took over. The vineyards surround the Chateau which sits on the border between Listrac Medoc and Moulis and now comprises 32 hectares in a single block Pyrenean gravel with a clay limestone subsoil.
Bordeaux White wines seem to be undergoing a bit of a resurgence in recent years but Chateau Fonreaud Le Cygne was first made at the beginning of the 19th Century by the Vicomtesse de Coulogne. The wine is named Le Cygne, “The Swan”, after the emblem of the family that built the chateau. It common to name white wines from Listrac-Medoc after birds – there is also La Mouette de Château Lestage and the Le Merle Blanc de Château Clarke named after the Seagull and Blackbird respectively. In the 1950s white wine production had ceased at Chateau Fonreaud but, in 1989, it was decided to reintroduce the tradition and three plots were chosen with limestone soils and terroir suitable for white wine production. The white wine vineyards total an area of 3 hectares and are planted with 65% Sauvignon, 20% Semillon and 15% Muscadelle.
Great care is taken with the grapes for Chateau Fonreaud Le Cygne. Harvest is by hand and the pickers make three to four passes through the vineyard, each time picking only the ripest grapes. The grapes are gently pressed and the juice is fermented in old wooden barrels with regular stirring of the fine lees. The wine is then bottled the summer following the harvest. The blend is approximately 60% Sauvignon, 25% Semillon and 15% Muscadelle.
Chateau Fonreaud is a member of Terra Vitis.