In 2024, Château Fleur Cardinale and Château Croix Cardinale were brought together under the name La Maison Cardinale

Château Fleur Cardinale 2020 - Château Fleur Cardinale
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Château Fleur Cardinale 2020

Complexity & Achievement

Capsule de Château Fleur Cardinale - © C. Decoster, Château Fleur Cardinale


Blend :

  • 77% Merlot
  • 18% Cabernet Franc
  • 5% Cabernet Sauvignon

Alcoholic degree: 14°

La vigne - © C. Decoster, Château Fleur Cardinale


2020, with its cold, rainy spring and a record dry summer, was a year of climatic contrasts.

After 5 days of much-needed rain, which enabled the grapes to reach optimal ripeness, the signal was given for harvesting to start!

Le temps des vendanges - © J. Buchholtz


  • from 17 Septembre to 2 October 2020
  • Yields:  43hl/ha
  • Production: 100 000 bottles of first wine


  • Optimal tasting period: 2024 – 2044.
  • Today: to be kept in the cellar.
  • Serving temperature: 17-18°C.
Une bouteille de Fleur Cardinale 2015 - © C. Decoster, Château Fleur Cardinale


The 2020 vintage is synonymous of:

  • Complexity
  • Achievement
  • Depth
  • Finesse
Vin et musique - © C. Decoster, Château Fleur Cardinale


To enjoy while listening to the song Lonely Boy by The Black Keys.

Reviews for this vintage


The 2020 asserts its generous, solar concentration, with a pleasant sensation of sweetness. Its seductive envelope is carried by stimulating tannins through to a spicy finish. A fine expression of Saint-Émilion that will reassure palates in search of fullness. September 2023


It is surprising that a wine made with 100% new oak + 10% “oak barrel fermentation” can retain so much freshness and is always smooth even though the amount of tannins is pretty high. The palate is juicy, decorated with the elegant sense of graphite and pencil shavings on the finish, which present the same style as the 2019 vintage. Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon both performed well in this vintage. December 2022


Légèrement mentholé, frais et très fruits noirs, le bouquet de Fleur Cardinale est complexe et dense. Légères notes de prise de bois à l'aération. Bouche juteuse, tendue, plus qu'à son habitude, avec un boisé délicat. La tension est présente et rehausse une structure d'ensemble moyennement dense. Une bouteille qui pourrait se révéler totalement après les élevages. Mai 2021


Ruby. Scented, floral, blackberries and blueberries, fruit driven and pure nose, detailed. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, dark fruits, anise, juicy, detailed and quite bright, lovely harmony to it, long. 14,5% alcohol and PH of 3,57. Fleur Cardinale is confirming a new level with this vintage. May 2021


The vineyards for this Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Classé property rests on soils of limestone and clay. The saturated opaque purple hue opens to delicate scents of mixed wild berries. Within the concentrated core is raspberry marmalade, black plum jam and fruitcake spices complemented with crushed rocks and earth. Underneath the complexity of the wine is a hint of soft toasted oak and a delicate backbone that will evolve over time. June 2021


A ton of depth and body to this wine, you feel the cool blue fruit of a later-ripening terroir, plenty of tannic grip and bite, curls up with graphite, cigar box, liquorice root and a tiptoe balance of slate and baked earth. Plenty of juicy acidity on the finish, this is precise and elegant with a punch, and continues the run of successful vintages at Fleur Cardinale. A yield of 43hl/ha. 100% new oak. New cellar just finished up at the estate. May 2021


Creamy, leesy, slightly yeasty. Red fruit, dark berries, gentle cassis. Stewed plums. At first seems chocolatey and a little cooked, very tight. Incredibly tight in fact, the tannins are all curled up, the fruit is hiding behind them, the acidity is the only bit just barely poking out. Really gorgeous wine that won't be ready for years, classic and classy. June 2021


Tiefdunkles Rubingranat, opaker Kern, violette Reflexe, dezenter Ockerrand. Zart tabakig unterlegte schwarze Waldbeeren, Nuancen von Kirschen, frische Blaubeeren, angenehmer Edelholzanklang. Saftig, gute Komplexität und Frische, integrierte Tannine, mineralisch-zitroniger Touch im Abgang, salziger Nachhall, besitzt Länge und Entwicklungspotenzial. Deep dark ruby ​​garnet, opaque core, violet reflections, subtle ocher edge. Black forest berries with a delicate tobacco underlay, nuances of cherries, fresh blueberries, a pleasant note of precious wood. Juicy, good complexity and freshness, integrated tannins, mineral-lemony touch on the finish, salty finish, has length and potential for development.Mai 2021


From new winemaking facilities at this Grand Cru Classé château comes this 75% Merlot dominant blend that also includes Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Rich and sublime aromas of hedgerow wild fruit—blackberries and raspberries—as well as layers of earth. In the mouth this is a layer cake of juicy surprises, including acidity with flavors of clementines, a dark mocha/aniseed matrix mid palate and a finish with a hint of cherries and mint. Rich, juicy acidity and firm though unobtrusive tannins. Once opened, this wine will not last long. A fun though seriously crafted wine—pair with lamb and mint sauce, even oysters with tabasco, or a dessert of carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. Avril 2021


This property is situated on the hills of Saint-Etienne-de Lisse commune and close neighbour to Valandraud. 2020 was made in a fully operational new cellar, and for the first time, two 750 hl amphoras were used for ageing Cabernet and Merlot grapes from old vines. Dense and fragrant black cherries on the nose, intense and creamy on the mid-palate with velvety tannin and acidity, keeping everything in perfect order. Subtle complexity and finesse. As thrilling as 2019 but a little more precise. Tremendous effort. June 2021


Well balanced, with momentum and energy from beginning to end, thoroughly enjoyable wine that layers on pristine black and blue fruits with crushed rock, sage and fennel spice. A 23.1ha estate in one of the cooler sections of St Emilion, owned by the Decoster Famly, with Jean Philippe Fort consultant. 43hl/ha yield. 100% new oak. First year in new cellar. December 2022


Vivid and lively with blackberries, earth and some flowers. It’s full and layered with tannins that spread across the palate. Broader form to this young Bordeaux. Lots of tannins at the end. April 2021

Attractive aromas of blueberries and mulberries with graphite, dark licorice and crushed stones. Dark chocolate, too. Full-bodied. Impressive quality to the tannin structure that starts gently and glossy and continues to build, gaining power throughout the palate. Deep and dense with a velvety dark-fruited core. Really long, tense and persistent. 77% merlot, 18% cabernet franc and 5% cabernet sauvignon. Try after 2026. December 2022


Full bottle 1,345 g. Cask sample taken on 7 April. QR code gives a ton of background information such as that this is the first vintage vinified in their new cellars. They are experimenting with microvinifications and have bought two large 'amphorae'. Assemblage of the 2020 is 77% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. They are reforesting, in the RSE sustainability programme and collaborating with Franco-Senegalese poet Souleymane Diamanka. Ain't modern technology grand?! Very dark purplish crimson. Mellow, appetising, layered nose. Really very distinctive and luscious with those tannins very beautifully disguised beneath interesting, cashmere-textured fruit with some mineral notes on the end. Very successful. It certainly isn't soft but you could almost drink it tonight. Exciting and flattering. Lots of energy. April 2021


16.75 // 93
Couleur sombre, intense et pourpre. Nez intense, au fruité mûr. Juteux en entrée de bouche, gras et complet au milieu, le vin évolue très bien construit, profond et noble, avec beaucoup de goût et ce qu'il faut d'équilibre entre la chair, la puissance et l'arôme. Je retrouve dans ce vin une sensation joyeuse que j'avais perdue dans ce cru. C'est superbe. Avril 2021


Excellent Fleur Cardinale in this vintage with lovely detailed fruit, savory spices and lush, firm tannins. Beautifully crafted and balanced with a long finish. May 2021


I tasted the 2020 Château Fleur Cardinale from three separate bottles, all of which showed brilliantly. Offering lots of red and black fruits as well as dark chocolate and rocky, earthy minerality, it’s a full-bodied, firm yet promising wine with terrific overall balance and length as well as purity of fruit. Short-term cellaring is the name of the game here, but it’s going to shine for at least two decades. It’s well worth seeking out. May 2021

A solid step up, the Grand Vin 2020 Château Fleur Cardinale checks in as 77% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. This 22.5-hectare estate has been in the Decoster family since 2000 and consists of mostly clay over limestone soils and is located in the Saint-Etienne de Lisse region of Saint-Emilion. From healthy yields of 43 hectoliters per hectare, with malolactic fermentation in tank followed by 13 months in 90% new French oak, it has a juicy, pure, medium to full-bodied style that shows the classic, elegant style of the vintage beautifully. Offering lots of cassis-like fruit, notes of truffly earth, spring flowers, and violets, well-integrated acidity and tannins, and just a beautifully balanced mouthfeel, it's going to benefit from just 2-4 years of bottle age and will evolve nicely through 2040. It's another beautiful wine from this estate. March 2023


Le croquant sapide du cru se retrouve démultiplié dans ce millésime au parfait parfum de fruits noirs, légèrement confit de mûre et de cassis. Un volume concluant dont la chair est ponctuée d'une touche de graphite. Avril 2021

Le fruit est noir (mûre et cassis), légèrement confit ; la chair dévoile cependant une touche de graphite qui retranscrit la minéralité du sol. Un cru à surveiller pour le déboucher au juste moment et profiter de son fruit concentré. September 2022


Imponerande och tät merlotfrukt med mörkbärighet, blommighet och struktur som andas stor potential. Täta men mogna tanniner. Impressive and dense Merlot fruit with dark berry, floral and structure that exudes great potential. Tight but ripe tannins. Juillet 2021


Dark purple colour with violet hue and black core. Expressive nose with aroma reminiscent of ripe blackberries, fresh plums, juicy black cherries, with floral hints and mild spices in the background. Subtle oak and fine hints of dark chocolate. On the palate juicy character with ripe fruit, plums and dark berries, ripe tannins, fine toasting aroma and elegant vanilla. A complex and rich wine with excellent length and freshness. May 2021


Very impressive and layered with a darker tone than expected and lovely, sooty oak notes as well as rich, earthy back- bone. The dark fruit is very lusty and precocious and it looks plush and deep. I am very taken with this wine and it wins a correspondingly impressive score. May 2021


Geur: donker, diep, port, pruimen, kersen Smaak: rijp en elegant, diepgang, zuren, mooie tannine Nez : sombre, profond, porto, prunes, cerises. Goût : mûr et élégant, profondeur, acidité, beaux tannins.


Intense and tightly oaky aromas with coffee and spices to accompany, and overlie, the plush red and black fruit scents. Damson and spiced plum. There’s a sweet herb freshness here too, thyme and perhaps even a touch of lavender. Powerful structure in the mouth with some milk chocolate textured tannins and a glossy mouth-coating sensation. Ripe fruits here, with the oak being more supportive than dominant. Multi-layered and flavoursome, with good acidity and freshness to back up a powerful tannic structure and alcohol in check. Long. Very good. May 2021


Kräftiges Bouquet, Schwarzbeeren, Heidelbeeren, geröstete Kräuter, Schwarzwälder Kirsch, zart Thymian. Dicht, saftig, präsentes feines Tannin, feine Säure, guter Grip, schwarzbeerige Frucht, Wildkirschen, Waldhimbeeren, zart Blutorange im Finish, gute Länge. Bouquet puissant, mûres, myrtilles, herbes grillées, cerise de forêt noire, thym délicat. Dense, juteux, présente des tanins fins, une acidité fine, une bonne prise en main, des fruits de mûre, des cerises sauvages, des framboises sauvages, une délicate orange sanguine en finale, une bonne longueur. May 2021


Avec sa matière ronde et opulente, témoignant d'une bonne densité articulée autour d'un fruit noir juteux, Fleur Cardinale se singularise par sa trame tannique, qui se conjugue avec une droiture manifeste. La texture du vin est, à ce stade, un peu plus stricte qu'à l'accoutumée. Ce 2020 gagne en tension ce qu'il cède en sensualité. Mai 2021


Glossy deep purple in a way that has you asking how a colour like that is even possible naturally. Expansive and expressive and intensely floral – pot pourri, dried rose petals, peonies and irises intermingle with the bramble and blackberry fruit and the lovely graphite-cedar note that starts to develop with a little more air, and there’s almost a hint of coal dust – certainly a rocky mineral note. This has a nose that you want to bottle any carry around with you! Full, plush, plump and pulpy on the palate, with incredibly soft yet not inconsiderable tannins and impressive mid-palate density and concentration. A big and powerful wine, but with oodles of charm, great freshness and plenty of energy. June 2021


Composed of 77% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, with an alcohol of 14.5% and a pH of 3.57, the deep purple-black colored 2020 Fleur Cardinale bursts from the glass with powerful notes of crushed blackberries, stewed black plums and Morello cherries, plus suggestions of star anise, pencil shavings and black truffles. The medium to full-bodied palate is chock-full of softly textured, juicy black fruits, countered by fantastic tension, finishing with great length and loads of earthy layers. May


Dark in color, the wine is all about its dark red fruits, licorice, smoke, wet earth and tobacco leaf characteristics. On the palate. the wine is rich, lush, ripe and voluptuous, with a finish that packs in layers of espresso, black fruits, licorice and dark chocolate. Full-bodied, concentrated and long, this is the best Fleur Cardinale I have tasted in a few years. May 2021

Deeply colored, the wine struts its chocolate-covered, black cherries, plums, licorice, flowers, and espresso character with ease. Rich, full, lush, and long, the layers of fruit express length, purity, balance, and complexity, leaving with a long, supple-textured, fruit-packed finish. As I wrote when tasted in barrel, this is the best Fleur Cardinale I have tasted in a few years. The wine blends 77% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Drink from 2024-2045. March 2023


A quite glorious colour to this wine, a very dense and somewhat saturated concentration, with a black cherry and violet hue. The aromatics are no less ready to impress than the wine’s appearance in the glass, with crushed black cherry, plum cream and scented violets, with touches of dark chocolate and cocoa bean. A hugely impressive start to the palate, broad and textural from the outset, with violet cream and plums, threaded with dark chocolate, all set in a supple texture laid over a very firm but tightly knit bed of tannins. Broad, enveloping the palate, through to a very firm finish. I find good vivacity here too, with fresh acidity, and lots of tight, high-quality tannins on the finish, wrapping around the fruit and dominating the length. This is very high quality, from an estate clearly on the up. Two separate samples tasted. April 2021


17.5 // 95
Le nez est aromatique et offre de la puissance, une jolie finesse du grain, de la puissance (en maitrise), de la complexité ainsi que de l’intensité. On y retrouve des notes de cassis sauvage pulpeux, de mûre sauvage et plus légèrement de petites baies associées à des touches de violette, de lys, de petites baies rouges (fraise, cerise) ainsi qu’à des pointes de fleurs de prunier, d’épices, de graphite, à de discrètes pointes de tabac et à une subtile pointe de poivre (en fond). La bouche est fruitée, tout en précision/justesse, racée et offre de la jutosité, de la tension, de la puissance aérienne, une certaine pureté du fruit, de la minéralité, une jolie définition du fruit ainsi qu’un fruit juteux/frais/éclatant, de la précision, de la pureté, de la gourmandise et une puissance maitrisée. En bouche ce vin exprime des notes de cassis éclatant, de prune violette et plus légèrement de mûre sauvage écrasée associées à des touches de framboise, de petits fruits sauvages, de violette, de fleurs de prunier ainsi qu’à des pointes de fève de tonka, de cardamone, de tabac blond sucré et à de discrètes pointes de gousse de vanille bourbon. Bonne longueur. Les tannins sont précis, structurants et bien menés. Avril 2021


Je remarque beaucoup de précision dans ce vin, belle énergie avec les fruits noirs pulpeux et frais, toucher de tanins soyeux tout en élégance, chaque élément trouve sa place, belle persistance avec une grande fraicheur saisit la bouche du début à la finale, gourmand qui dévoile une bonne garde. Juin 2021


TOP 20 RIVE DROITE // ****
Reiche Nase nach Walderdbeeren und Schwarzkirschen bisschen kandiert, gut abgestimmt und einnehmend, feuchtes Moos, Weihrauchhauch; saftige Waldbeerenfrucht, kernig, mittelkräftig, ausgewogen, sehr fest, kraftvoll, lang, legt toll zu. Nez riche de fraises sauvages et de cerises noires un peu confites, bien accordé et engageant, mousse humide, soupçons d'encens ; fruit juteux de baies sauvages, pulpeux, moyennement corsé, équilibré, très ferme, puissant, long, met en valeur. Mai 2021


The 2020 Fleur Cardinale is elegant and refined from the first taste. Bright red berry fruit, spice, blood orange and cedar lend terrific brightness. In 2020 Fleur Cardinale is elegant, polished and restrained. All the elements come together so gracefully. I imagine the 2020 will flesh out a bit over time. Today, it is a bit restrained, but that is not at all a bad thing. A second bottle was even better. The 2020 could very well turn out to be a jewel of a wine. May 2021

The 2020 Fleur Cardinale is packed with dark fruit, chocolate, new leather, menthol and generous sweet oak. The 2020 has gained in body and complexity with élevage, exactly what is supposed to happen over time. Moreover, the 2020 has plenty of energy to balance its more exuberant leanings. December 2022


The 2020 Fleur Cardinale has a well-defined and intense bouquet of black cherries, crushed strawberry, star anise and light floral scents, gaining more composure as it opens in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with succulent tannins, graphite-tinged black fruit and a thumping, powerful finish that leaves a peppery aftertaste. This will require 3–5 years in bottle just to shave some of its edges and is likely to need several years in the cellar. Tasted twice with consistent notes. May 2021

The 2020 Fleur Cardinale has a ripe and opulent nose with black cherries, kirsch and sous-bois; violent and inkwell touches emerge with time. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins and fine delineation, though it hasn't entirely captured the complexity I felt it could have achieved from barrel. Still, it should age well in bottle, and a second tasting displayed a bit more nerve. February 2023


Very dark fruit, Christmas spices, cardamom, cool, noble, stony, still restrained but profound, with more air shows blackcurrants, styles of elderberry, dark chocolate. On the palate taut, punchy, a mouthful of wine, yet with clear, pure fruit, fine spice, immensely juicy, fresh, precise and surprisingly light on its feet, the wine is balanced, elegant, showing on the finish the stony, chalky note that was already perceptible on the nose. A very balanced wine. If the expansion develops well, there is room for improvement. April 2021


Blending 77% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, and cropped at a very healthy 43 hectoliters per hectare, 2020 was ideal for the cooler terroirs here at St-Etienne-de-Lisse: the barrel sample exudes lovely floral aspects with bright red and dark fruit. Excellent tannic grip but also smooth. Earlier harvests and cooler fermentation temperatures are helping. The estate is undergoing an overhaul to be more oriented towards wine tourism after having already constructed a new vat room in 2019 and first year barrel cellar this year. June 2021


Extrem dunkles Purpur mit schwarzer Mitte und zartem lila Rand. Konzentriertes Bouquet mit Wildkirsche, Pflaumenmus und parfümiertem Pfeifentabak, dahinter Lakritze, exotische Hölzer und Schokopastillen. Am druckvollen Gaumen mit seidiger Textur, mehliger Extraktfülle und sehr muskulösem Körper. Im aromatischen Finale eine volle Ladung schwarzer Johannisbeeren, Schattenmorellensaft und dunkle Mineralik, die Rasse macht heuer den Unterschied, der Wein wirkt dadurch strukturiert und vielschichtig, richtig gut gelungen! Pourpre extrêmement foncé avec un centre noir et un bord violet délicat. Bouquet concentré de cerise sauvage, de confiture de prunes et de tabac à pipe parfumé, derrière la réglisse, les bois exotiques et les pastilles au chocolat. En bouche, il est percutant, avec une texture soyeuse, une richesse en extraits farineux et un corps très musclé. Dans la finale aromatique, une pleine charge de cassis, de jus de griotte et de minéralité sombre, la race fait la différence cette année, le vin semble structuré et multicouche, vraiment bien fait ! Juin 2021


Beaucoup de finesse dans ce bouquet qui révèle de subtiles nuances fruitées et minérales. En bouche le vin est bien soutenu par des tannins aux grains fins et par une rafraîchissante tension, jusqu'en fin de bouche. Un vin équilibré qui pourrait montrer un peu plus de race, de nerf, de profondeur mais qui se distingue par son élégance. Mai 2021

Fleur Cardinale avance chaque année un peu plus vers son terroir. Il gagne en authenticité, en caractère. Le bouquet, par exemple, révèle des nuances crayeuses alors que le palais se distingue par sa finesse et des tannins aux grains fins. Seule l'expression fruitée, au niveau gustatif, est en retrait et pas assez persistant. Un passage en cave va contribuer à optimiser tout cela. Un Fleur Cardinale bien défini avec une symbiose optimale entre fraîcheur et densité. January 2023