Chateau La Dominique 2018
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Tasting more like a great Pomerol than a Saint-Emilion (which makes sense given its location), the 2018 Château La Dominique is a knockout winner in this great vintage and should be snatched up by readers. A blend of 85% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon, it reveals a dense purple hue as well as gorgeous notes of crème de cassis, ripe black cherries, spring flowers, damp earth, and truffle. These carry to a full-bodied, sweetly fruited, sexy 2018 with incredible purity, a solid spine of acidity, ultra-fine tannins, and a great, great finish. It's already impossible to resist, yet it should evolve for 15-20 years with no issues. Bravo!
Aromas of blueberry, mulberry, spiced plum, walnut, tobacco and cigar box on the nose. It’s full-bodied with firm, silky tannins that frame a core of ripe blue and purple fruit. Polished and rich with wonderful depth. Better from 2024.
This estate, backing on to Chateau Cheval Blanc, has produced an intensely structured wine also full of rich fruits. It has the weight and density typical of this warm vintage, giving a powerhouse of black fruit and structure. Drink from 2026.
This has plenty of coffee/mocha edging and generosity, alongside abundant tannins and an enjoyable lift that gives tension and definition. Everything in balance, with a juicy finish. An excellent 2018, showcasing the slightly more hands-off work in the cellar at La Dominique. New technical director Yann Monties (ex-Haut-Bailly) is making an impact alongside director Gwendeline Lucas. Drinking Window 2026 - 2040
Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2018 La Dominique is a little broody, offering up damp soil, pencil lead, wild fungi and charcoal scents over a core of plum preserves and stewed blackberries. The medium to full-bodied palate delivers muscular black and blue fruit preserves, supported by ripe, rounded tannin's and just enough freshness, finishing earthy. It opened considerably after a few hours, contributing exotic spice and floral undertones. Give it 4-5 years in cellar and drink it over the following 15 years+. Rating : 92+
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.