Here is another Fronton from the same stable as the one I wrote about a couple of weeks ago complaining that it tasted more like northern Rhône than Fronton, though in respects other than typicity it was a good wine.Fronton Le Classique 2008 - Domaine Le Roc
- Alc.13% - (c.€9) made from Négrette 70%, Syrah 20% and Cabernet Sauvignon 10% and matured in concrete vats.
This medium. bodied wine showed some very attractive red and dark fruit with a mingling of ripe tomato and a dash of blood, all seasoned by dabs of spice, freshened by lively acidity and supported by decently resolving tannic structure. Unlike the estate's flagship Cuvée Don Quichotte (with 40% Syrah), it no longer masqueraded as a Rhône but I still missed the leathery earthiness which I have found in other estates from Fronton. I discussed this briefly with the caviste and he said that Fronton without softening (dumbing down?) of Syrah and/or CabSauv was a hard sell. Nevertheless a good wine and good QPR
To remind myself what I have liked in the past from Fronton, I looked up in the archive these notes from a tasting in December 2011 in the presence of the growers -Château La Colombière, Fronton, near Toulouse
This estate, run by the pleasant young Cauvin couple, uses biodynamic methods http://www.chateaulacolombiere.com/english/ . The principle grape variety in Fronton is Négrette but other varieties including Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are authorised in a blend. Of the wines shown here, all AOC Fronton, only Réserve included 20% of Cabernets, both Sauvignon and franc.
I loved Vinum 2010 (€6) for its exuberant savoury and tangy fruit, earthiness, lively acidity and hints of old lace; I bought some; 15.5/20+++. Réserve 2010 (€7) was smoother and more civilised but still showed a lot of Négrette character; 15.5/20++. Coste Rouge 2009 (€10) was deeper and more structured and complex showing attractive fruit impregnated with cassis and leather notes; this one should improve with ageing; 16/20 now.
I feel that the above wines were more typical as well as more exuberant and even better QPR.