|Grapes||Cab Franc, Merlot|
|Sub-district||Saint Emilion & Satellites|
80% Cabernet Franc, 20% Merlot. Silky and rich, but big and broad and tending toward soupy. Undoubtedly very ripe and rich but maybe less would have been more. In this very opulent style - it depends if that's what you are looking for. Drinking range: 2028 - 2040 Rating: 92-93 L&S (Apr 2017)
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The 2016 Le Dome is a brilliant, brilliant wine that does everything right. Sporting a saturated purple color, it has a huge perfume of blueberries, spring flowers, graphite, wet stone, and camphor. Incredibly layered and complex, with full body, building, ultra-fine tannins, a multi-dimensional texture, and a monster finish, it’s unquestionably one of the most flamboyant, sexy, opulent wines in the vintage yet stays ethereal, elegant, and weightless. Coming from a site not far from Angélus and a unique blend of 80% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot from tiny yields, aged in 80% new oak, it has the class and fruit to shine even today but will be better with 3-4 years of cellaring and I suspect capable of lasting for 2-3 decades. Drinking range: 2022 - 2052 Rating: 100 Jeb Dunnuck, www.jebdunnuck.com (Feb 2019)
The 2016 Le Dome is a blend of 80% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot picked on 17 and 10 October, respectively, at 30 hectoliters per hectare and matured in 80% new oak. There is 15% alcohol this year. It has a very ripe and decadent bouquet with small black cherries, crushed violet and Indian ink, very open and intense. The palate is rounded on the entry with a lot of wood tannin on the entry that just dry out the second half. It is a voluminous Le Dôme, quite muscular, although I just found a touch of bitterness coming through on the finish. Drinking range: 2022 - 2040 Rating: 93-95 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (Apr 2017)
This is a magnificently perfumed, smoky wine. Rich and concentrated, it is hugely dense while keeping a sense of elegance. Black plums, black berries and damsons show a fruitier side. It is a superb wine, concentrated and solidly structured, made for the long haul. Rating: 97-99 Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast www.winemag.com (Apr 2017)
Château Le Dôme
Jonathan Maltus was the first Englishman to receive 100 points from Robert Parker for one of his wines. He arrived in Bordeaux in 1994, selling his project management company in order to buy the picturesque but otherwise unremarkable Château Teyssier. Hard work and serious investment established Château Teyssier as a remarkably successful St Emilion brand, but the sandy soils of Vignonet were never going to provide the terroir for true St Emilion greatness. So, Jonathan set out to find himself some good terroir. First of all, in 1996, he purchased a 3.5ha plot from Vieux Château Mazerat when one of the two brothers who owned the estate died. This he christened Le Dôme. The plot sits next to Château Angélus on almost Pomerol-esque ground – sandy soil over a layer of crasse de fer (a rich iron oxide). The vines, planted in 1956 and 1970, are 80% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot, making Le Dôme the most Cabernet Franc dominant wine in St Emilion. In 1996, Le Dôme was at the forefront of the garagiste movement and went into exclusively new oak, although latterly the new oak proportion has dropped back to 80%. In 2004 Jonathan took on a 1.2ha plot that had been part of Château Fonroque, that lay on a hard limestone called calcaire à astéries, so he named the wine Les Astéries. The 80 year old vines are 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. Next, in 2005, came Le Carré – a 1.1ha plot next to Clos Fourtet on more typically St Emilion clay over limestone soil. Le Carré is 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. And, in 2008, when the other brother at Vieux Château Mazerat died, Jonathan purchased the rest of the estate. The 3.5ha of vineyard also lie next to Château Angélus (and, also, Château Canon) but in a separate block from Le Dôme, on more usual clay/limestone soil, and with a different grape mix (65% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Franc), so the old estate was not re-united. But in a nod to their former joint status, the Vieux Château Mazerat has the same label as Le Dôme except the colours are reversed.
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