Françoise Lannoye is one of my favorite unknown Bordeaux winemakers. She makes great wine in unconventional areas and does it without fanfare. Along with her husband Philippe, she purchased Château Lanbersac (Puisseguin Saint-Emilion) in 2001 then Château Moulin de Clotte in 2002 (Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux). My first exposure to her wines was a bottle of her old-vine Chateau Lanbersac. Then there was a beautiful bottle of Moulin de Clotte . She now also owns Château Ambe Tour Pourret (a Saint-Emilion Grand Cru), which she acquired in 2007.
Lanbersac is located in the Puisseguin St Emilion wine region. This bottle is mostly Merlot, with a small amount of Cabernet Franc, which is typical for the area. Many of the so-called satellite regions of St Emilion are often unremarkable, banking on their association with St Emilion to do the hard work for them. M. Lannoye is not such a winemaker. Year in and year out, her wines are both authentic and aristocratic.
This vintage is beautiful—rich currant and graphite on the nose. The palate is muscular and angular with a firm mineral edge. This wine is going to need three to five years in the cellar. At this point, the tannins are overpowering the fruit, which offers up rich boysenberry and plum flavors and a beautiful finish of burnt cedar and allspice.