Chateau La Dominique

Located at the edge of Pomerol in the western part of the Saint-Emilion appellation, Chateau La Dominique is one of the most prestigious properties on the Right Bank of the Bordeaux region. A Grand Cru Classe of Saint-Emilion ranked in the first classification of 1955, the property produces wines of the highest quality, similar to its closest neighbors: the famous Chateau Petrus, l’Evangile, La Conseillante et Cheval Blanc. Chateau La Dominique is named after the island in the Caribbean, where its owner at the time, a rich merchant from Libourne, first made his fortune. Purchased in 1969 by Clement Fayat, the estate has experienced a new era thanks to the ambitious renovation project launched in 2010 and aimed, in particular, to extend the estate from 25 to 29 hectares. A new modern winery was constructed, designed by the architect Jean Nouvel. Driven by sustainable agriculture, Chateau La Dominique extends over a vineyard planted on an exceptional terroir, combining clayey brown soils with sandy soils on a clay sub-layer.

With vines that are on average 31 years old and planted at a density of 7,000 to 9,000 plants per hectare, Chateau La Dominique is 81% Merlot and 16% Cabernet Franc and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Chateau La Dominique has become known throughout the world for its particular style. Expressing all the generosity of the Saint-Emilion terroir as well as the spirit of Pomerol, Chateau La Dominique produces wines with a fruity and sensual character, pleasant to savor in their youth but also blooming superbly with age.

Chateau La Dominique

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La Dominique

Chateau La Dominique: A Bright Red Gem among the Vines of St. Emilion


Located at the border of Bordeaux's two most famous Right Bank appellations and surrounded by some of the areas best-known wine estates, Chateau La Dominique sparkles in cherry-red among neat rows of green vines, an emblem of modernity in this historical region. The estate's "red terrace" offers panoramic views of the stunning natural landscape, while the brand new fermentation room and cellar hold the product of a blessed terroir: wines of great elegance and refinement, effortlessly expressing the vineyard's signature soils and the endless savoir-faire that shapes each blend. 


History and a Modern Era at Chateau La Dominique 


The first records of the Chateau La Dominique property date back to the 17th century. It wasn't until about one hundred years later, however, that the estate obtained its exotic title from its owner at the time, a wealthy merchant who decided to name it in memory of the Caribbean island where he had first made his fortune. In 1788, the property was purchased from Mr. Fontemoing by a Libournais wine merchant named Jean Chaperon and stayed in the Chaperon family until 1862, when the 21-hectare property was sold to a Bordeaux merchant named Gabriel Henri Greloud. During the 1955 Classification System of St. Emilion, Chateau La Dominique received the prestigious Grand Cru Classe ranking. At this time, the property was owned by Edouard Louis de Baillencourt who, after his death, left it to be managed among his four children. 


In 1969, Chateau La Dominique was purchased by Clement Fayat, ushering in a new, modern age at the estate. A construction tycoon with a strong passion for the wines of Bordeaux, Fayat began to invest in the property, eventually also adding Chateau Fayat in Pomerol, Chateau Clement Pichon in Haut-Medoc and the 5-hectare Vieux Fortin in St. Emilion to the Fayat Group holdings. At La Dominique, his project began with an expansion of the vineyards, rebuilding the drainage systems, and commissioning the construction of a brand new wine cellar. The famous Michel Rolland was hired to consult at the property, leading to further improvements to the property's wines. The final changes to the vat room were completed in 2013 and the winery finished in 2014, completely transforming the appearance of the estate. The iconic red cellar was designed by famous French architect Jean Nouvel, also responsible for the super-modern chai of Chateau La Coste, near Aix-en-Provence. Situated in a UNESCO World Heritage area, just a stone's throw from famous First Classified Growth A Chateau Cheval Blanc, the magnificent Dominique welcomes visitors in its reception area, tasting room and shop. Today, the U-shaped building is still home to the fermenting room and cellar, which - with its six shades of red stainless steel blades reflecting the vines outside - a true masterpiece of both art and modern winemaking. The roof of Chateau La Dominique includes the famous "Red Terrace," named after the pool of red glass pebbles representing the grapes of the St. Emilion appellation. From the award-winning La Terrasse Rouge restaurant, guests can enjoy panoramic views of the stunning landscape surrounding the chateau, as well as the many famous chateau neighbors of La Dominique: Cheval Blanc, Chateau Figeac, La Conseillante and L'Evangile.


Terroir and Winemaking

La Dominique 3

© Vinexia


The Chateau La Dominique estate expands over a 29-hectare vineyard, of which 18 hectares are classified as Grand Cru Classe. Currently the vineyard is planted with 81% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Franc and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon. The vines are around 31 years old on average, with most of the best parcels located near the chateau itself. Planted at a density of 7,000 to 9,000 plants per hectare, the roots stretch deep into the characteristic soils of the St. Emilion appellation, made of 25% brown clay and 75% sand and gravel on clay subsoil. The parcels are managed on an individual basis, following the principles of sustainable agriculture.


Harvest is carried out entirely by hand, and the grapes stored in a cold room for 12-24 hours before going through the very gentle The Cube vertical vibration destemmer, and both an automatic and manual sorting process. The gently crushed grapes are gravity fed into thermo-regulated, double-skin, stainless steel vats, and maceration takes place. The wines finish in oak, of which 70-80% is new, for up to 18 months. Chateau La Dominique produces around 90,000 bottles of its Grand Vin each year, along with its second wine, named Relais de la Dominique. Michel Rolland has consulted on many vintages of the chateau's eponymous Grand Vin.


Signature Style and Vintage Watch

La Dominique 2

© Vinexia


Hailing from the border between Pomerol and St. Emilion, the wines of Chateau La Dominique embody the best of both of these prestigious Right Bank Bordeaux appellations. In the glass, the Grand Vin displays a deep and clear color, consistent with an intense nose of ripe fruits and subtle notes of spice. Common descriptors of these wines also include truffle, licorice, pepper and wood. The signature style of the estate places elegance over power, in wines of medium-full body with silky, smooth tannins and a long, generous finish. These characteristics offer a perfect pairing with most roasted, grilled or braised meat dishes as well as some heartier fish dishes with tuna, salmon and mushrooms. 


Some of the best vintages of Chateau La Dominique include 1982, 1989, 1990, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2012 and the legendary 2015. Starting with the 2009 vintage, in particular, one can note a significant increase in quality and refinement of the wines. Most vintages will improve tremendously with a decade of aging, while young wines should be decanted for at least 2 hours before consuming in order to allow the wine to open and express itself fully.


 

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