Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Château La Dominique Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Classé with Beef Bourgogne

Château La Dominique Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Classé with Beef Bourgogne

For a hearty midweek dinner, Linda prepared her delicious beef bourgogne, so I pulled from our wine  cellar this Grand Cru Classé Right Bank Bordeaux for a fabulous food and wine pairing. Having a fine wine cellar is made for situations such as this.   

While some suggest Burgundy wines based on Pinot Noir for pairing with beef bourgogne, I prefer a moderate, complex, but expressive and soft Bordeaux such as Merlot based blends from the Right Bank, such as this.

Château La Dominique produces this Grand Cru Classé wine from their 71 acres of vineyards located in the northwest of Saint-Émilion, on the edge of the Pomerol appellation, adjoining some of the most famous vineyards of the region - Cheval Blanc, Figeac, La Conseillante, and L'Evangile.  It has been owned by the Fayat family since 1969.

From the Wine Cellar Insider, we learn that Chateau La Dominique dates back to the 1700s and is named for the island in the Caribbean where the original owner of the property earned his fortune.

The Fayat family purchased the estate in 1969 from the de Bailliencourt family, who had owned the vineyard since 1933 and also still own Chateau Gazin in Pomerol. The property had several ownership changes over the previous two decades before it was obtained by Clement Fayat.

Clement Fayat started out as a bricklayer and went on to found one of the largest construction companies in the world. In addition to La Dominique, he also owns Chateau Fayat in Pomerol and Clement Pichon in the Haut Medoc appellation. The Fayat family also recently purchased Vieux Fortin in St. Emilion which was incorporated into La Dominique.

The 71 acre Château La Dominique vineyard is planted to 81% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc and 6% Cabernet Sauvignon. All the vineyards are classified as Grand Cru Classe. The best parcels in the La Dominique vineyard are located next to the legendary first growth estate Cheval Blanc, and not far from Chateau Figeac, one of our favorite Saint Emilion producers, and cellar holdings. Head north towards Pomerol the estate also bordered the premiere estates of Chateau Conseillante and LEvangile in Pomerol.

Chateau La Dominique underwent a major renovation of the entire estate in 2013 including the chateau, cellars, winemaking facilities, grape reception area, and a larger vat house, bringing in the most up-to-date, modern technology available. 

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate wrote of the 2012 vintage - "This 2012 is sensational and further evidence of the rebound of La Dominique after a few years of mediocrity." 

The estate produces 60,000 cases per year of the grand vin and slightly more than 7,000 cases per year of a second wine, Saint-Paul-de-Dominique. 

We have enjoyed tasting these wines and meeting the producer at the annual UGC Bordeaux' (Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux (UGCB)) North American release tour (s) and appreciate their participation and visits to Chicago to show their wines.  See example postings of this event here - UGC Bordeaux 2013 Release Tour Chicago 2016, and Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux Chicago.

Château La Dominique Saint-Émilion Grand Cru (Grand Cru Classé) 2012

This wine was produced with the advisement of the legendary Merlot master, Michel Rolland and Jean-Philippe Fort as consulting winemakers. 

The 2012 is a blend of  95% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc. 

This release was rated 94 points by Vinous, 93 points by Wine Advocate, 92 by Wine Cellar Insider, and 89–91 by Roger Voss of Wine Enthusiast. 

At eleven years of age, the label, foil and most importantly the fill level and cork were ideal, likely at it's apex and may be there for perhaps close to a decade yet. 

This was double decanted and left to open for an hour before serving.

Dark garnet inky purple color, medium full bodied, elegant, bright vibrant expressive but soft ripe plum, cherry and blackberry fruits with floral, spice and earth notes, hints of lavender, black tea and licorice with a long smooth silky finish. 

60,000 bottles of this cuvée were produced