Château La Vieille-Cure is a 50-acre estate in Fronsac that dates to the 17th century. In 1986 it was bought by a group of Americans who revived the estate. Parts of the estate vineyards were replanted and a new winery built. Jean-Luc Thunevin, considered the godfather of Bordeaux’s garagiste movement, is consulting general manager. The wine is typically 75% Merlot, 22% Cabernet Franc and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon. About 100,000 bottles are produced annually. The second wine is La Sacristie De La Vieille- Cure, also a Merlot-based blend. Wine Advocate wrote in 2012 that “Château La Vieille-Cure may well be the reference point for Fronsac given its performance over the last decade. Consistently one of the top two or three wines of the appellation.”
Fronsac is a small appellation northwest of Saint-Émilion. Fronsac produces only red wines and has about 2,000 vineyard acres. Canon-Fronsac is a smaller appellation within Fronsac. Merlot is the primary grape in Fronsac, followed by Cabernet Franc Cabernet Sauvignon. Fronsac wines are generally full-bodied and plummy. In the 18th and 19th centuries Fronsac wines had the same prestige as the wines of St.-Émilion, though by the mid-20th century Fronsac wines were less renowned. Today, however, young and innovative older winemakers are reviving traditional estates. Some have gone the garagiste route by making non-historic blends.