Benchmark Wines By
Fleur Cardinale

Tasting Notes


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.


Beautiful aromas of black licorice, berry and vanilla follow through to a full body, with soft, velvety tannins and a long, caressing finish. Polished and very pretty. Incredibly well done for this estate.

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Fleur Cardinale brand image

The Winery

Fleur Cardinale

Château Fleur Cardinale is a Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Classé that has been owned by Florence and Dominique Decoster since 2001. The property was promoted to the rank of Grand Cru Classé in 2006, retaining it in 2012. The vineyards extend for 58 acres across Saint-Émilion and are planted on soils of clay and limestone. Merlot dominates here and is planted alongside smaller plots of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.

The wines come from vines that are, on average, 40 years old. The grapes are hand-harvested and then manually sorted in the winery, plot by plot, and variety by variety, before being destemmed into fermenters. The winery has 22 temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks that the grapes are placed into to begin alcoholic fermentation. Wines are then aged for between 12 and 15 months in new French oak barrels. The family also produces wine under the Château Croix Cardinale label. Rather than a second wine, this is a separate, neighboring vineyard. It is planted mostly to Merlot, alongside some Cabernet Franc.

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