Chateau La Dauphine 2016
Blend: 90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Barrel Sample: 90-92
The chateau was built between 1744 and 1750 by Jean-Baptiste de Richon, a lawyer at the Parliament of Paris, and a Civil and Criminal Judge in the Duchy of Fronsac. Shortly after its construction, Maria Josepha of Saxony, the Dauphine of France, wife of Louis-Ferdinand de France (the Dauphin, son of Louis XV), and mother of several of the last Kings of France (including Louis XVI) stayed at the chateau for a few days. This event contributed to the property’s reputation.
In 1985, François-Régis Marcetteau de Brem, the last descendant of the Olivier family, sold La Dauphine to the Moueix family of Libourne (who also own Petrus, Chateau Trotanoy and Magdeleine). In 2000, Jean Halley (a former director and co-founder of the Promodes group) acquired Chateau de La Dauphine. Jean Halley, who died in 2011, and his son, Guillaume, undertook major investments to enhance the expression of the terroir and further develop the property’s reputation.
Home of the very first remarkable Right Bank wines, dating back to the 1730s, Fronsac and Canon-Fronsac actually retained more fame than Pomerol well into the 19th century. Today these wines represent some of Bordeaux’s best hidden gems.
Fronsac is a very small region at an unusually high elevation compared to other Bordeaux appellations. Its vineyards unroll along the oak-dotted hills bordering the river’s edge, making it perhaps Bordeaux’s prettiest and most majestic countryside.
Merlot covers 60% of the vineyard acreage; the rest of the vines are Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. The Fronsac and Canon-Fronsac appellations are limited to the higher land where soils are predominantly limestone and sandstone. Lower vineyards along the Dordogne River mainly qualify for Bordeaux AOC status
The best Fronsac are deeply concentrated in ripe red and black berry; they have a solid mineral backbone and are rich and plush on the finish.
One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the best of these are densely hued, fragrant, full of fruit and boast a structure that begs for cellar time. Somm Secret—Blends from Bordeaux are generally earthier compared to those from the New World, which tend to be fruit-dominant.