CHÂTEAU LE DÔME

2020 Saint Emilion

EN PRIMEUR

Market Insight: JP Maltus' benchmark wine, Le Dome has been ahead of the curve for a while with such a high % of Cabernet Franc in the blend. Prices for new releases stack up nicely against their back vintage counterparts - this should be on the list for any serious buyer.L&S (May 2021)

In Bond

75cl bottles (wood case of 6)

* This is a pre-shipment/primeur offer. All orders are accepted under the TERMS of this offer which differ from the terms of the rest of the site.

The 2020 Le Dôme is incredibly elegant and polished; I can't remember a vintage of Le Dôme with this much finesse and nuance. Bright floral aromatics lead into a core of sculpted red cherry fruit. Dried rose petal, mint, blood orange and cinnamon open with a bit of time in the glass. A promising wine. Drinking range: 2030 - 2050 Rating: 94-96 Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.com (Jun 2021)

The 2020 Le Dôme has a backward nose that demands coaxing, eventually revealing very attractive blackberry, wild strawberry, blood orange and crushed stone aromas. The way this builds with aeration is very promising. The palate is medium-bodied with saturated tannins, quite structured and maybe a little more austere than recent vintages. That comes through on the finish, which seems to be clamped down at the moment. It will require several years of bottle age, but it will be worth the wait. Drinking range: 2026 - 2046 Rating: 93-95 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (May 2021)

Jonathan Maltus’s 2020 Le Dôme looks to be a brilliant wine. Mostly Cabernet Franc from a site not far from Angélus, it has a beautiful array of darker berry fruit (as well as some blue tinges) to go with medium to full-bodied richness, a pure, seamless texture, and ultra-fine tannins. Thomas Duclos now consults here, and the wine today plays more in the finessed, elegant, classically styled end of the spectrum while not giving up much with regard to fruit, richness, or texture. The freshness and purity of this 2020 is something, and it’s going to shine with 4-6 years of bottle age yet keep for two decades. Rating: 94-97 Jeb Dunnuck, www.jebdunnuck.com (May 2021)

Made in the car park of the new winery, which must be as beautiful as any in the world – the winery, not the car park! Sir Norman Foster has designed a spectacular circular winery for Jonathan Maltus and it is set to be a must-visit spectacle when it opens later this year. Le Dôme now resides in a locked room in this building site waiting to move into the new barrel hall in just a few months. Is it possible to taste excitement in a wine? I think it is and this wine clearly knows it is residing in a very special building and about to move into the master suite. Dark, brooding, super-long and spicy and with a lower alcohol than usual, this is a surprisingly dynamic wine with an extraordinarily long finish. Rating: 18.5+ Matthew Jukes www.matthewjukes.com (May 2021)

Sappy, intense, beautifully fresh florals and well defined tannins, with the signature muscled broodiness of Le Dôme. There is a gorgeous chalkiness on the finish giving clear uplift without taking away from the generosity of the blueberry and raspberry fruit. New cellars, designed by Sir Norman Foster, will be opening fully for the 2021 harvest, and there is a hope that Le Dôme will be classified in next year's 2022 ranking (if so, this 2020 vintage would have the right to put it on the label). 80% new oak, Drinking range: 2028 - 2045 Rating: 96 Jane Anson, Decanter (May 2021)

Extremely perfumed with chewy, polished tannins that are fine and gorgeous. Minerally undertones to the berry, wet-earth and spice character. Rating: 94-95 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com (Apr 2021)

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.

Please make sure that you have read the terms of this offer which are different from those on the main website. If you are unclear as to what is involved in primeur purchases please do contact our private client team via email or on 0207 221 1982.

Ordering

Prices are all in bond by the case size stated.

Pre-Orders are a firm commitment to buy wines on release, as long as the release price sits within the upper and lower price bands set by you on the pre-order form. Pre-orders will be fulfilled subject to availability but providing this firm commitment to buy effectively gives you priority and is a good idea for the most desirable wines.

Wines listed on the website can be ordered in the usual way via the website wishlist order form. You can also send orders directly to our private client team via email. Please note that, for the most sought after wines, priority will be given to those who ordered the same wines last year and to those that have pre-ordered.

Confirmation

All orders will be confirmed by email and are binding unless written cancellation is received within seven days of email confirmation. Pre-orders are not binding if the release price is above your upper price band.

Invoices are all raised at the in bond price (excluding any duty and VAT) which will become payable at the prevailing rates when the wines arrive in the UK, should you wish to take duty paid delivery.

Payment is required on sight of invoice, by cash, cheque, debit card or bank transfer. We regret we cannot accept credit cards for en primeur orders. We reserve the right to apply a dunning charge of 2% per month on invoices unpaid after 30 days.

Delivery

  • Shipment to our bond (at LCB Creek Road) and insurance are included in the in bond price.
  • Delivery is free to Lea and Sandeman / Elephant storage accounts, both duty paid and in bond.
  • Other deliveries (In Bond and Duty Paid) are also free subject to a minimum order from the offer of £500. Orders below this total will be charged an administration and handling fee of £16.50+ VAT when invoices are issued. We will group deliveries and this is a charge for your entire purchases, not a per-case charge.
  • Delivery of 2020 Bordeaux bought en primeur is expected during 2023. Delivery dates may vary as wines are shipped from Bordeaux at different times.
  • We do not anticipate any problems but please be aware that delays to delivery may occur should Britain's possible departure from the European Union result in additional border customs checks or other regulatory requirements. Any additional or unforeseen duties, tariffs, charges or other financial liabilities relating to 'Brexit' must be due to the customer and will be invoiced as required.

Practical notes - how it works

We start a sale in each customer's name and add all their primeur orders to one sale which is invoiced at the end of the campaign (or when the customer wishes). Immediate payment of invoices is then required by cash, cheque, debit card or bank transfer. We and our customers find that having a single invoice for the vintage is the simpler option but please note that confirmed orders are still binding even if the final invoice has not yet been issued.

Please specify on your wishlist order form where you would like the wines shipped on arrival in the UK. If this is to a third-party bonded warehouse, please specify the relevant account details. If the wines are required duty-paid we will issue a second invoice for duty and VAT at the prevailing rate when the wines are available for delivery.

Half-bottles, Magnums and larger bottles.

One of the additional advantages of buying en primeur is being able to order the wine in the format you want. While most of our listings are for 75cl bottles, we can source wines in any format if offered by the Château. Please note that format requests cannot be changed once wines have been invoiced. Additional charges for special formats do apply and are as follows:-

  • +£20 per case of 24 half-bottles
  • +£10 per case of 6 Magnums (2 bottles equivalent, 1.5 litres each)
  • +£35 per individually boxed Double Magnum (4 bottles equivalent, 3 litres)
  • +£50 per individually boxed Imperial (8 bottles equivalent, 6 litres) for Salmanazars, Balthazars, Nebuchadnezzars and Melchiors please enquire for availability and price.

Storage Options:

Wines bought en primeur won't arrive in the UK until 2023. If you do not wish to take home delivery at that point, you may wish to consider where you would like the wines shipped. Lea & Sandeman offers duty paid and in bond storage through a dedicated storage company called Elephant Storage. For more details on the terms and fees associated with storage please go to our Storage Homepage or contact our private client team for more information.