MICHEL ROLLAND  –  CONSULTING OENOLOGIST

The Château Fonplégade winemaking team is proud to work with legendary Consulting Oenologist Michel Rolland, a man whose name is synonymous with some of the world's greatest wines. In addition to his own properties, which include Château Le Bon Pasteur, Château Bertineau Saint-Vincent, Château Rolland-Maillet and Château Fontenil, Mr. Rolland works with some of the finest wineries on four continents as a consulting oenologist. Over the years, this illustrious list has included such acclaimed wineries as Angélus, Ausone and Valandraud in Saint-Emilion, Pape Clément in Pessac-Léognan, Pontet-Canet in Pauillac, Ornellaia in Tuscany, and Harlan Estate, Bryant Family, Araujo, Ovid, Dalla Valle and Staglin Family Vineyards in Napa Valley. Mr. Rolland is a graduate of the esteemed Bordeaux Faculty of Oenology.

 

INTERVIEW WITH MICHEL ROLLAND – SEPTEMBER 2011

1. You started consulting for Mr. and Mrs. Adams in 2004 at Château Fonplégade. Looking back at the last 7 vintages of the property, what do you think of the outcome?

Since the start, the vineyards and the settings at Fonplégade, with the approval of Mr. and Mrs. Adams, never stopped improving, to become what it is today: a Grand Cru Classé as a whole.

2. What are the main technical decisions you made in the cellars and vineyards at Fonplégade since you started working here?

The cellars needed a complete restoration. This has been achieved not only in technical terms but also in aesthetic terms. The winery and the harvest delivery area have been completely renovated. The vineyard is being renewed respecting the time needed for the plots not to have their natural balance modified. Mr. and Mrs. Adams have accepted to do some titanic work.

3. What is your opinion on the quality of Château Fonplégade's 42 acres, located on the plateau and downhill?

The soils on this plateau made of clay and its southern slope have always been a wonderful terroir. This terroir is one of a First Grand Cru Classé which had been slightly forgotten over the years.

4. Now the cellars and vineyards have been completely renovated, what do you think of the potential of Château Fonplégade for the years to come?

It is a very Fine Wine. This special terroir made of different type of soils gives Château Fonplégade its own identity with large possibilities in terms of quality.

5. In 2009, Fonplégade started its conversion in organic. It was a project which Mr. and Mrs. Adams had their hearts set on. Again, you were here by their side to advise them. What is your opinion on this transition to organic at Fonplégade?

The organic viticulture is a very interesting philosophy. It is a massive work in terms of application, vigilance and understanding. I believe we must stick to it. It takes the vineyards a certain time to adjust but the vines then create its own defense. The climate helps us and the nature deserves it. I can only be supportive of such a project.

6. Between 2004 and 2010, is there any particular vintage of Château Fonplégade you remember more than any other?

I cannot just name one. I assume 2005 was an amazing feat at the time it was done. As for the trilogy of 2008-2009-2010, it will always remain in the history of Fonplégade and in Mr. and Mrs. Adams' memory.

  Michel Rolland