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  • Country ranking ?

    539
  • Producer ranking ?

    5
  • Decanting time

    4h
  • When to drink

    2020-2035
  • Food Pairing

    Beef

The Tb points given to this wine are the world’s most valid and most up-to-date evaluation of the quality of the wine. Tastingbook points are formed by the Tastingbook algorithm which takes into account the wine ratings of the world's best-known professional wine critics, wine ratings by thousands of tastingbook’s professionals and users, the generally recognised vintage quality and reputation of the vineyard and winery. Wine needs at least five professional ratings to get the Tb score. Tastingbook.com is the world's largest wine information service which is an unbiased, non-commercial and free for everyone.

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The Story

This single-vineyard of three hectares is situated next to Château Angelus and represents the highest manifestation of Cabernet Franc in a wine of this level from Bordeaux. Eighty per cent of the vineyard is dedicated to this variety – the rest is old-vine Merlot.

The vines were planted in the 1950’s on sandy soil over an extended ironstone layer (crasse de fer). The yield is reduced by up to three runs of green harvesting. Concentration and definition are therefore the watchwords for this benchmark wine.

The grapes are harvested at the precise moment of ripeness, handpicked into shallow trays, and after double-triage are transported by conveyors into pristine wooden vats. Vinification involves both rotational pumping and pigeage. Secondary fermentation in French oak barrels is followed by a traditional approach to ageing.

The production of LE DOME is not large at around 1,000 cases. What little exists, however is made with no expense spared in the pursuit of excellence.

VINEYARD

Location Côtes, Saint Emilion
Grid Ref 44°53'42.79"N 0°10'44.88"W
Size 3.20 hectares
Soil Sand over Crasse de Fer
Varieties Cabernet Franc: 75% Merlot 25%
Wines Le Dome

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Vintage 2023

Challenges and triumphs: the 2023 vintage in Bordeaux

The Bordeaux wine region has long been revered for its exceptional wines, shaped by a delicate dance between nature and human skill. However, the 2023 vintage was proof of the resilience and adaptability of winegrowers in the face of difficult weather conditions. From the relentless weather conditions to the current activity in the vineyards in November, this year has been a rollercoaster ride for Bordeaux winemakers.

One of the most important events that shaped the 2023 vintage was the unpredictable weather. Unpredictability prevailed: early warmth was followed by atypical cold spells, accompanied by sporadic and often intense rainfall. There were several periods of frost during the budding period, a danger that sent shivers down the spines of the winegrowers. Spring frosts, especially after the first budding, can be devastating for the sensitive vines and affect the yield and possibly also the quality of the grapes.

The summer months brought with them a number of challenges. Unusual heat waves and prolonged drought put the vineyards under additional stress. A lack of water can affect the quality and yield of the grapes, which can lead to smaller berries and an imbalance between sugar and acid content. But the winegrowers in Bordeaux have always been resilient and have used their expertise to adapt to these adversities.

There has been much speculation and hope about the quality of the 2023 harvest in the Bordeaux region. Despite the stormy weather conditions, we are cautiously optimistic about the overall quality of our harvest. Initial tastings and assessments suggest that the grapes that have weathered the storms, while yielding less, show promising complexity, concentration and a balance of sugar and acidity – a possible testament to the craftsmanship and expertise  - a vintage that could surprise with its quality and character.

 

Suckling, the first major critic to publish his views on Bordeaux 2023 vintage, is ebullient about the quality of the vintage. "In many ways, I like them better than many of the highly touted 2022s", he begins, "because they are so Bordeaux in their nature with their tensioned mouthfeels and energetic finishes. Many 2022s are very powerful and rich, highlighting the extremely hot and dry grape-growing conditions of the vintage. Some are almost international in their essence."

According to Suckling several senior chateau prefer 2023 to the widely celebrated 2022s, including L'Eglise Clinet's Noemie Durantou Reilhac, whilst Pierre-Oliver Clouet sees 2023 as "much more Cheval Blanc".

Like Jane Anson, he also notes that this is a heterogeneous vintage that favours "top terroirs and top winemakers", where you can find "terrific-quality wines, but they are different than 2022. I would compare these 2023s to 2019 or 2001 – even 1990 – for their freshness and balance of ripe fruit."

Suckling's top scoring wines include Canon (99-100), Le Pin (99-100) & Pavie (99-100), whilst value picks include Haut-Brisson (95-96) and de Ferrand (94-95).

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

<10 tasting notes

Tasting note

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Written Notes

80% Cabernet Franc + 20% Merlot. 14.1% alcohol. It is intense on the nose, with notes of crushed cherries, black truffles, and violets. On the palate, it is concentrated, splendidly structured, and vibrant, with a great mid-palate. It has great refreshing acidity, length, and a long finish. Formidable. 96-97p.

  • 97p

Deep dark ruby, opaque core, purple reflections, subtle brightening on the rim. Inviting ripe cherry fruit, blackberry confit, nuances of plums, deep and complex, nuances of pineapple, strawberries, round tannins. The small Merlot portion gives the middle of the Cabernet Franc a clear support, has an enormous length, mineral and taut in the finish, certain ageing potential.

  • 96p
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Information

Origin

St Emilion, Bordeaux
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