La Dominique 2009

SubregionSt Emilion

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Tasting Notes

Finally we have returned to the great La Dominiques made in 1989 and 1990. This has much of the style of the 1990, with supple tannin and loads of spicy fruitcake, licorice, cassis and kirsch-like notes that jump from this dense ruby/purple wine. Fat, fleshy and full-bodied, with beautiful richness, purity and length, this wine will be approachable in its youth yet last for two decades (just like the 1989 and 1990).

Score: 93Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (199), March 2012

The greatest La Dominique since the 1989 and 1990, the 2009 was fashioned by the brilliant duo of Jean-Philippe Fort (Michel Rolland's top lieutenant) and Jean-Luc Thunevin (the bad boy of St.-Emilion). Made from 100% Merlot (which must be a "first" for this estate), and with 14.3% alcohol, this will be a thrilling wine to drink over the next 20-25 years. Dense purple-hued with loads of black raspberries, black cherries, truffles, earth, and spice, it is an opulent, viscous effort with extraordinary intensity, purity, and richness, and a superb finish of nearly 45 seconds. It will be drinkable young, yet is capable of lasting a long time. Bravo! P.S. It is good to see this 58-acre vineyard return to form after a somewhat listless period of performances. (Tasted three times.)

Score: 92/94Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (188), April 2010

Tasted at the Association de Crus Classé tasting at Grand Pontet. Ripe exotic fruit on the nose although there are some underlying vegetal notes, though not as prominent as other wines. The palate is medium-bodied, rather abrasive tannin, coca-tinged black fruits towards the astringent finish. It is just trying too hard. Tasted March 2010.

Score: 84/86Neal Martin,, April 2010

Sweet berry and plum, with wild cherry. Full and velvety. Long finish. Clear and focused fruit. Best in years?

Score: 93/96James Suckling,, April 2010

Even darker crimson than most. Interesting, quite subtle nose. Then great sweetness on the palate and considerable dryness on the finish. A quite extreme wine that is absolutely on the edge for me as to whether it will all settle down or not. I hereby give it the benefit of the doubt as obviously the makers have taken real risks on ripeness. Some mineral savour. Muscular chewiness. Pretty glamorous and certainly extreme. Date tasted 30th March 2010. Drink 2017-2030.

Score: 17.5Jancis Robinson MW,, April 2010

This property is situated right next to Cheval Blanc, La Conseillante and Evangile. Jean-Luc Thunevin of Valandraud fame has now taken over the wine-making here and after several years in the doldrums La Dominique is returning to form. Intense black colour, extracted black cherry fruit. Not exactly subtle! Impressive density and concentration but several members of our team found it too inky and unrefined, hence the low score.

Score: 14Farr Vintners, November 2009

This sports a dark, roasted feel, as espresso and charcoal notes flank the core of tobacco and dark fig flavors. Has a burly edge now, but shows ample flesh through the finish. Should settle down in the cellar. Lots here. Best from 2014 through 2027.-J.M.

Score: 93James Molesworth, Wine Spectator Insider (Vol 8, 3), January 2012

Following on from a very good 2005, La Dominique has produced a massively concentrated 2009, although some may be put off by the extraction levels here. The tannins are certainly dense - and not as fine as those at neighbouring Cheval Blanc - but there's enough vibrancy of fruit for balance. This is a dense wine that will need time in bottle, but it's not over-ripe. Just ambitious. 20+ years.

Score: 94Tim Atkin MW, April 2010

Fresh and focused. Pure, lifted aromas. Finely worked tannins. La Dominique back at the top of its game. Drink 2015-2025.

Score: 16.5James Lawther MW,, April 2010

Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.