Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Wine Travel: T-Edward trip to Bordeaux 09.17.08 to 09.21.08 (3rd part)
After our visit at Chateau Bel-Air Ouy, we went to Chateau La Dominique.
Chateau La Dominique Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
Bought by the Fayat family in 1969, Chateau La Dominique is a beautiful property of 24 hectares of vineyards planted in a great Terroir surrounded by prestigious estates: Chateau Cheval Blanc Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Classe A (and surely one of the most well known Saint-Emilion in the world with -one of my favorite wines in the world- Chateau Ausone); but also Chateau La Conseillante and Chateau L'evangile a Pomerol. The vineyards are planted with approximately 95% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc. Since 2006, Jean-Luc's team is managing the property for the Fayat family and consult for the final blending with the help of Jean-Philippe Fort. Trained by Michel Rolland, he will replace him as a consultant for La Dominique and will be responsible for the final blend.
2006 Chateau La Dominique Saint-Emilion
Suggested retail price $35-$45
A blend 95% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc, the 2006 vintage is quite floral, with hints of blackberry and cherry, mixed with leather, woody notes. Overall, it is fresh with very good fruit and acidity. The balance is very good and the tannins are young, present but fairly well integrated. Lovely. 80.000 to 100.000 bottles produced.
As a more personal note, I will say that it was probably one of the best La Dominique I ever tasted. I've been tasting La Dominique for the past 10-11 years, en Primeur but also different vintages in many other occasions and I've never been a great fan of it. It was always lean, thin, dry, austere and often full of green tannins. 2006 is one of the first vintage of La Dominique that I found very good with a good harmony and elegant texture. For sure, the 2006 is not a fruit bomb and will never be, but so far and in my opinion, it is a much more concentrated, balanced and integrated version of any vintage that I tasted before.
Let's hope Jean-Luc Thunevin and Jean Philippe Fort will revamp this wine and increase the quality, because as Jean-Luc told us when we visit the winery: "When you realize the quality of the soil and Terroir, and where the Chateau is located, you wonder how they never made a much richer, complex wine before. The wine was good but it will only get better and better" Let's say that now La Dominique is in good hands.
We also tasted:
2001 Chateau La Dominique Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
Suggested retail price $35-$45
There again, I found it quite floral, with expressive red berries notes on the nose. The palate was fresh, fruity without being too ripe, with very good acidity. The attack and mid-palate was quite soft and round, lifted by vivid acidity and enhanced by the woody texture. The finish has some fruit and earthy notes with dry, slightly green tannins. Overall, the wine was good but not great, may be it will take time to soften a bit. It will be interesting to taste it within 2-3 years, but It is sure that 2006 is a much better wine.
To be continued...