Le Dôme, Saint Emilion Grand Cru

The LE DOME Single Vineyard is situated in close proximity to CHATEAU ANGELUS, Premier Grand Cru Classe. Its origins have their roots in the 'garage' movement of the 1990's. It is one of the three Saint Emilion Grand Crus that outgrew the movement to go on to challenge the 'Cru Classes' each year.

Factsheet Reviews Purchase

2015

MATTHEW JUKES

19+ POINTS

“With incredible fruit and exceptional balance, in spite of the dimensions, this is the Cabernet Franc-dominant wine of the vintage. This never lets up in the intensity, purity, drive and intent. This is a staggeringly serious Le Dôme and the complexity of this wine is hard for me to comprehend given only a short time to taste it. The volume and intensity of this wine is amazing, but it is not muscular nor is it excessively oaky. Atypical and maverick but undoubtedly magnificent this is one of the wines of the vintage.”

ROGER VOSS, WINE ENTHUSIAST

96-98 POINTS

“This is a densely concentrated wine with dark plum and spice flavors. It has so much perfumed character from the dominant Cabernet Franc. It will develop into a beautiful wine with charm and richness yet for now it will need to age.”

TIM ATKIN MW

96 POINTS

“There are very few wines in Bordeaux with as much Cabernet Franc as Le Dôme, and the freshness and leafy, violet-tinged perfume are gloriously apparent here. Grassy and elegant (despite the high alcohol), it’s got plenty of tannin and fruit weight but finishes with remarkable zip. Drink: 2022-35”

NEAL MARTIN, THE WINE ADVOCATE

94-96 POINTS

“The 2015 Le Dôme is a blend of 80% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot picked on October 2 and 6. It has a clean and precise bouquet, tightly wound at first, gently warming up, developing more delineation and focus. This might be a more understated Le Dôme compared to recent years, but you might argue more sophisticated. The palate is medium-bodied with impressive density, a vein of dark chocolate on the entry that is rapidly overtaken by layers of lightly spiced black fruit. The finish is tightly wound at the moment, but it will open by the time of bottling. What I like here is the fineness of the tannin, something not always exuded by Maltus' top cuvée. It simply expresses the joys of Cabernet Franc and it should age nicely over the next 5-20 years. Drink 2021-2045.”

JAMES LAWTHER MW, DECANTER

95 POINTS

“80% Cabernet Franc. Fresh, floral and perfumed. A long way from its original (concentrated, oaky) style. Lovely, refined, velvety texture and carefully matted tannins. Freshness and persistence on the finish. Elegance and harmony.”

JEFF LEVE, THE WINE CELLAR INSIDER

94 – 96 POINTS

“Chocolate-covered black raspberries, ripe, juicy, smoky plums, crushed stone and cherry liqueur really makes an excellent impression on your palate. There is length, purity and fat, supple textures to be savored.”

JAMES SUCKLING

94-95 POINTS

“A juicy red with walnut, berry and chocolate aromas and flavors. Full and savory. Loads of fruit and chewy tannins.”

JEAN-MARCQUARIN     

94 POINTS

“Couleur sombre, intense et belle. Nez fruité, précis et complexe. Très belle entrée en bouche de suite ample. Le vin se développe juteux, sur un toucher raffiné, avec du goût. Grande finale délicieuse, aux tannins un peu plus raffinés que de coutume.”

LA REVUE DU VIN DE FRANCE

18-18,5/20 POINTS

“80% de cabernet franc constituent l’originalité de cet ex-“vin de garage” qui, dans les derniers millésimes, a attient un brillant classicisme.  Le vignoble jouxte celui d’Angélus.  Le 2015 est extrêmement profond, ultra velouté, mais il exprime des arômes déjà subtils, une grande finesse de toucher et surtout une extraordinaire profondeur de goût.”

JAMES MOLESWORTH, WINE SPECTATOR

90-93 POINTS

“This is packed with lots of raspberry, cherry and boysenberry paste notes pushed by warm fruitcake and licorice. Integrated despite its heft, with a coating of sweet spice on the finish providing a nicely polished feel.”

CHRIS KISSACK, THE WINE DOCTOR

17.5-18.5/20 POINTS

“Perhaps Le Dôme needs no introduction. The flagship wine in the Maltus portfolio, although I find Vieux Château Mazerat to be of similar quality, albeit in a completely different style. This is 80% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot, the former picked on October 12th, the latter picked on October 6th. The alcohol is 14.8%, the acidity 2.96 g/l, the Cabernet clearly bringing a different edge to the structure here. This is a very different kettle of fish compared to the other Maltus wines, understandably, with a very perfumed nose, dark and expressive, still with all the toasted character of the vintage, but here conveying notes of ripe but perfumed Cabernet Franc, all vanilla and dark chocolate. A very richly textured wine, very harmonious, pure, perfumed, quite tense, a more direct style on the palate than the Merlot cuvées, with dark perfumed fruits, toasted almonds, cocoa bean, all backed by a much broader tannic structure than seen in Vieux Château Mazerat. A quite lovely wine, which should age beautifully, but it will need some time for those tannins to come around. A great Le Dôme in the making here.”

LE FIGARO

17,5/20 POINTS

“Elaboré par Jonathan Maltus avec une forte proportion de cabernet-franc (80%), le vin est dense, serré, assez tannique, de bonne longueur. 5-15 ans.”

2014

WINE ENTHUSIAST, ROGER VOSS

95-97 POINTS

“Profiting from a superb year for Cabernet Franc, this wine has a wonderful perfumed character of exceptional black fruits. The wine is laced with tannins that flow strongly through the wine. It is serious, complex and ageworthy.”

DECANTER MAGAZINE, JAMES LAWTHER MW

18.5/20 POINTS (95/100)

“Made with 80% Cabernet Franc. Possibly the most elegant and poised Le Dôme to date. Vibrant, perfumed nose with blueberry, cassis and violet notes. Pure and fresh on the palate with finely grained tannins. Lovely balance and tremendous length.”

TIM ATKIN, MW

POINTS 95

“The Cabernet Franc on which this impressive wine is based was picked as late as October 17th, benefitting from the Indian summer. It’s a bold and still very young wine, with bags of grassy perfume, compact tannins, notes of Asian spices and graphite and plush, textured fruit underpinned by acidity and freshness. Drink: 2020-283”

NEAL MARTIN – THE WINE ADVOCATE

92-94 POINTS

 “The Le Dôme 2014 is a blend of 80% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot picked on 17 October, the highest vintage of the former since 2008. It has a well-defined bouquet with hints of bell pepper infusing the black fruit, light flinty scents in the background, plus a touch of black truffle lending it a slight Pomerol-like personality. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, well balanced with good acidity and a silky texture. This is one of the more elegant vintages of Le Dôme that I have tasted at this juncture with a extended length that lingers in the mouth long after the wine has exited. The season favored Cabernet Franc on the Right Bank and this has the highest percentage, so there is a foundation for a great Saint Emilion. Maybe I would have opted for a shorter cuvaison to gain more precision on the finish, nevertheless, this should give 15 to 20 years of drinking pleasure, possibly longer.”

ANTONIO GALLONI - VINOUS

92-95 POINTS

“The 80% Cabernet Franc-based Le Dôme is aromatically precise, nuanced and savory, yet also possesses remarkable richness. Bold and super-expressive, the 2014 hits all the right notes, deftly balancing intense fruit, lifted aromatics and precise, piercing minerality. This is a fabulous showing from Jonathan Maltus. Le Dôme is 80% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot.”

JEFF LEVE, The Wine Cellar Insider

93-94 POINTS

“Licorice, black plum liqueur, caramel and spice on the nose, this wine is concentrated with ripe tannins, minerals and a fennel, cocoa and black cherry finish. The wine was made from a blend of 80% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot reaching 13% alcohol with a pH of 3.71.”

CHRIS KISSACK, THE WINE DOCTOR

17-18/20 POINTS

“A dark and substantial nose, much more confident than Vieux Château Mazerat, with some very concentrated black fruits, laced with coffee grounds Dark and impressive. On the palate this is really textured and composed, with genuine concentration and substance here. Very impressive and exciting fruit vibrancy, with ripe and velvety tannins. A beautifully balanced composition, showing great perfume with the usual Maltus confidence and texture, and a fresh, acid-defined character as well. A real step up from Vieux Château Mazerat this year.”

IZAK LITWAR

93+ POINTS

“Spicy and refined, Cabernet Franc shines through here giving strong backbone and flavors of liquorice and vegetables (positively meant!!), silky fruit and tannin, velvety texture. Impressive wine.. First vintage here was 1996.”

JAMES SUCKLING

90-91 POINTS

“Excellent core of ripe fruit with firm tannins, bright acidity and a very good finish. Plenty of minerals with spice character.”

WINE SPECTATOR

90–93 POINTS
“Pure and focused, featuring bright red currant and damson plum fruit, laced with fine acidity. Almost chiseled through the finish, propelled by a chalky hint. This may have quite a bit of unwinding to do.”—J.M.

JEAN-MARCQUARIN     

94 POINTS

2013

WINE ENTHUSIAST

94 POINTS

“Initially closed, this wine just hints at its richness and perfumed character. As it opens it shows still-young tannins and intense black plums and blueberries that will develop as the wine ages. It is likely to mature well over the medium to long term, and will not be ready to drink before 2022 – RV.”

94-96 POINTS

Barrel Sample. “Smooth and rich, this is a perfumed, opulent wine that has dark tannins and a generous texture. It is very full in the mouth, with fresh acidity on the finish. Structured for long-term aging.”  — R.V.  (4/1/2014)

CHRIS KISSACK, THE WINE DOCTOR

15.5/20 POINTS

“Not so expressive on the nose as Vieux Château Mazerat despite being dominated by the more aromatic Cabernet Franc. Dark and spicy when worked in the glass though, so there is certainly something here. The palate is fresh, with dried red cherries, a touch of sweet cranberry and currant fruit to it as well, the latter particularly appealing. Fresh, with supple fruit, nicely textured, harmonious, with a ripe tannic grip. Supple, cool, with finely judged substance, and some fresh, pointed acidity.”

16-17/20 POINTS

Barrel Tasting. “Beautiful, tense, perfumed, roes-petal and peony-tinged and pencil-shaving nose, with pure blackcurrant. Very fresh nose. The palate is broad, fleshy, seamless, very polished, and in the midpalate, more grippy bright in the midpalate, Charcoal-tinged oak in the middle, dark chocolate. Cabernet Franc coming through very strongly here, a riper style than seen elsewhere. Very convincing, good grip, bright structure. A wonderful polish and integrated character, with fine building structure beneath, with ripe tannins. A very stylish example of Le Dôme.”

JAMES SUCKLING

92 POINTS

“This is a very fine Le Dôme with currant, cedar, and almond aromas and flavors. Hints of chocolate. Medium to full body, fine tannins and a fresh finish. Drink or hold.”

91-92 POINTS

Barrel Tasting. “A wonderful red with iron, spice and berry character. The minerality comes through and really is exciting. Wonderful layered fruit for the vintage. 75% cabernet franc and 25% merlot.”

JANCIS ROBINSON

17+/20 POINTS

“80% Cabernet Franc, 20% Merlot. Juicy and fresh – a little burnt-meat character and pencil shavings on the finish. Pretty compact and austere – good stuff, worth ageing. Drink 2018-2028.” (RH)

JJ BUCKLEY

92-94 POINTS

“80% cabernet franc and 20% merlot. Lifted and bright aromas of soft black cherries and other red fruits are more diffused than precise with some lactic notes with air. Medium-bodied and round textured, notes of sweet red cherries have some feral, sauvage qualities on the fringe of the palate. Like the nose, the palate lacks a delineated or focused flavor profile with mild tannins in support. Compared with the more powerful and precise wine from Maltus’ Vieux Chateau Mazerat, this Le Dome could use a touch more structure to rein in the palate’s diffused flavors, especially on the midpalate. Tasted twice. Drink 2017-2025.”

MATTHEW JUKES

18+ POINTS

“Great balance and exceptional freshness, this is a superb, dense, bold and impactful wine with considerable depth and pristine tannins. The remarkable thing is it is all so bright, lifted and refreshing. It will age gracefully showing us a different mood of the great Le Dôme. Apparently, 2013 is not a Cabernet Franc year – this wine is the exception which proves the rule.”

NEAL MARTIN, THE WINE ADVOCATE

91-93 POINTS
“The Le Dôme 2013 is a blend of 80% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot picked on 17 October and 8 October respectively, raised in 80% new oak. It has a floral bouquet with touches of dried violet petals infusing the dark plum fruit. It is more linear than previous vintages, but well defined. The palate is supple on the entry but with quite firm tannins underneath. There is a touch of saltiness on the tip of the tongue, linear and quite masculine, less flamboyant than previous vintages, mild mannered and well behaved with good length on the finish. A little broody perhaps, but this will be intriguing to taste once bottled. Tasted April 2014.”

ROBERT PARKER, THE WINE ADVOCATE

90-92 POINTS

“Composed of 80% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot, this cuvee has one of the highest percentages of Cabernet Franc of any Bordeaux wine. The 2013-s natural alcohol came in at an impressive 12.9%. Sweet notes of forest floor, blueberries and raspberries jump from the glass of this dense ruby/purple-colored St. Emilion. Medium-bodied with ripe, well-integrated tannins, adequate acidity and an attractive plump, sweet, succulent character (atypical for a 2013), this beauty is a brilliantly crafted wine from proprietor Jonathan Maltus. It should drink well for 10-12 years.”

TIM ATKIN, MW

POINTS 93

“There’s no denying that this is an atypical Le Dôme in terms of alcohol content (12.9%) but the 80/20 split between Cabernet Franc and Merlot is consistent. Fresh, spicy and enticing, this wears its concentration lightly and is none the worse for that.”

DECANTER

17.25 POINTS
“Deep colour. Refreshing Cabernet (80% Franc) nose. Sweet-fruited attack and mid-palate. Smooth, supple texture. Drink: 2019-2030”

JEAN-MARC QUARIN

16,25/20 POINTS
“Assurément le meilleur cru de Jonathan Maltus. Une expression du cabernet franc proche de celle d’Angélus. Bouche structurée pour l’année, mais caressante, pleine, fruitée et d’une bonne longueur. Assemblage : 80 % Cabernet Franc et 20 % Merlot. Production 1200 caisses.”

RENE GABRIEL

17/20 PUNKTE

80 % Cabernet Franc, 20 % Merlot.

“Tiefes Purpur. Herrliches, reifes Pflaumenbouquet,Milchkaffeetouch, Tabaknoten, zeigt dabei einer ziemliche Tiefe, weist eine schon fast verdeckt wirkende Süsse auf, elegant ohne Überdruck in der Nase. Im Gaumen mit sublimer Fülle, samtenenTanninen, sehr elegant und schon fast anmutig, mittlerer Druck im Finish, reflektiert ein schon ziemlich grosses Jahr. Hat Chancen noch einen Punkt zuzulegen. 2022 – 2038.”

STEVE TANZER, INTERNATIONAL WINE CELLAR

89-91 POINTS

“(80% merlot, 20% cabernet franc; 3.65 pH; 3.65 total acidity; 12.9% alcohol):  Good full red.  Aromas of blackcurrant, strawberry, camphor and cocoa are lifted by an exotic spicy violet perfume.  Silky-sweet, precise and intense, showing excellent lift to the red fruit and spice flavors.  Wonderfully juicy, youthfully imploded wine, finishing with serious but fine-grained tannins and noteworthy length.  This isn't the most concentrated Le Dome ever but it's beautifully balanced and precise.  The cabernet franc was picked on October 8 and 17."

2012

ANTONIO GALLONI, VINOUS – IN BOTTLE

94+ POINTS

“The Cabernet Franc-based 2012 Le Dôme is the most reticent and inward of Jonathan Maltus's 2012s. Readers will find very little of the vintage's early appeal here.Instead, Le Dôme is a big, dramatic wine that is likely to require at least a few years in bottle to come together. A host of dark cherry, plum and smoke notes gradually emerge in the glass, but the 2012 needs time. The only question is how much. Still, I am quite drawn by this fabulous Saint-Emilion that touches Angelus on one side and Canon on the others.”

ROBERT PARKER, THE WINE ADVOCATE

POINTS 92-94

Barrel Sample: “The 2012 exhibits a deep purple color along with abundant aromas of blueberries, mulberries, spring flowers, white chocolate and spice.This supple-textured, medium to full-bodied wine has finesse, but it does not sacrifice any concentration, depth or length.Drink it over the next 15+ years.There are approximately 1,000 cases of the 2012 Le Dome, which includes one of the highest percentages of Cabernet Franc of any Bordeaux wine (80%). While harvested between October 8 and 18, the heavy rain that occurred has not diluted this beautifully scented and layered St.-Emilion."

ROBERT PARKER IN BOTTLE REVIEW

93 POINTS

“This St.-Emilion (1,000 cases), which has a very high percentage of Cabernet Franc (80%, which is much higher than Cheval Blanc or Ausone) has always been the flagship wine of proprietor Jonathan Maltus. The 2012 has a dense ruby/purple color and plenty of raspberry and blueberry fruit intermixed with spring flower garden notes, which are followed by a medium-bodied wine with stunning elegance, purity and minerality. It is not the biggest wine, but the quality of the fruit, the complex nuances, and overall equilibrium make for a very special Bordeaux to drink over the next 15 or so years. Robert Parker"

JAMES SUCKLING IN BOTTLE

92 POINTS

“Intense aromas of ripe strawberries with cedar and mineral notes. This is a full-bodied red combining gentle tannins, good acidity and a clean finish. Balanced and pretty. 80% cabernet franc and the rest is merlot. Drink in 2018. "

DECANTER

POINTS 17.75/20 (92/100)

“More expressive than usual at this stage. Fragrant floral, dark fruit notes (Cabernet Franc 80%). Smooth and ripe on the palate. Silky tannins. Very long finish. Fresh as well. More finesse.

Drink: 2020 - 2030 Taster: James Lawther MW"

WINE ENTHUSIAST, ROGER VOSS

POINTS 93-95

Barrel sample. “Lavish with chocolate, coffee aromas, this is a finely perfumed wine. The palate is packed with ripe fruits and generous tannins that yield a deliciously rich mouth feel. Spicy, wood laden and opulent. — R.V. (4/9/2013)"

NEAL MARTIN, WINE JOURNAL

POINTS 91-93

“The Le Dome has a soft, slightly smudged bouquet with macerated black cherries, blueberry and a hint of dark chocolate with well integrated oak. The palate is full-bodied and demonstrates good fruit concentration – thick, sinewy tannins with a long, spherical, modern finish with a long white pepper tinged aftertaste. It will need several years in bottle before it even considers entering the drinking plateau. Tasted April 2013"

JEFF LEVE, THE WINE CELLAR INSIDER

92-94 POINTS

Barrel Tasting: “With a lot of Cabernet Franc for the vintage at 80%, the remainder taken up by 20% Merlot, the wine reached 13% alcohol with a pH of 3.72. Fresh flowers, black raspberries and espresso bean, polished, strong tannins and a fresh, black raspberry, structured, stern, mineral dominated finish.”

STEPHEN TANZER, INTERNATIONAL WINE CELLAR

90-92 POINTS

Barrel Tasting: “(80% cabernet franc and 20% merlot): Bright, full ruby. Perfumed aromas of strawberry, white pepper, graphite and cocoa. Clean and fresh but quite closed on the palate, with hints of raspberry syrup, pepper and minerals. Opened nicely and showed increasing sweetness with air, finishing suave and long, with a repeating floral quality. That a wine with such a high percentage of cabernet franc could be so good in 2012 is a testament to the talents of the team at Le Dome."

JEAN-MARC QUARIN

16,5  //  92 POINTS

“Couleur sombre, intense et belle. Nez fruité et épicé. Belle entrée en bouche, ample puis le vin se développe très fruité, juteux, rond avec du goût, de l’éclat dans le fruit et les tanins un peu ferme mais savoureux dans la persistance. Légère note d’extraction. Bonne longueur savoureuse.”

2011

WINE SPECTATOR

POINTS 90–93

“This has some good flesh, with a succulent edge to the boysenberry and fig flavors, backed by mocha and anise on the finish. Offers a thick feel, but isn't heavy in the end. This should stretch out nicely.” —J.M.

WINE ENTHUSIAST IN BOTTLE

94 POINTS

This elegant and expressive wine shows perfumed Cabernet Franc flavors that come from the black fruits and concentrated tannins. It is full of ripe fruit, although the stylish nature of the wine dominates. Drink from 2018.” —R.V

WINE ENTHUSIAST

POINTS 92–94

“While the wood is prominent, so is its concentrated, perfumed fruit. With its immense structure, this wine is spicy and very intense.” —R.V

JANE ANSON, SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

POINTS 95

“Plots by Canon, Angelus, sand over crasse de fer, next to three premiers. 80 %cab franc, 20% merlot, the percentage of franc has been this high since 2007. Gorgeous colour, glass staining, rich. This is seriously good. Beautifully fresh, and with serious persistency. 13.10%ABV. 1000 cases. 30 hl/h."

DECANTER

FOUR STARS

“Deep colour. Characteristically fresh, fragrant and long (80% Cabernet Franc). Tight, powerful, tannic frame. A touch less elegance than seen lately. Drink 2018-2030. (17.5 points)"

CHRIS KISSACK, THE WINE DOCTOR

16.5-17.5/20 POINTS

“Mostly Cabernet Franc here (80% of the vineyard is dedicated to this variety), the rest old-vine Merlot. A dark and dense hue. The aromatics have a floral purity to them which appeals, white flower petals coming out ahead of the darker fruit tones. The palate begins in a supple and controlled fashion, gentle and almost unassuming, but as the texture plays out on the palate the tannins that lie underneath make themselves known. They are ripe, concentrated, broad but very taut, powerful but integrated and fine. This is an impressive wine with excellent integration and a long, tannic finish. And the texture is so supple and integrated, laid so finely over the tannins."

ROBERT PARKER, IN BOTTLE TASTING

POINTS 94

“I’m not sure you can still call this the flagship wine of proprietor Jonathan Maltus given the other top wines he’s producing. Le Dome, which is dominated by an incredibly high percentage of Cabernet Franc (80%) and the balance Merlot (20%), is a special effort that must be tasted to be believed. The 2011 boasts gorgeously juicy blue, red and black fruits intermixed with floral and spice aromas. This supple, velvety-textured, opulent, medium to full-bodied, ethereal St.-Emilion is another stunning effort. It is amazing how well Maltus does whether the vintage provides great raw materials, or if he is confronted with more difficult challenges as he was in 2011. Drink this brilliant effort over the next 10-15 years."

ROBERT PARKER, THE WINE ADVOCATE

94-96 POINTS

“Proprietor Jonathan Maltus produced 1,000 cases of this phenomenal 2011. A blend of 80% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot, this backward, slightly unformed St.-Emilion is bursting with exciting potential. An inky/blue/purple color is accompanied by notes of wet steel, lead pencil shavings, Asian spice, spring flowers, blueberries and black raspberries. While the aromatics are suppressed, the flavors explode across the palate with thrilling intensity and purity. This should be a remarkable success story in this vintage, which has been somewhat forgotten as it follows the great years of 2009 and 2010. Give the 2011 5-6 years of cellaring in order to develop more aromatic complexity, and drink it over the following two decades."

TIM ATKIN MW

POINTS 94

Englishman Jonathan Maltus’ garage red has an unusually high percentage of Cabernet Franc for Bordeaux, and the freshness and perfume are wonderfully apparent here. Sweet ginger bread and vanilla on the nose, with plush, textured notes of black fruits and molasses on the palate. Concentrated, yet supple, with very fine tannins and a finish that lingers on the palate. Very seductive. 8+ years."

STEPHEN TANZER'S INT. WINE CELLAR

POINTS 91-94

“(80% cabernet franc and 20% merlot): Very deep ruby. Initially brooding aromas of red cherry, strawberry jam, flowers and white pepper; this really began to express itself with air. Then smooth, rich and highly perfumed in the mouth, with enticing red fruit and mineral flavors leading to silky-sweet tannins. The finish is complex and multilayered, with a very slight hint of cabernet franc leafiness that adds to the wine's appeal. Incidentally, the cab franc on this site was planted in 1956 in response to the merlot shortage due to the severe frost earlier that year. An excellent Le Dome, but for the money, I'd go with Vieux Chateau Mazerat or Le Carré this year from Jonathan Maltus's very impressive line-up of 2011 wines."

2010

ROBERT PARKER EN BOUTEILLE

POINTS 100

“A full-bodied wine, but ethereal in its elegance and finesse, the wine has a strikingly provocative bouquet of camphor, blueberry jam, violets, new saddle leather, white chocolate and spice. Extremely full-bodied, but again, not showing any weighty fatigue or any type of aggressiveness, this wine has extraordinary purity and richness as well as a blockbuster finish of close to a minute, yet is so flawless, seamless and compelling, it’s hard to believe the wine is this concentrated and rich. It will be interesting to see how it evolves, but it certainly can be drunk in 3-4 years and, I’m sure, cellared for as long as 25-35 years from now.

There are 1,000 cases of this wine, which has one of the highest percentages of Cabernet Franc of any wine in Bordeaux (80%). The balance is Merlot. The 2009 from Le Dome flirted with perfection, but this wine swallows the entire scoring system, and rightfully so."

ROBERT PARKER

POINTS 94-96

 “This 1,000-case cuvee is always a candidate for having the highest percentage of Cabernet Franc (80%) of any wine from Bordeaux. The balance is Merlot. A magical wine, the dense purple-colored 2010 exhibits notes of incense, camphor, blueberries, blackberries and spring flowers. With sweet tannin, medium to full body and the high percentage of Cabernet Franc, it should put on additional weight and provide plenty of pleasure over 10-15 years. It is a stunning example of what heights Cabernet Franc can achieve in St.-Emilion. Drink: 2011/26."

DECANTER

FIVE STARS

“In a Cabernet Franc year this really is the ticket (80% in the blend). Possibly one of the finest owner Jonathan Maltus has made. Lighter handling has given it a finer, less monolithic feel. Reserved but fresh and poised on the nose. Dense fruit on the palate with dark/red fruit and violet notes. Real length and persistence. At perfect pitch for the vintage. 2018-2030."

NEAL MARTIN, IN BOTTLE

POINTS 93

“The Le Dôme 2010 has a voluptuous bouquet with "crème de cassis" and blueberry jam smothered in vanillary new oak that is very well integrated (80% new rather than 100%). The palate is smooth and more approachable than the Vieux Château Mazerat, with opulent black fruit, rounded mouthfeel and a touch of white pepper towards the succulent finish. Very fine - showing more finesse than recent vintages. Tasted November 2012"

NEAL MARTIN, THE WINE ADVOCATE

POINTS 93-95

“The Le Dome 2010 is 80% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot, this is quite reticent on the nose at first, opening with blackberry leaf, briary, good mineralité and a touch of freshly tilled earth. The palate is silky smooth on the entry with saturated tannins, just a touch of spice, well-knit with a sweet, dark cherry and blueberry finish infused with fine mineralité. Excellent…a much better sample than 2009 last year."

WINE CELLAR INSIDER

POINTS 92-94

“80% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot combined to produce what’s probably the wine with the highest percentage of Cabernet Franc from Bordeaux in the vintage. The wine reached reached 14.58% alcohol with a pH 3.8. A deep purple color leads into a licorice, floral, oak, and spicy blackberry perfume, plush textures and a finish that offers oak, coco and black cherries. About 1,000 cases were produced of this unique St. Emilion."

JANE ANSON, SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

POINTS 97

A huge cabernet franc wine in a cabernet franc year, got to be worth a look. Liquorice root on the nose. This is incredibly dense, with powerful fruit, excellent persistence, and smooth, well-knitted tannins. This starts off with powerful impact, but the acidity then reaches in and lifts everything up on the finish. Tannins are gently building up as the mid-palate progresses, and knead the fruit along to the finish. 80/20 cab franc/merlot. Drink 2018-2035."

WINE ENTHUSIAST IN BOTTLE

95 POINTS

“This is a perfumed wine, dominated by Cabernet Franc. Black fruits are layered with wood, dry tannins and a beautiful aromatic quality. The wine is deep and complex, built for the long term with its power, density and considerable elegance.” R.V

WINE ENTHUSIAST

POINTS 94–96

“Beautifully perfumed wine, profiting from the great Cabernet Franc in 2010, with almost silky tannins. The heady berries are surrounded with violets, giving a wine with great final freshness.” –R.V.

WINE SPECTATOR IN BOTTLE MARCH 2013

POINTS 93

“A burly, extracted style, with lots of roasted apple wood and mesquite flavors leading the way, followed by briary grip and slightly chewy plum, blackberry and black currant fruit flavors. Shows more heft than cut and drive, featuring scads of tobacco, ganache and loam on the finish. If cellaring can tame the chewy edges, this will become an impressive, modern-styled wine down the road. Best from 2016 through 2030.” - JM

WINE SPECTATOR

POINTS 92-95

“Ripe, but very lively, with the blueberry, blackberry and boysenberry fruit bouncing along nicely, while spice and fruitcake notes are already melding into the core. Shows judicious toast and ample length, with some serious power in reserve.” —J.M.

2009

ROBERT PARKER (IN BOTTLE)

POINTS 99

“One of the most distinctive wines made in Bordeaux, Le Dome has one of the highest percentages of Cabernet Franc of any claret I can think of. Composed of 80% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot, it exhibits a certain delicacy and elegance (due to the Cabernet Franc component) in addition to resounding power, concentration, depth and multidimensional personality. Black/purple to the rim, it offers strikingly intense notes of spring flowers, raspberries, mulberries and wood smoke, medium to full body, sweet tannin and a cunning intensity and texture that suggest finesse and delicacy. However, the wine’s richness, length and lingering depth build incrementally in this exceptional St.-Emilion. It will be drinkable in 4-5 years and should age for two decades or more. This is Jonathan Maltus’ finest wine to date. Drink 2016-2036."

ROBERT PARKER, THE WINE ADVOCATE

POINTS 95-97

“The flagship estate of Jonathan Maltus, Le Dome may be the St.-Emilion with the highest percentage of Cabernet Franc (80% in 2009, blended with 20% Merlot). A consistent winner, 2009 may turn out to be the finest wine he has yet produced from this vineyard (although the 2008 will give it a run for its money). A distinctive wine of great length and elegance as well as unmistakable power and authority, the 2009 exhibits beautiful floral, black raspberry, cranberry, cassis, and subtle smoke aromas. Building incrementally in the mouth, the wine reveals medium to full body, an ethereal, nearly sublime style, sweet tannin, and a velvety, opulent finish. This superb St.-Emilion should drink well for two decades or more."

NEAL MARTIN, THE WINE ADVOCATE

91-93 POINTS

“A blend of 80% Cabernet Franc picked on October 14th and 20% this has a very sleek nose with black cherries, cassis and liquorices, this has a full-bodied palate with delineated silky tannins, firm tannic grip, slightly chalky texture towards the finish with good persistency. The oak is very dominant at the moment so this will need time to meld into the fabric of the wine. Unashamedly modern in style. Tasted March 2010."

STEPHEN TANZER

POINTS 93-96

“2009 Saint Emilion (an 80/20 blend of cabernet franc and merlot) Deep, inky ruby-purple. Complex, very deep aromas of fresh blackcurrant, vanilla, licorice and sweet spices. Dense, sweet and tactile, with rich, vibrant black fruit flavors nicely complicated by sweet spices and a touch of sexy new oak. Finishes very long, smooth and full-bodied, with chewy mouthcoating but ripe tannins and a persistent note of floral black cherry. This is the richest and fullest of the '09 offerings from Jonathan Maltus, and much better than the 2008 version. While the merlot was picked on October 12, and the cabernet franc on October 14, neither one, amazingly, smells or tastes of overripeness. But this serious wine will need at least four or five years of cellaring upon its release. A great example of an intelligent garage wine made with people's palates-not just headlines-in mind."

DECANTER

4 STARS

“Deep colour. Brooding, spicy nose. Rich, dense palate. Generous fruit but a little monolithic at this stage. Plenty of lift and freshness though. Powerful tannic frame. Drink 2015-2025."

WEINWISSER

POINTS 18/20

“80 % Cabernet Franc (!!!), 20 % Merlot. Extremely dark purple with lilac and violet glints. Hints of black-current with liquorice, herbs and elderberries, very deep. Rich palate with intense and imposing aromas, very fleshy, rich, full dark berries extraction, long but also compensating astringency. When it integrates its muscles, another point will be added and would make it side by side with Cheval Blanc, Ausone and Petit-Gravet-Ainé as part of the most exciting Cabernet Franc dominated wines of the whole of Bordeaux. 2015-2028"

WINE SPECTATOR

POINTS 92-95

“Mineral and sandalwood, with ripe blackberry on the nose. Full-bodied, with silky tannins and an attractive combination of toasted oak and fruit. Racy and polished.” —J.S.

SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

POINTS 95

“80% cabernet franc, 20% merlot. The nose is pretty closed on this one, a hint of just how brooding this is. Big, big wine. It has been described as 'lunch', with reason! The tannins are very rich, textured, very present. It’s a wonderful wine, but this is a wine for the boys. A wine for the long-haul, with full-on glass staining purple, and one that needs to be opened and breathed for a good while before drinking (I'm sure that will remain true for most of its long life). For my own personal taste, I would go with the Vieux Chateaux Mazerat."

WINE ENTHUSIAST

POINTS 94–96

A complete wine, with the tannins, deep blackberry fruit, sweet acidity and dense structure all coming together in great harmony. The wine is certainly ripe, but equally structured. For aging. - R.V."

WINE ENTHUSIAST (IN BOTTLE)

POINTS 95

“A gorgeously perfumed wine, dominated by the ripest Cabernet Franc, combining richness and an intense structure. With its tannins, it will age well over many years. The fruit is finely textured, deliciously juicy, showing the most complex series of flavors.” — RV.

JAMES SUCKLING (IN BOTTLE)

POINTS 95.

“Loads of blueberries, with hints of wet earth and fresh mushrooms. Full-bodied, with layers of ripe tannins and juicy fruit. Goes on for minutes. Best wine from this estate ever. Try after 2018."

DEREK SMEDLEY, MW

POINTS 97

Drink 2016-35 - Cabernet Franc 75%, Merlot 25%

“Tobacco, spicy oak and liquorice overlay the rich black fruits. The sweetness of the fruit is enhanced by ripe tannins but quite grippy in the middle giving struture with towards the back blackberry, cranberry and sloe giving lots of complexity."

2008

ROBERT PARKER IN BOTTLE

POINTS 94

“An opaque purple color is followed by notes of graphite, mulberries, blueberries and flowers. The 2008 is broad, savory and medium to full-bodied with sweet tannins, decent acidity, a textured, complex mouthfeel and no hard edges. It, too, should drink nicely for 10-15 years. Drink: 2011 – 2026."

ROBERT PARKER

POINTS 95-97

“A blend of 75% Cabernet Franc and 25% Merlot, it displays an ethereal elegance allied with substantial flavor authority and intensity, seemingly regardless of vintage conditions. This 7-acre vineyard boasts no other than Angelus as one of its most prestigious neighbors. Enormous quantities of berry fruit intermixed with sweet, damp forest floor, graphite, licorice, and oak notes are found in this intense, full-bodied, supremely elegant wine. Sadly, there are fewer than 1,000 cases in 2008. It should drink well for two decades or more. This is the winery that made everyone recognize what Jonathan Maltus was doing in St.-Emilion. The expatriate from England produces this cuvee, which may possess the highest percentage of Cabernet Franc in the St.-Emilion appellation."

TIM ATKIN, THE OBSERVER

"So let's hear it for Cabernet Franc, a grape that is usually regarded as the least interesting of the three major red Bordeaux varieties (Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot being the other two). In the Gironde itself, it is used to add perfume to red blends, but it rarely has more than a supporting, spear-carrying role. The exceptions, both in St Emilion, are Château Cheval Blanc and Le Dôme, where Cabernet Franc accounts for 58% and 75% of the blend respectively. These are pretty good exceptions to have shouting for you in your corner."

DECANTER - BORDEAUX 2008 TASTING NOTE

POINTS 17.5

Deep, dark and reserved. Tight, textured with dark fruit notes. Plentiful tannins finely honed. Well handled extraction. Subdued but with an edge of finesse. Drink 2015-2024."

DEREK SMEDLEY MW

POINTS 90-94

“Château Ausone and the newly named Château Belair-Monange tied with Le Dôme in Derek Smedley MW’s review of the 2008 vintage. Derek reviews feature in a number of the major Fine Wine Merchants offers in the United Kingdom. "Concentrated black fruit power is in evidence on the nose, the fleshy black plum enriched by sloe. This richness is balanced by bilberry and bramble freshness but with ripe tannins the finish is rich and fat, full of flavour."

JANE ANSON

POINTS 95

“73% cabernet franc, 27% merlot, reverse of everything else we do. This is about 4 hectares. Single-vineyard. This is often the last picked, as it is up on the Cotes. Maltus, 'The good thing about the 2008 vintage was that even with the very hot days in October, there nice cool evenings that had a touch of winter about them, that brought about the acidity'. A lovely, lilting perfumed nose. Some smoky oak, and some sweetness on the palate from the cabernet franc. Terribly enjoyable, this is very poetic. These are in fact, taken as a whole, a very cohesive family of wine – each with its own distinct personality, but there hasn’t been a clanger among them! And this has that beautiful lift at the end of the palate, when you almost have a minty eucalyptus finish."

NEAL MARTIN

POINTS 92-94

“A blend of 73% Cabernet Franc and 27% Merlot (no pressed wine in this blend), this Le Dome is introverted on the nose, as one would expect from such a nascent Cabernet Franc-based wine. Give it time as some attractive notes of cassis, black plum and violets emerge. The palate is full-bodied with very sensuous tannins, a creamy mouthfeel, supremely well focused and taut with a pure dark fruit tannic finish. Excellent. Tasted April 2009."

WINE ENTHUSIAST

POINTS 92-94

“A beautifully perfumed wine, lively and spicy, with impressive density. It is also fruity, with blackberry juice around the perfumed core. It finishes with a touch of minerality.” -R.V.

2007

ROBERT PARKER ON ERP, WHO'S NEXT, MAY 2008

"POINTS 92-94"

DECANTER, APRIL 2007

5 STARS

“Full, intense colour, wonderful expression of Cabernet Franc, still quite shut in and brooding, but wonderful fragrance, quite lush on the palate, combines true ripeness with the liveliness of the vintage, great purity and perfect balance. Drink 2012-20. (18.5/20 points)"

GILL LEMPERT-SCHWARZ, WINEVEGAS

"100% new oak. Super dark, almost ink black color with very strong purple rim. Monster concentration, fruit with young blackberry, very complex and layered with good solid fruit, very fine tannins and excellent balance. Super extracted. Quite tight, but very concentrated with huckleberry, phenolics, big mouth-feel, good length."

NEAL MARTIN, APRIL 2008

POINTS 90-92

A blend of 73% Cabernet Franc with a whopping 20% pressed wine. Deep black/purple hue. The nose is very closed at the moment with some pure plum-scented, boysenberry fruit. It probably does not have the complexity of the previous two vintages but it has good definition. The palate is full-bodied with vibrant, black fruits, well-integrated vanillary new oak, quite masculine and rather impenetrable at this nascent stage but a little dry on the finish. Tasted April 2008."

ROGER VOSS, WINE ENTHUSIAST, APRIL 2007

POINTS 91–93

“Le Dôme, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru As so often with this single vineyard wine, the Cabernet Franc gives wonderful perfumes. In 2007, the elegance comes up front, layered with acidity and blackberries. The tannins, while dry, are not intense, going more to support the freshness. —R.V."

STEPHEN TANZER, MAY 2008

POINTS 88-91

“Saturated bright ruby. Lovely lift to the aromas of blackberry, minerals, violet and mint; the floral quality verges on exotic. Rich and powerful in the context of the year, and long on personality too, offering very pure flavors of currant, dark chocolate, iron and tobacco. Finishes broad and ripe, with serious tannic spine and excellent precision. I like the combination of volume, minerality and energy on display here."

VINVINO LIFE RATES BORDEAUX 2007, MARCH 2007

"POINTS 92"

2006

ROBERT PARKER, ‘2006 BORDEAUX - THE TOP 152 WINES OF THE VINTAGE', MAY 2007

POINTS 92-94

“The flagship estate of Jonathan Maltus (also the proprietor of ChateauTeyssier), Le Dome usually contains an atypically high percentage of Cabernet Franc. The result in 2006 includes beautiful notes of menthol, raspberries, black cherries, flowers, crushed rocks, and subtle new wood offered in an elegant, richly fruity style. Light, but flavorful and concentrated with a long, velvety finish, it should be drinkable between 2010-2022+."

ROBERT PARKER IN BOTTLE

POINTS 94

“A blend of 85% Merlot, the rest Cabernet Franc, vines cultivated on sand a little gravel, this has a slightly pinched nose of black cherries and a little iodine – hopefully it will broaden out by bottling. Smooth on the entry, quite sharp acidity with iodine and tart cherry underneath. Cuts away a little short on the finish. Tasted March 2009."

DECANTER, APRIL 2007

5 STARS

“Huge rich colour, big rich flavours and lots of Cabernet Franc to give leafy elegance, very deep, very fresh, very pure, a triumph for the vintage. 2012-2020."

JUSTERINI & BROOKS, 2007

"It is almost unfair that Jonathan Maltus, a man whose very presence in St Emilion is due by his own admission to a chance event, and who has been there for less than fifteen years, should persist in extracting such fine wines from this plot of elderly cabernet franc vines, year after year. The success of his relationship with Le Dome shows great understanding of, and sensitivity to, this unique vineyard, and is rewarded yet again with another fabulous wine. The 2006 has perhaps reached a new level of refinement, notably in its structure and finesse, and it is not unfair to compare this wine with those of Latour and Cheval Blanc in terms of polish and style. Very dark purple in appearance, the wine is opulent from the outset, abounding in pure berry fruit yet with an almost steely finesse and purity on the nose. On the palate it is strikingly precise in its construction, the tannins fine and smooth, the delicately spicy Demptos oak complimenting well the dark ripeness of the fruit. Full-bodied and smooth, with persistent depths of layered flavour (coffee bean, truffle, a meaty tinge even), the palate goes on and on. An honest translation of the purest fruit from this special terroir, and a remarkable result."

MICHAEL SCHUSTER, THE WORLD OF FINE WINE

POINTS 17/20

“Inky color mineral and very ripe fruit on the nose; rich middleweight, with a very refined tannin, which is mainly and oak-dry tannin. Sweetly ripe, complex, very fragrant, and finely mineral to taste, and with a remarkably scented length. The very particular scented quality of this wine is perhaps not surprising when you know that it is nearly 75% Cabernet Franc. Very low yields and very ripe fruit make for a wine that is quite powerful and mouth-coating, but it remains delicate and transparent at the same time – Burgundian in that sense. Very individual, with a faintly raisiny imprint from the super-ripe fruit. Impressive, though a bit difficult to judge, since it’s the first time I have tasted it en primeur, and I have no idea how it ages. The first vintage was 1996. Certainly fine wine, in a sort of more restrained, new-wave Pavie style."

MICHEL BETTANE & THIERRY DESSEAUVE

POINTS 18/20

“A successful, powerful wine with a very tannic finish but a satiny texture, classy floral aromas, more concentrated substance than usual and great length - a wine to rival the very best!"

NEAL MARTIN ON ERP, APRIL 07

"Wines such as Valandraud, Gracia and Le Dome are as good as any in Bordeaux."

NEAL MARTIN'S WINE JOURNAL, EROBERT PARKER

POINTS 93-95

“A gorgeous rich nose of black cherries, a touch of Xmas cake and wild hedgerow, developing more of a crème de cassis note in the glass. The palate is opulent and full-bodied with spicy black fruits, saturated tannins and a texture so smooth you could slide down it. Blueberry on the slightly savoury finish. Very long but quite backward. Superb."

STEPHEN TANZER’S INTERNATIONAL WINE CELLAR – MAY/JUNE 07

POINTS 89-91

“Bright ruby. Aromas of black cherry, smoked meat and minerals. Lush, ripe and broad, with sappy, primary flavors of cherry, raspberry and minerals. Densely packed but not at all overly sweet despite its fruit intensity. Finishes with ripe, building tannins, very good breadth and a late note of licorice. This wine, made from a property next to Angelus, features 73% cabernet franc and 27% merlot."

INVINO - JULY 2007

POINTS 94

WINE ENTHUSIAST, APRIL 2007

POINTS 91–93

“The first of the single vineyard wines made by Jonathan Maltus, this Cabernet Franc dominated wine is powered, rich, blackberries and dark plums, layers of new wood.” —R.V"

ROGER VOSS, WINE ENTHUSIAST – In Bottle

93 POINTS

“Benefiting from the great quality of Cabernet Franc in 2006, this is a beautiful wine, perfumed and seductive. The fruit tannins are so well integrated with wood that they are only just dominant. Ripe, opulent but also firmly structured, this will age magnificently over five years or more."

WINE SPECTATOR, ONLINE MARCH 2009

POINTS 90

“A very attractive wine, with berry, chocolate and light toasty oak on the nose and palate. Medium- to full-bodied, with velvety tannins and a medium, caressing finish. Very pretty, if young. Best after 2013. 1,000 cases made."

2005

ROBERT PARKER, IN BOTTLE, APRIL 2008

POINTS 96

“A Cheval Blanc look-alike, this cuvee (which includes a high percentage of Cabernet Franc) boasts an ethereal nose of raspberries, menthol, spring flowers, and hints of cedar as well as new oak. Full-bodied, exceptionally fresh, and noble, this is a complex, classic, distinctive wine that should drink well in 3-4 years, and last for two decades. It is the finest Le Dome yet made, but sadly, there are only 1,000 cases. Drink 2011-2028."

 

ROBERT PARKER ‘WINE ADVOCATE #170 MAY 2007’

POINTS 92-94

“Aromatically speaking, this is one of the most complex wines of St.-Emilion. The 2005 exhibits notes of blueberries, raspberries, menthol, and graphite along with terrific fruit, medium body, superb palate penetration, good acidity, ripe tannin, and a surreal lightness. Boasting undeniable nobility as well as class, considerable Cabernet Franc in the blend provides a distinctive personality. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2020?"

DECANTER, APRIL 2006

5 STARS

“Velvety black-red, very fragrant, stunning concentration on the nose, quite massive at first, then showing great sophistication and purity from 50-year-old vineyard fruit, very good indeed. Drink 2009-20. (19 points)"

FARR VINTNERS, APRIL 2006

"From a 3.5ha single vineyard situated next to Angelus, this represents possibly the biggest expression of Cabernet Franc in a wine from Bordeaux. The terroir is sand with a base of crasse de fer (ironstone) at a very shallow depth - thereby maintaining a quick-draining surface - essential for Cabernet Franc. Owner and winemaker Jonathan Maltus chooses green harvesting and a saignee, after which the yield is 28hl/ha. Fermentation is in wooden vats with malolactic in new French oak."

FIONA MORRISON MW, WINE & SPIRITS

"This garage winery is now ten years old and has put in consistently fine performances in recent vintages. Its location (just above Angélus) may account for the richness and purity of fruit here. The blend of 75 percent cabernet franc and 25 percent merlot offers lovely sloe berry and plum scented fruit. There's peppery earthiness in the tannin, finishing with density as well as elegance."

GAVIN QUINNEY, WINE & SPIRIT MAGAZINE

POINTS 93-96

“Englishman Jonathan Maltus makes this delicious, cabernet franc dominated beauty from old vines near Angelus. The best Le Dôme yet and the star turn in a super line-up of Maltus wines – just ahead of the 250 case ‘Les Astéries’."

GIL LEMPERT-SCHWARZ, WINEVEGAS, 2005

"Jonathan Maltus is one of the few rebels in Bordeaux. The general feeling that one gets when tasting Maltus’ wines is one of big concentrated fruit from very good terroir. He is without a doubt one of the very few winemakers, perhaps the only one, who has mastered making great wines in both the Northern and the Southern Hemispheres."

GIL LEMPERT-SCHWATZ, WINEVEGAS

"Super dense purplish red. Mega concentrated nose with black fruit, especially cherry and blackberry. There's also some softly oaky undertones. In the mouth, it is like biting into a cluster of huckleberries and then layered complex tastes of both cherry, tobacco and vanilla. What an amazing wine this is through the middle palate and then the grand finale of beautiful rounded tannins with amazing length."

JAMES SUCKLING, WINE SPECTATOR

POINTS 93

“Has green olive, licorice and cut-wood aromas, with plenty of plum and crushed berry character. Full-bodied, with round, polished tannins and a beautiful finish. A real crowd-pleaser."

JANCIS ROBINSON, APRIL 2006

POINTS 17

Drink 2015-22. Very dark and healthy colour. Quite meaty. Full and broad and spicy and meaty. Rich and full and intense. Very thick. Planted just after the 1956 frost. Relatively dense."

JUSTERINI & BROOKS, APRIL 2006

"The 2005 Le Dôme is perhaps Jonathan Maltus’s finest wine yet, continuing the theme of brooding depths of dark fruit that has been set over the last few vintages. The usual blend of 75% Cabernet Franc and 25% Merlot shows a very fine nose indeed, with a touch more lush fruit than in the 2004, all elegantly enticing. Seamless on the palate, with an almost endless variety of savoury secondary flavours: black cherry, espresso, sweet dark chocolate, powdery limestone and truffle hints. Firm, supremely smooth oak tannins round off into a long, balanced finish. Sensational wine!"

NEAL MARTIN, WINE JOURNAL, EROBERTPARKER

POINTS 95-97

“The tenth anniversary of Jonathan Maltus self-confessed garagiste superstar and very fine it is too. A beautifully Cabernet Franc dominated nose: blackberry and a touch of fig and burnt toast. The palate is very well-balanced, high extraction but not over-powering and no astringency like some other Saint Emilions. Maintains both finesse and power. Clams up towards the finish. Pure and very seductive."

NEVILLE BLECH – BACCHUS & COMUS

POINTS 98

“Le Dôme St. Emilion Grand Cru 2005. (73% Cabernet Franc, 27% Merlot). Le Dôme is a single vineyard situated next to Ch. Angelus and is probably the biggest expression of Cabernet Franc in a Bordeaux wine. There is big fruit on the nose again and very dense and chocolatey on the palate with good ripe fruit beneath soft and supple tannins. This should turn out to be a soft and cuddly wine with layer upon layer of elegant fruit with hints of chocolate, spice and vanilla to add to the complexity and a long finish when it reaches maturity."

STEVEN TANZER, INTERNATIONAL WINE CELLAR

POINTS 91-93

“Deep ruby. Aromas of black cherry, licorice, violet and minerals. Dense, supple and fat but with lovely violet and mineral lift to the berry and chocolate flavors. This impressively rich and spicy wine seemed to shut down in the glass. Finishes big, broad and mouthcoating, with terrific lift from the cabernet franc. The best young sample of Le Dome that I've tasted to date."

TOMAS CLANCY, SUNDAY BUSINESS POST

POINTS 95

An astounding wine that is now in its tenth anniversary year. Although no longer the new kid in town, it feels wild, exotic and ineffably chic from the moment the intense cedar aromas rush to your senses. The violet colour, the perfume, the touch of jasmine, spice and then toasty warm home comforts bring this wine to a level few others can even dream of."

VINVINO, GREGOR DRESCHER

"Le Dome Saint Emilion Grand Cru 2005 94 96"

VINVINOLIFE - JULY 2007

"POINTS 94-96"

WINE BEHIND THE LABEL - WILLIAMSON & MOORE, 2005

5 STARS

“This vies with 'La Mondotte' to be first among the garage wines of Saint Emilion. It is produced from a single parcel which neighbours Chateau Angelus. Cabernet Franc is the main component at over 70%, with the balance Merlot. The wine is modern in style with pre-fermentation maceration and both pigeage and pumping over are employed during fermentation. Malolactic is conducted in barrel and then 50% is drawn off and aged in a second series of brand new oak barrels. Yet whilst it is very deep and very concentrated, the wine's fine mineral structure provides exemplary balance. It will require seven or eight years' patience to show at it's peak."

WINE ENTHUSIAST MAGAZINE

POINTS 95

“An aristocratic, perfumed wine dominated by delicious Cabernet Franc. Beneath this elegant exterior, there is also power from intensely concentrated fruit and tannins. The wine is already well integrated, the wood only here by feel, balancing so well with the fruit. To finish, sweet fruit and dusty tannins combine easily.” — R.V.

WINE ENTHUSIAST ONLINE, APRIL 2006

POINTS 92-94

“Licorice and blackberry with hints of tar. Full-bodied, with chewy tannins. Long finish. Big and juicy. Almost classic quality”. —J.S

SERENA SUTCLIFFE, SOTHERBY'S

"Spicy, roasted raisins on the nose. Sweet red fruit on the palate, with masses of glycerol and liquorice. Succulent and lip licking good."

2004

ROBERT PARKER JNR, THE WINE ADVOCATE

POINTS 90-92

“A fragrant, ethereal-styled, dark ruby/purple-tinged effort, Le Dome’s 2004 offers a precise, pure nose of menthol, cranberries, raspberries, and cherries. This medium-bodied St.-Emilion, which obviously includes considerable Cabernet Franc in the blend, exhibits good ripeness, striking elegance, and potential complexity as well as purity. Although there is not a great deal of depth, it is a suave 2004 that should shed its tannin in 2-3 years, and drink well over the following 12-15. Drink 2007-2022."

DECANTER, 2005

5 STARS

“Dense, deep colour, marvellously fragrant due to 75% Cabernet Franc, superbly ripe in 2004, smooth, totally harmonious fruit flavours, slightly smoky from new oak, very pure, very long, very beautiful wine. Drink 2010-20."

GIL LEMPERT-SCHWARZ, WINEVEGAS, 2005

"In the glass, this wine is a blackish purple and densely opaque color with a deep inky core going out into asaturated fuchsia rim definition with ultra-high painted viscosity. On the nose, there is massively concentrated black fruit with warm berry compote, boysenberry sorbet, blueberry pie, spice box, exotic notes with all-spice, nutmeg and cardamom, with underlying hints of oak, anise and fruit-driven minerals. In the mouth, this is a big concentrated wine with gobs of black fruit, boysenberries, blueberries, marionberry sauce, jammy ripe black plums and oak references. The mid-palate is absolutely fat with berry extract going into the super ripe and supple tannin laced finish that lingers with yet more oak and hints of vanilla and red berries. Super cool wine that is just an absolute revelation from SaintEmilion this vintage."

JACQUES PERRIN - ELITE WINE

“The 2004 Le Dome is 75% Cabernet Franc and 25% Merlot. No, that's not a typo. This is definitely an unusual blend coming from a vineyard in the Angelus area. The depth of colour is impressive and the nose unfolds a series of spice scents, grilled coffee, peony and cassis. The attack is exceptional. Firm bodied throughout, with a dense, tight finish. The tannins are a bit strong at this stage but ageing will provide the necessary smoothness."

JUSTERINI & BROOKS, 2005

"Garnet, glinting ruby and purple, with a very dark core. An unbelievably complex nose that begins beautiful restrained and builds remarkably to many layers: finely perfumed, jammy fruit; creamy chocolate; minerals; cigar box and a hint of oak; delicate spices and roasting meat. High alcohol on entry, quite big structure. Delicate beginning, elegant continuation, superb balance, great depth, elegant fruit, continuing impressively. This wine is outstanding."

JUSTERINI & BROOKS, OCTOBER 2004

"The Cabernet-Franc dominated Le Dôme, grown on a tiny plot next to L’Angélus that lies on a unique stratum of "crasse de fer", imbuing depth and richness to the fruit, has found a place at the top table of the world’s greatest wines."

STEPHEN TANZER, INTERNATIONAL WINE CELLAR

POINTS 90-91

“Good full ruby-red. Subdued but nuanced aromas of raspberry jam, orange peel, minerals, coffee and leather. Intensely flavored but youthfully unevolved; quite concentrated but tight and brooding. Less broad than the 2005 but strong for the year. Finishes with very suave tannins and subtle persistence."

STEPHEN TANZER, IWC 2005

POINTS 89-92

“(75% cabernet franc, from vines next to Angelus) Bright ruby-red. Aromas of crushed berries, violet and sexy oak. Suave, dense and lush, with concentrated flavors of kirsch, dark berries and dark chocolate, nicely lifted by a floral element. Conveys a strong impression of extract. A very vibrant wine that finishes quite long, with big, rich tannins. "

THE GREAT SOUTHWOLD TASTING, JANUARY 2008

"17.04 - The extra length of this fine wine, cool and very Cabernet Franc generated a series of 16-17, with two 18. "This is Cheval Blanc with sex-appeal!". We all well agreed on this classy lingering and fine wine."

THE WINE SPECTATOR, 2005

POINTS 89-91

“A chewy red, with blackberry, toasted oak and hints of coffee. Full-bodied. A big wine. 1,000 cases made."

VINIVINO - UNFILTERED, 2005

"POINTS 94-95

WINE ENTHUSIAST, 2005

POINTS 93-96

“This single-vineyard wine has benefited immensely from the quality of the Cabernet Franc in 2004. The perfumes are immediate and enticing, while the ripe fruit just pushes out over the layers of new wood."

WINE INTERNATIONAL, 2005

"This is the first of Englishman Jonathan Maltus's single vineyards in St-Emilion, a small patch near Ch. Angélus, with 75 per cent Cabernet Franc. There are blueberry and red berry fruit aromas, rather disguised by oak at present. But the fruit is dense and sweet, and will win through eventually. There are dark chocolate and mocha flavours, too, and lovely blueberry length. 2010-2020."

2003

ROBERT PARKER RETROSPECTIVE TASTING

POINTS 95

“The final blend for the 2003 Le Dome was 73% Cabernet Franc and 27% Merlot. This is another shockingly great 2003 that is close to full maturity. It reveals a brilliant combination of power and complexity. The deep plum/garnet color shows no lightening, and the wine exhibits supple tannins, a voluptuous texture, and notes of forest floor, blueberries, raspberries and mulberries. Ripe, but not over-the-top, this offering was aged in 100% new oak, but you would never know that given the fact that any evidence of oak has been pushed to the background except for a trace of espresso. This brilliant, impeccably made wine is a spectacular success in this vintage. It should drink well for 6-10 more years.

ROBERT PARKER, THE WINE ADVOCATE

POINTS 93

“An impressive combination of 75% Cabernet Franc and 25% Merlot from a vineyard adjacent to Angelus, the 2003 Le Dome is fashioned by the passionate, conscientious proprietor, Jonathan Maltus. While quintessentially elegant, it is surprisingly powerful with an ethereal perfume of blue, red, and black fruits intermixed with notes of violets and spice box. Savory, expansive, round, deep, and richly fruity, it is a medium-bodied, long, supple, evolved St.-Emilion to consume over the next 10-15 years."

DECANTER, 2004

4 STARS

“At 75%, this wine has the largest proportion of Cabernet Franc in Bordeaux, one of the reasons for its great success in 2003. Superb colour, almost rose-petal nose followed by very aromatic and richly ripe fruit with terrific structure and beautiful balance and length, a lovely wine, not reliant on power for attention. 2008-15"

The Wine Enthusiast, 2004

POINTS 90-92

“This wine, made almost entirely of Cabernet Franc, shows the grape's great success in 2003. Has intoxicating perfumes and solid structure."

JUSTERINI & BROOKS, 2004

"Even after tasting all the Grands Crus Classés of St Emilion, we found this to be in a class of its own. The distinguishing feature of Le Dôme 2003 is its 75% of old vine Cabernet Franc, particularly successful on a seam of underlying crasse de fer which has produced an elegant balance of delicious ripe fruit and remarkable depth and finesse. This makes it the best Le Dôme ever. On the nose the wine is extremely deep with rich, complex fruit and a hint of spice, with brooding power behind. This power comes through on the palate, where a silky texture delivers explosive, pure fruit, constant and balanced, right through to an extremely long, rounded finish. It is quite remarkable and easily matches the top Médocs for classic elegance and persistence"

RENE GABRIEL, MOVENPICK/WEINWISSER, 2004

"(75% Cabernet-Franc, 25% Merlot): Dark ruby-crimson. Fine bouquet with raspberry aromas, and a hint of Burgundy. Ripe fruit and red cherry flavours on the palate, with velvety touches and ripe, slightly marked tannins. Drink: 2009 – 2018."

STEPHEN TANZER'S IWC, 2004

POINTS 88-91

“This limited-production cuvée contains a very high 75% cabernet franc, from vines picked on September 17. Proprietor Jonathan Maltus uses a lot of Demptos oak to add spice to the wine. Maltus, who also has a project in Australia’s Barossa Valley, is a distinctly interventionist winemaker, using such techniques as pre-fermentation cold maceration; acidification when he feels it’s necessary to preserve freshness; délestage in addition to remontage and pigeage during the fermentation; and routine use of the lees during early months of élevage. What I particularly like about Le Dôme is its combination of impressive breadth and classic dryness. 2003 Le Dôme: Good deep red color. Sappy aromas of red fruit liqueur, violet and tobacco leaf. Sweet on entry, then broad, concentrated and quite dry in the middle palate, with flavors of currant, tobacco leaf and oak. Will merit a score at the top of my projected range if it fills in with élevage. The flavors are uncompromisingly dry, but the tannins are fine."

THE VINE MAY 2004

"Good colour. Quite oaky but not excessively so. Rich, fat and concentrated. Medium to medium-full body. Very good grip. Plenty of energy and intensity. Long finish. Very good indeed. From 2008/9."

THE WINE ADVOCATE, 2004

"An intriguing effort because of the high percentage of Cabernet Franc (75%) blended with Merlot (25%), the 2003 Le Dome, while no match for the gorgeous 2000 or 2001, exhibits elegant notions of cranberries, cherries, flowers, and spice. Broad, with low acidity, good freshness as well as a distinctive personality, I’m not convinced it has the staying power or richness of the 2000 or 2001, but it is a fine claret. (89-91).Anticipated maturity: 2006-2015"

VINIFERA, JACQUES PERRIN, 2004

"75% Cabernet Franc and 25% Merlot. Jonathan Maltus uses the highest percentage of Cabernet Franc in Bordeaux for this cuvée, Le Dôme. Lovely dark colour. An austere attack, with mineral and spice notes, dark fruits and a light floral undercurrent. The attack is smooth and finishes with a quite firm structure. A full-bodied wine with a well-bred, classy finish."

WINE & SPIRITS USA, 2004

"The Futures to buy - Bordeaux 2003. Must Haves - Ausone, Lafite-Rothschild, Latour, Montrose, Petrus, and Trotanoy. Next Best - Margaux, Le Dôme, Haut-Brion, Léoville Las Cases, Calon Ségur, Cos d'Estournel, Le Gay, Gruaud Larose, La Misssion Haut-Brion, Pape-Clément, and Magdelaine"

WINE INTERNATIONAL, 2004

POINTS 90-94

“Made by Englishman Jonathan Maltus from a small plot near Ch. Angelus, this is unusual in being made from 75% Cabernet Franc, a variety that did very well in 2003. It has lovely sweet rose perfume nose and ripe blueberry fruit, with lovely Fragrance on the finish. Complex and serious. The best and most restrained Dôme yet. Drink from: 2008-2016"

WINE INTERNATIONAL, 2005

"This is the first of Englishman Jonathan Maltus's single vineyards in St-Emilion, a small patch near Ch. Angélus, with 75 per cent Cabernet Franc. There are blueberry and red berry fruit aromas, rather disguised by oak at present. But the fruit is dense and sweet, and will win through eventually. There are dark chocolate and mocha flavours, too, and lovely blueberry length. 2010-2020."

WINE SPECTATOR, 2004

POINTS 89-91

Pretty blackberry and cherry character, with hints of minerals. Medium-bodied, with fine tannins and a medium finish. Not a huge wine, but very enjoyable to taste. Very well-crafted. One to watch."

CLIVE COATES, THE VINE

"28hl/ha. Good colour. Still a little closed on the nose. Quite a full, powerful wine. Rich and oaky. Full bodied, concentrated and classy. This has a lot of depth and real finesse. Everything in place. Very lovely. Very complex and very long at the end. Fine."

 

DANIEL ROGOV

POINTS 92-94

“The first "cult wine" of Chateau Teyssier, produced in very small quantities and a blend of 75% Cabernet Franc and 25% Merlot. Full bodied, with still firm and closing tannins but give this one time and it will show delicious currant, sweet cedar, tobacco and herbal flavors and aromas, all of which promise to come together on a long finish. Best drinking from 2007 - 2015. "

MARTIN MORAN MW, WINE REPUBLIC

POINTS 94-95

“If any grape succeeded this year it was cabernet franc as shown by both both Cheval Blanc and Le Dôme, with 75% of the variety, have shown. The nose on this is quite tight-knit and restrained but shows cherry with fragrant tobacco spice while the palate is a heavenly delight with flavours of cherry, blackberry, liquorice and nut but also an impressive balanced, ripe tannic structure with superb length. It just oozes class."

PETER MOSER, FALSTAFF

POINTS 92-94

“Deep ruby-red colour, very rich aromas of blood orange, cherry, and port, perfect balance between strength and finesse, dense and concentrated on the palate, full-bodied with lush ripe tannins, great length on the palate with a very fruity finish, near perfection."

PUNCH MAGAZINE

"The first garage wines came trickling out a decade ago. The first from Bordeaux was Le Pin, then came Valandraud and Le Dome; La Mondotte and Le Fer all from the right bank of the Gironde."

RENE GABRIEL, MOVENPICK/WEINWISSER

"Rich ruby-crimson colour. Slightly phenolic bouquet, with a certain Sangiovese affinity. Fragrances of cherry and coffee, initially slightly alcoholic. Velvety on the palate, with aromas of ripe fruit. Drink: 2008 – 2017"

STEPHEN TANZER

POINTS 89-93

“(A blend of 75% cabernet franc and 25% merlot) Bright ruby-red. Deep, strongly cabernet franc aromas of bitter cherry, violet, tobacco leaf and bitter chocolate. Dense, sweet and chocolatey, with lovely vinosity and cut and firm underlying minerality. A chewy, rather powerful wine that's already surprisingly lush considering its moderate 3.5 pH and high cabernet franc content. But then, this is ripe franc. Finishes with big, broad tannins and lingering floral character."

STEVEN SPURRIER, DECANTER

"It seems that ’Garage wines’ are beginning to become a thing of the past. They are being replaced in Bordeaux jargon by ’Cult Wines’. These are, just as garage wines were, super-cuvees from small plots of vines, whose vineyard is so worked to produce low yields to make wines that will undoubtedly impress the consumer. The difference between garage and cult wines is that the latter have vineyard characteristics, whilst the former are created mainly in the cellar. As such, they have a good future. Le Dôme - top ’Cult’ wine 2003."

WINE MAGAZINE

"Until now the process of sorting rotten and unripe grapes from good ones had to be done by hand. This changed in 2002, with the arrival in go-ahead châteaux ranging from Mouton Rothschild to Haut Bailly and Le Dôme in St Emilion of vibrating sorting tables. These tables act like sieves, shaking the grapes once they have been separated from the stalks until small, unripe - millerandé - ones drop through holes in the base."

2002

DECANTER

FIVE STARS

“75% Cabernet Franc, 25% Merlot. Big deeply saturated colour, less immediately expressive than Laforge, but superb tobacco leaf and cedar aromas, wonderful extract, very good structure and still quite closed, quite a traditional wine with superb vineyard expression, very long. Drink 2006-15”

WINE SPECTATOR

POINTS 92-94

“Wonderful mineral, blackberry and chocolate aromas follow through to a full-bodied palate, with big, silky tannins. Very long and powerful. This is a new small-production wine, about 900 cases made, from the hillsides of St.-Emilion near Château Angelus. Lots of potential."

STEPHEN TANZER

POINTS 89-93

“(A blend of 75% cabernet franc and 25% merlot) Bright ruby-red. Deep, strongly cabernet franc aromas of bitter cherry, violet, tobacco leaf and bitter chocolate. Dense, sweet and chocolatey, with lovely vinosity and cut and firm underlying minerality. A chewy, rather powerful wine that's already surprisingly lush considering its moderate 3.5 pH and high cabernet franc content. But then, this is ripe franc. Finishes with big, broad tannins and lingering floral character.”

JUSTERINI & BROOKS

"Deep crimson / purple colour. Hedonistic aromas of tobacco, hay and vanilla over-lying the rich black cherry and bramble. Fine extract yet big structure, profound depth of fruit and explosive tannins. The 75% Cabernet Franc lifts density of texture giving elegance, balance and extended length on the finish. Great potential. Rated by Decanter Magazine as the only 5 star St Emilion of 2002 and in the Wine Spectator top 20 Bordeaux 2002s."

VINVINO LIFE

"POINTS 92 - 94"

THE VINE MAY

"Good colour. Good depth and concentration here. Medium full body. Good tannins. Good grip. This is oaky, but not excessively so. Rich and ample. Very good indeed for 2002. From 2007/8."

THE WINE ANORAK

"Le Pin, Le Dôme, Valandraud; all superstar properties of relatively recent beginnings yet attain staggering prices on the auction market."

WINE MAGAZINE

POINTS 90-92

“The high proportion of Cabernet Franc is paying dividends here, helping to give this wine a very seductively perfumed blueberry and violet character and pure sweet length. There is a lot of chocolatey new oak there too, but the 2002 is the most stylish example of this garage wine that we have ever seen."

WINES OF BORDEAUX - DAVID PEPPERCORN

"Le Dome has caused quite a stir. It comes from a parcel of vineyard that was part of Vieux Mazerat, lying between Angelus and Grand Mayne and is planted with a high proportion of Cabernet Franc. The wine has the finesse and power of Cabernet Franc in vintages such as '98 and 2000 and is spicy and complex, with marked individuality. The wine gets the full avant-garde treatment - malolactic in 100 per cent oak and no fining or filtration - so if you cellar it for any length of time, look out for the deposit!"

MARGARET RAND, HARPERS MAGAZINE

"Hanson (Anthony Hanson MW, Wine Director, Christie's, London) picks out Valandraud, La Mondotte, Le Dome, and La Gomerie as the key (garage) wines"

2001

DECANTER

FIVE STARS

“Black, purple colour, very dense, superb extraction of fruit with hints of wild raspberries and violets, very lush fruit on the palate, rich, complex and intense, with elegance and finesse at the end. A very fine, powerful yet superbly balanced wine.” (Steven Spurrier)

ROBERT PARKER, IN BOTTLE TASTING

POINTS 92+

"A brilliant effort (along with the 2000, one of the finest I have yet tasted from this estate), this 1,000 case blend of 75% Cabernet Franc and 25% Merlot is fashioned by Jonathan Maltus. Most of the Cabernet Franc emerges from a vineyard near Angélus. It possesses a deep ruby/purple color as well as a striking perfume of menthol, blueberries, red currants, and minerals. Elegant, concentrated, and ripe, but neither overly weighty nor excessively heady, it is a stylish Burgundian-like, vivacious St-Emilion with tremendous aromatic complexity and flavors. It should be at its finest in 2-3 years, and last for 14-15. One of The Finest Wines of the Vintage."

WINE CELLAR INSIDER – In Bottle

POINTS 91

“With its herbal aromas and blasts of red and black fruit, the wine was definitely open for business. Closer to medium bodied than full bodied, with soft textures, there is no reason to wait for this to develop further. Tasted Jun 12, 2008”

2000

DECANTER

FIVE STARS

75% Cabernet Franc, 25% Merlot. Big deeply saturated colour, less immediately expressive than Laforge, but superb tobacco leaf and cedar aromas, wonderful extract, very good structure and still quite closed, quite a traditional wine with superb vineyard expression, very long. Drink 2006-15

ROBERT PARKER

POINTS 94-96

“This 1,000-case cuvee is always a candidate for having the highest percentage of Cabernet Franc (80%) of any wine from Bordeaux. The balance is Merlot. A magical wine, the dense purple-colored 2010 exhibits notes of incense, camphor, blueberries, blackberries and spring flowers. With sweet tannin, medium to full body and the high percentage of Cabernet Franc, it should put on additional weight and provide plenty of pleasure over 10-15 years. It is a stunning example of what heights Cabernet Franc can achieve in St.-Emilion. Drink: 2011/26."

WINE CELLAR INSIDER

POINTS 92-94

“80% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot combined to produce what’s probably the wine with the highest percentage of Cabernet Franc from Bordeaux in the vintage. The wine reached reached 14.58% alcohol with a pH 3.8. A deep purple color leads into a licorice, floral, oak, and spicy blackberry perfume, plush textures and a finish that offers oak, coco and black cherries. About 1,000 cases were produced of this unique St. Emilion."

WINE CELLAR INSIDER – In Bottle

POINTS 92

“Blackberry, stone, smoke, licorice and grassy herbs are easy to find. With 3-4 hours of air, the wine softened and gained in compexity, ending in an anise, herb and dark berry finsh. Tasted

JANE ANSON, SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

POINTS 97

“A huge cabernet franc wine in a cabernet franc year, got to be worth a look. Liquorice root on the nose. This is incredibly dense, with powerful fruit, excellent persistence, and smooth, well-knitted tannins. This starts off with powerful impact, but the acidity then reaches in and lifts everything up on the finish. Tannins are gently building up as the mid-palate progresses, and knead the fruit along to the finish. 80/20 cab franc/merlot. Drink 2018-2035."

WINE ENTHUSIAST

POINTS 94–96

“Beautifully perfumed wine, profiting from the great Cabernet Franc in 2010, with almost silky tannins. The heady berries are surrounded with violets, giving a wine with great final freshness. –R.V."

WINE SPECTATOR

POINTS 92-95

“Ripe, but very lively, with the blueberry, blackberry and boysenberry fruit bouncing along nicely, while spice and fruitcake notes are already melding into the core. Shows judicious toast and ample length, with some serious power in reserve. —J.M."

1999

CLIVE COATES, THE VINE, 2000

"Comes from between Angelus and Grand-Mayne. 1.74 ha 20% picked immediately after the hail storm, the rest 10 days later. 70% Cabernet Franc, 30% Merlot. Very good colour. This is fullish, abundant and has very intense fruit. Good tannins. Very good grip. Plenty of wine here. Luscious and succulent. Gently oaky. Lovely finish. Fine. From 2004."

DECANTER, 2000

"One of the best of the Right Bank - classic raspberry-plum fruit with plenty of breadth, despite a hail problem."

JUSTERINI & BROOKS, 2000

"Quantities of Le Dome will be down considerably due to the hail, which affected some 20% of the vineyard. The damaged grapes were picked on Monday 6th September with the remainder being picked on 15th September. The final blend will have more Merlot than normal 35% with 65% Cabernet Franc. The bramble and blackthorn aromas are followed by a hammer blow of dense, powerful herb, cigar and blackcurrant fruit. The tannins are fine grained and the Cabernet Franc gives extra backbone and complexity. Very fine indeed."

STEPHEN BROOK, WINETODAY, 2001

"Strictly speaking, Le Dôme is not a garage wine, since, like Le Pin, it comes from a single, good-quality parcel; it is also unusual in containing 75 percent Cabernet Franc."

TASTINGS, CHICAGO, 2000

"Deep, saturated blackish-ruby hue. Lean mineral and licorice aromas. A rich entry leads to a firm, medium-bodied palate with angular tannins. Well-concentrated flavours. Will need some time to develop, but rather austere at present."

WINE ENTHUSIAST MAGAZINE, 2000

"A big, enveloping, powerful wine with excellent ripe, perfumed fruit. The tannins of the wood and fruit are knitting together well."

WINE, 2000

"Top 30 Bordeaux 1999 - blueberry and rose petal, and heaps of spicy oak are the keynotes of this cult micro-wine from the British-born owner of Chateau Teyssier."

WINE, JULY 2000

"Finding the well known wines in a year or two should present little problem. The few exceptions are the vins de garage, those made in Burgundian-scale quantities such as Le Pin, Valandraud, Dome and others, demand for which always exceeds supply, despite the hefty price tags."

1998

ELLIS WINES, 1999

This is the finest Le Dôme to date and followers of the inaugural 1996 and 1997 should not miss out on this vintage. Harvested on the afternoons of Thursday 25th and Friday 26th September, this has an impenetrable colour and a deep, intense, voluptuous, hedonistic quality. The high proportion of cabernet franc in the blend contributes a crisp, more structured mid-palate bite. Impressive wine."

CLIVE COATES, THE VINE, 2000

"Quite firm. Ripe and gentle mocha flavours on the fruit. Quite backward still. Needs to soften. Fullish body. Very good grip. Good tannins. Lots of potential. This will keep. Fine finish. Fine. From 2005."

Justerini & Brooks, 1999

"A majestic wine of enormous purple colour, juicy, clearly defined smouldering fruit and beautifully managed tannins. Extraordinarily complex, classy and sophisticated. A great St. Emilion."

Neil Martin, Wine-Journal, 2002

"New World style - similar to the 1996. Broody closed nose - touch of menthol and peppermint. Huge opulent palate. Toasty blackcurrant. Immediately pleasurable but it will be interesting to see how it will evolve."

ROBERT JOSEPH, WINE, 1999

"Impressive, highly concentrated micro-wine. Very chocolaty."

TASTINGS, CHIGAGO, 2000

98 POINTS

"Brilliant ruby-garnet hue. Absolutely outrageous, floral, perfumed aromas have a degree of Cabernet Franc purity rarely seen. A firm entry leads to a rich, structured, moderately full-bodied palate with a chewy grip. Powerful and individual in style. Best with mid- to long-term cellaring, but really exotic already.

VINIFERA, SWITZERLAND

"One of the newest cult wines of which we are particularly fond of in St Emilion, this is one of the most least known and most interesting. With 1.72 ha, Le Dôme produced 6600 bottles in 1998, a real micro-vintage whose essential characteristic comes from its 70% cabernet franc. The colour is black with an aroma that is full and deep. The palate is elaborately textured, very strong in body and perfectly structured. Adding in a hyper-luxurious ageing (150% of new wood) - it could not be made any more attractive."

DECANTER, 1999

"The Right Bank micro-crus offer a chance to outsiders to carve a reputation even if they don't have the means to buy a Medoc classed growth. The 43-year old Englishman Jonathan Maltus owns Le Dôme, a 1.7ha vineyard mainly planted with Cabernet Franc adjoining Angélus in Saint-Emilion. Justerini & Brooks bought the whole of his first vintage, the 1996, made by his young Scots winemaker Neil Whyte in the cellars of Chateau Teyssier, the Saint Emilion Grand Cru he also bought in 1994."

WINE CELLAR INSIDER

92 POINTS

“Le Dome Cigar box, caramel, licorice, plum and chocolate aromas are a pleasure to spend time with. Medium to full boded, this silky, elegant wine end with a sweet, chocolate covered, black cherry finish.”

1997

BEN ELLIS WINES, 1998

"Only 23 barrels were made this year. Le Dôme is a small vineyard between l'Angelus and Grand Mayne, launched as a new "super-cru" last year. The wine is full and rich, with a deep raisiny overlay on a structured, sturdy bed of tannin. The oak is quite pronounced at the moment, an aftershock of the malolactic fermentation in new oak, but overall the wine is dense, harmonious and long."

BRUTUS MAGAZINE, JAPAN, 2000

"People are looking for super-wines like Petrus and Le Pin which come from the Right Bank. Le Dôme is the next thing after Le Pin. The owner is Jonathan Maltus. The grape variety is mainly cabernet franc. Nobody could find this wine in Paris, not even if they paid Yen 100,000. This wine has what people are looking for."

JANCIS ROBINSON, 2005

"Jonathan Maltus’s Cabernet Franc-dominated micro cuvée with just 25% Merlot on a plot next to Angélus.] Extremely deep colour, not much nose. Very, very sweet attack on the front palate but saved from the point of view of refreshment by some fresh Cabernet Franc aromas. Extremely chewy and a bit too dry on the finish at the moment. Bit heavy - could do with a little more lift. Some bitumen on the finish."

JUSTERINI & BROOKS, 1998

The 1997 Dôme was picked over two afternoons. Yields were a tiny 28 hectolitres per hectare and 'triage' was meticulously carried out in the vineyard and by an extra team on arrival at the 'chais' . Tasting the different barrels before 'assemblage' (the 97 will receive 150% oak) it is evident that the Maltus family have once again triumphed. The colour is a profound vibrant purple, aromas are of ripe briar fruit with overtones of cigar box and vanilla. On the palate intense spicy and savoury flavours are followed by explosive tight-knight tannins. The final blend will be 50% old vine Merlot and 50% old vine Cabernet Franc and will be finalised late in the year. However, with the superb components that Maltus has to work with it will no doubt be a candidate for one of the St Emilions of the vintage."

MARGARET RAND, WINE, 1999

"Le Dôme is given 100% new oak to kick off with, followed by racking into 50% new oak again, making 150% in all. You need wines of terrific concentration to cope with this. The yield for Dôme is low. Maltus makes a point of putting in everything; he believes that as it's a single vineyard wine it should contain everything produced by that vineyard."

1996

JAMIE GOODE, tasted 2007

POINTS 94/100

What blind tasting does is focus the mind and provide a bit of a reality check. I'll just mention one of the wines we tasted today here. It's a wine I immediately identified as a top Bordeaux, but it had what hindsight shows me to be some distinctive Cabernet Franc/Merlot leafiness - a clue that I missed, and which would have led me more to the right bank than the left. Beautifully perfumed, showing lovely deep, smooth dark fruits nose with a nice spiciness, and a subtle greenness that's really attractive. The vivid blackcurranty fruit makes me think Cabernet Sauvignon, and there's a bit of bloodiness, too. Quite intense on the palate with good savoury dark fruits and nice structure. Some age here. Not a heavy, structured wine: the key here is the gravelly, minerally complexity under the sweet fruit. "

JUSTERINI & BROOKS, 1997

"Bordeaux's best-kept secret and a superstar in the making. Very dark purple and polished in colour. High-toned intense briar and savoury aromas. Exquisitely clean and fresh. The concentration of sweet sloe fruit continues through the palate with a silky texture. Fine tannins and integrated oak give way to complex ripe fruit and haunting length. The Saint Emilion of the vintage."

NEIL MARTIN, WINE-JOURNAL, 2002

"Intense purple/red colour. Nose closed now. The palate is a mass of jammy raspberry fruits and cedar. Very smooth & velvety tannins. Quite opulent, toasty: a lot of New Oak here but there is incredible concentration and sheer mass of fruit. Certainly quite New Worldy in style. Intense long finish. This should evolve over 5+ years (this is the first vintage)."

THE WINE JOURNAL

POINTS 22/25

“1996 - Tasted again lunching with Justerini in July-04. Quite a Rhone like nose with blackberry and creme de cassis. Has a slight garrigue quality about it, then developing a chocolatey character. This really blossoms in the glass. The palate is well-balanced, very modern and as muscular as Jonathan Maltus himself. Blackcherry mixed with a little tobacco. Very smooth and opulent. It will be interesting to see how this matures."

WINE CELLAR INSIDER

87 POINTS

“1996 was the debut vintage for Le Dome. This was lacking the more elegant, richer, polished style that Maltus is producing at the property today. Tasted

VINEYARD

LE DOME is a blend of 80% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot. The vines are cropped low at 30 hl/ha - 4 bunches to the vine ensuring concentration. The soil/terroir is sand over crasse de fer (iron deposits). These deposits, coupled with the south facing slope, ensure amazing drainage, keeping the vines seeking moisture.

TECHNICAL

LE DOME has two to three runs of green harvesting — at fruit set and veraison — ensuring that only the most perfect are sorted —firstly by bunch and then, after destemming, grape by grape. Only conveyors are used to transport the grapes and the wine is fermented in wooden vats after extreme cold maceration. The wines undergo malolactic fermentation in new French oak, and are aged in an air-conditioned cellar at 18 °C.

ANYTHING UNUSUAL?

LE DOME is allegedly the biggest expression of Cabernet Franc of a Bordeaux wine – surpassing CHATEAU CHEVAL BLANC and LE DOME’s neighbour, CHATEAU ANGELUS. We started making the wine in 1996, two years after our arrival in Saint Emilion. With only sixteen years of history LE DOME competes with the greatest and most historic châteaux of the Appellation.

WHAT THEY SAY

100 POINTS, ROBERT PARKER, THE WINE ADVOCATE

"A full-bodied wine, but ethereal in its elegance and finesse, the wine has a strikingly provocative bouquet of camphor, blueberry jam, violets, new saddle leather, white chocolate and spice. Extremely full-bodied, but again, not showing any weighty fatigue or any type of aggressiveness, this wine has extraordinary purity and richness as well as a blockbuster finish of close to a minute, yet is so flawless, seamless and compelling, it's hard to believe the wine is this concentrated and rich. It will be interesting to see how it evolves, but it certainly can be drunk in 3-4 years and, I'm sure, cellared for as long as 25-35 years from now. There are 1,000 cases of this wine, which has one of the highest percentages of Cabernet Franc of any wine in Bordeaux (80%). The balance is Merlot. The 2009 from Le Dome flirted with perfection, but this wine swallows the entire scoring system, and rightfully so."