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Chateau La Dominique (Futures Pre-Sale) 2016

Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
  • JS94
  • D94
  • WE94
  • WS93
  • RP92
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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JS 94
James Suckling
Layered and juicy with lots of ripe fruit and soft tannins. Decadent and generous. Lots going on here.
Barrel Sample: 93-94 Points
D 94
Decanter
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.
Barrel Sample
WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
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.
Barrel Sample: 92-94 Points
WS 93
Wine Spectator
This has a piercing spearmint streak amid the core of plum and blackberry fruit, with racy acidity buried on the finish. It’s vibrant and enticing, but needs to fill out a bit more on the back end.
Barrel Sample: 90-93 Points
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2016 La Dominique is composed of 80% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 8% Cabernet Sauvignon. It was aged for 16 months in 60% new oak and 20% one-year-old oak from four different coopers and 20% in tanks. Deep garnet-purple colored, it features black cherry compote, blackberry pie, sautéed herbs and tree bark with wafts of tobacco and a touch of underbrush. The palate is medium to full-bodied, very firm and structured with a lively lift to the finish. About 6,666 cases produced.
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Chateau La Dominique

Chateau La Dominique

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Chateau La Dominique, St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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Driven by enthusiasm and the spirit of enterprise, in 1969 Clément Fayat acquired Château La Dominique, an estate offering a high class terroir, located on the western side of the Saint-Emilion appellation.

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.

St. Emilion

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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, Figeac, 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.

Bordeaux Blends

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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, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

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