La Dominique is a Grand Cru Classe growth of Saint-Émillion, leading the way in many fields of modernisation and innovation amongst the chateaux of Bordeaux.
Owner Clement Fayat has spent decades on improving everything from vinification facilities, to drainage, to the cellars, to a bright red (and controversially visible from a distance) vat house completed in 2013.
Benefitting (similarly to their famous neighbours, Ch. Cheval Blanc) from a proximity to Pomerol, La Dominique produces Merlot-led wines that combine vigour and elegance.
Deep colour. Expressive wine with lovely dark cherry, cedar aromas. Palate is well concentrated with dark cherry dark plum flavours, inky mid palate, savoury graphite notes and underlying roasted chestnut oak. Finishes cedary and long. Well made wine with lovely persistence and vinosity.
94 points Andrew Caillard, MW
A very saturated colour introduces a gorgeously, sumptuously deep, concentrated wine with floral, sweet-fruit aromatics and a hint of violets. The palate is profound and very concentrated, showing softness allied to with density, wonderful complexity already and great potential for the future.
98 points, Huon Hooke (March 2019)
The 201 5 La Dominique is bold, vibrant and full of energy. A host of blue/black fruits, crème de cassis, mocha, violets, licorice, plums, menthol and smoke race out of the glass. Although quite bold, powerful and racy, the 2015 also has more than enough tannic backbone to balance some of the more overt elements. This is a first class effort from La Dominique.
The 2015 La Dominique is bold, super-ripe and exciting. Black cherry, chocolate, plum, licorice, smoke, crème de cassis and menthol all flesh out in this dramatic, sumptuous Saint-Émilion. Ripe and voluptuous on the palate, with no hard edges, it will drink well pretty much right out of the gate. In 2015, La Dominique exudes a level of aromatic intensity and sheer explosiveness few other wines have.
Composed of 85% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon and aged for 16 months in 60% new and 40% one-year-old barrels, the deep garnet-purple colored 2015 La Dominique is earthy on the nose with notions of red and black currants, blueberry compote, spice cake and potpourri. Full-bodied, rich and opulent with beautiful purity, it's soft and seductive in the mouth, finishing long and perfumed, displaying wonderful energy.
93 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown (February 2018)
The 2015 La Dominique is a blend of 85% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon that was picked between September 18 and October 7 at 38 hectoliters per hectare; 10% went through "vinification intégrale" and then it was matured in 60% new oak. It has a very deep inky color. The bouquet is well-defined but broody at the moment, with blackcurrant, blueberry and even graphite scents, the latter deriving from the Cabernet component of the blend. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin on the entry. This errs towards black rather than red fruit, specifically black cherries and a touch of boysenberry. There is quite a rigid structure packed in behind the fruit, the spicy finish showing just a little more finesse than recent vintages. Although, I feel there is still some way to go in terms of reaching the full potential of the vineyard.
(90-92) points, Neal Martin (April 2016)
Represented by American merchant Jeffrey Davies and made with consulting advice from Michel Rolland, the 2015 Château La Dominique checks in as 85% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged in 60% new barrels. This deep, inky-colored beauty got a few expletives in the notes and offers killer notes of black cherries, plums, spice-box, and incense. Deep, full-bodied, concentrated, and yet still elegant and fresh, with sweet tannin, there’s a little over 5,000 cases produced and it’s a gem to hunt down. It will keep for two decades. Tasted twice.
95 points, Jeb Dunnuck (November 2017)
St.-Émilion is the star of Bordeaux’s Right Bank, north of the Dordogne River. The rich red wines produced in St.-Émilion, based on Merlot and Cabernet Franc, are less tannic and generally more fruit-driven in flavour than the Cabernet-based wines of Left Bank. Merlot thrives on the plateaus high above the Dordogne, where the soil is filled with sand and clay, a perfect medium for creating opulent, fruit-forward wines. With a typically savoury character, St.-Émilion wines are sometimes called the “Burgundies of Bordeaux.” These refined reds, with loads of finesse, are elegant companions to beef, chicken, pork and duck.
The wines of St.-Émilion were not included in the famous 1855 classification of Bordeaux, which ranked wines of the Left Bank. In 1955, St.-Émilion published its own classification, based on soil analysis, wine quality and reputation of the properties. Unlike the 1855 classification, St.-Emilion’s system requires properties to continuously prove themselves. The list is revised regularly, most recently in 2012. There are two tiers within the classification, Premier Grand Cru Classé and Grand Cru Classé. There are currently just 18 Premier Grand Cru properties and 64 Grand Cru Classé properties.
The St.-Émilion appellation is home to hundreds of individual producers, enhancing the variety of wines made there. Many of the properties remain small, family-run enterprises, unlike the large châteaux of the Left Bank. The area is also the base of France’s controversial micro-châteaux or garagiste wine movement; these innovative winemakers operate outside the traditional classification system, making very high quality (and very expensive) highly extracted wines.