Chateau La Dominique 2016
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Restrained and elegant on the attack, this has plenty of dense, dark black fruit to back it up. The palate opens to show complexity and intensity of fruit, and totally delivers on its opulent and silky billing, with lovely touches of spice to pick up the finish. Well constructed. It is planted to 80% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged in 70% new oak with Michel Rolland as consultant. 49hl/ha yield, 3.75pH. Drinking Window 2027 - 2050
This wine is impressive in both structure and ripe, generous fruits. It is solid, with good potential for aging, though the dark tannins suggest that it will develop slowly. Enjoy through 2032.
Reasonably well-filled even if a bit slow to show it after starting out with a relatively subdued, gently oaked nose of black cherries and plums, La Dominique opens and unfolds on the palate to reveal better fruity depth while showing a bit of juicy opulence and touches of graphite and violets that are unpredicted by its aromas. It is not overly tough, but it is moderately tannic and some time away from prime-time drinking, and it is best tagged for cellaring for a good six to ten years.
Respect for the soil in order to bring out its potential at its best, disciplined and careful work in the vines throughout their life-cycle, greatest care for the grapes from their ripening until the crucial period of fermentation, and finally the closest attention that is paid during the ageing process and the bottling. The winery has 23 hectares and the soils are 25% deep gravel, 75% old sand mixes with gravel over a clay sub-layer. The vines average 30 years of age.
Marked by its historic fortified village—perhaps the prettiest in all of Bordeaux, the St-Émilion appellation, along with its neighboring village of Pomerol, are leaders in quality on the Right Bank of Bordeaux. These Merlot-dominant red wines (complemented by various amounts of Cabernet Franc and/or Cabernet Sauvignon) remain some of the most admired and collected wines of the world.
St-Émilion has the longest history in wine production in Bordeaux—longer than the Left Bank—dating back to an 8th century monk named Saint Émilion who became a hermit in one of the many limestone caves scattered throughout the area.
Today St-Émilion is made up of hundreds of independent farmers dedicated to the same thing: growing Merlot and Cabernet Franc (and tiny amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon). While always roughly the same blend, the wines of St-Émilion vary considerably depending on the soil upon which they are grown—and the soils do vary considerably throughout the region.
The chateaux with the highest classification (Premier Grand Cru Classés) are on gravel-rich soils or steep, clay-limestone hillsides. There are only four given the highest rank, called Premier Grand Cru Classés A (Chateau Cheval Blanc, Ausone, Angélus, Pavie) and 14 are Premier Grand Cru Classés B. Much of the rest of the vineyards in the appellation are on flatter land where the soils are a mix of gravel, sand and alluvial matter.
Great wines from St-Émilion will be deep in color, and might have characteristics of blackberry liqueur, black raspberry, licorice, chocolate, grilled meat, earth or truffles. They will be bold, layered and lush.
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.