Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Wine Travel: T-Edward trip to Bordeaux 09.17.08 to 09.21.08 (3rd part)

Friday 09.19.08

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. 

We tasted: 

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...



  1. La Dominique is different than the others St Emilion, it's not the best of this area, but his taste is very good and could surpise you. So I agree : very good chateau and better than before.

  2. I booked this tour online through the recommendation of another group who also booked it.
    Gaetane and I corresponded regarding dates, times, prices and our limitations due to having to be back to the ship on time. Gaetane was very supportive and flexible with the tour itinerary, we came to a very easy agreement We had two vans totally 14 people. We visited two wineries, both set in beautiful countryside. The wine owners gave us a wonderful explanation of their production and grape growing and let us drink really good wine. Everyone had a terrifice and jovial time.
    We then had time in Aix-en-Provence to have lunch and look around on our own. We were then driven back to the ship arriving with lots of time to spare
    I highly recommend Gaetane and the Provence Wine Tours. We couldn't have had a more wonderful time.