Chateau La Dauphine Fronsac, Bordeaux, Complete Guide

Learn everything about Chateau La Dauphine Fronsac with wine tasting notes and wine with food pairing tips. Learn the best vintages, a history of the property, information on the vineyards, and winemaking. If you want to read about other important, Bordeaux Chateaux: Links to all Bordeaux Wine Producer Profiles

Chateau La Dauphine History, Overview

While the modern era of Chateau La Dauphine is quite recent, the estate is one of the older properties in the region dating back to the late 1600s. The beautiful French chateau was built in 1750. The property was owned at the time by Louis Dauphin, which is where the estate takes its name from.

In 1985, the vineyard was purchased by the Moueix family from François Regis Marcetteau de Brem, a direct descendant of the original owner. They did not own the property very long, as they sold it to Guillaume Halley in 2001. 3 other vineyards were included in the same transaction with the Moueix family, La Croix Canon, Canon de Brem.

Guillaume Halley earned his fortune as the owner of the Champion supermarket chain. The Halley family are the founders of the massive supermarket chain, Carrefour.

Under Guillaume Halley, Chateau de La Dauphine was completely transformed into a modern, chateau and vineyard in the region of Fronsac. In fact, he spent close to ten million Euros on the renovations!

With that budget, Chateau de La Dauphine, with its renovated chateau, new chai, and modern wine-making facilities that are completely gravity fed, was turned into a contender for the top wine of the Fronsac appellation. His son Jean Halley took over the estate, hiring Michel Rolland as his consultant in 2012, replacing Denis Dubourdieu.

To increase the quantity of Chateau de La Dauphine, Jean Halley was able to merge Chateau Canon de Brem into La Dauphine. That was quite a feat considering that Canon de Brem was located in the Canon Fronsac appellation.

In December 2015, it was announced that Guillaume Halley sold Chateau La Dauphine to the Labrune family, through their personal holding company, FCB SA. The is the first Bordeaux investment for FCB SA, which until now, focused on technology and the healthcare sector. They made a second purchase in 2020 when they bought the neighboring estate of Vrai Canon Bouche.

La Dauphine

The new owners received approval for organic and biodynamic certification starting with the 2015 vintage. In 2016, the Labrune family added to their holdings in Fronsac when they purchased Chateau Haut-Ballet from Olivier Decelle. Those vines were incorporated into the vineyards of La Dauphine.

Chateau La Dauphine Vineyards, Terroir, Grapes, Winemaking

The 53-hectare vineyard of Chateau de La Dauphine is planted to 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. Though you also find a tiny, 1-hectare portion of the vineyard devoted to white wine grapes. Located on the top of the Fronsac plateau, they have an elevation of 60 meters, making them one of the highest points in the appellation. The terroir is clay, limestone, and sand soils on the plateau.

At the bottom of the slopes, you find more sand, silt, and clay in the soils. The vineyard is planted to a vine density of 6,300 vines per hectare. On average the vines are 33 years of age.

Starting in 2012, Chateau La Dauphine shifted to 100% organic farming techniques. They earned their certification for organic farming in 2015. They are also experimenting with biodynamic farming on a 3-hectare parcel of vines. The plan is to continue increasing the number of hectares that are managed using biodynamic farming techniques.

The wine of Chateau de La Dauphine is made in a completely modern, state-of-the-art facility in the Fronsac appellation. In fact, it currently offers the most advanced wine-making facilities in the entire commune as well as in much of the Right Bank!

The semi-underground, circular vat room has 26 concrete vats that are placed around the sides of the building. This is in addition to the 16 stainless steel tanks that are also used for the vinification.

Each of the tanks is 50 hectoliters in size, allowing for the parcels to be vinified on a plot by plot basis. Malolactic fermentation takes place in French, oak barrels. On average, the wine of Chateau de La Dauphine is aged in 30% new, French barrels oak for 12 months.

Starting with the 2020 vintage, La Dauphine began producing, de La Dauphine Cuvee Prestige, a 100% Cabernet Franc wine from a single block of old vines planted in 1946. To further differentiate the wine, La Dauphine Cuvee Prestige, is aged in sandstone and clay amphora. No oak is used on this Cuvee.

The estate also produces a small amount of white Bordeaux wine, Le Blanc de la Dauphine that is produced from a 1-hectare parcel of vines planted to 75% Sauvignon Blanc and 25% Semillon.

The best vintages of Chateau de La Dauphine are: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2012, 2010, 2009 and 2005.

The average annual production of Chateau de La Dauphine is close to 21,000 cases per year. There are two second wines, Delphis de la Dauphine and Les Cyprus de la Dauphine.

When to Drink Chateau La Dauphine, Anticipated Maturity, Decanting Time

Chateau La Dauphine is much better with at least 2-4 years of aging in good vintages. Young vintages can be decanted for 1 hour to 90 minutes.

This allows the wine to soften and open its perfume. Older vintages might need very little decanting, just enough to remove the sediment. Chateau La Dauphine offers its best drinking and should reach peak maturity between 3-12 years of age after the vintage.

Serving Chateau La Dauphine with Wine, Food, Pairing Tips

Chateau La Dauphine is best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift.

Chateau La Dauphine is best paired with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, roasted, braised, and grilled dishes. Chateau La Dauphine is also good when matched with Asian dishes, rich fish courses like tuna, mushrooms, and pasta.

Chateau de La Dauphine is a top value Bordeaux wine and one of the best wines from Fronsac Canon Fronsac. It’s filled with lusty, ripe, dark, jammy fruit, soft textures, and good concentration. Plus, the wine of Chateau La Dauphine drinks well young.

Chateau La Dauphine has embraced luxury wine travel. There is a restaurant on the property that is a great spot to enjoy views of their vineyards while dining al fresco.

Château de la Dauphine Wine Tasting Notes

15 Vintages 54,572 Views Sort by Vintage-Rating

2020 Château de la Dauphine  (Fronsac) 92

Dark in color, the wine kicks off with licorice, Morello cherries, bitter chocolate, blackberry and smoke. Round, rich, lush and opulent, the velvet textured, chocolate covered plums on the palate really stick with you. Drink it young or age it for a few years. 91-93 Pts

1,028 Views   Tasted
2019 Château de la Dauphine  (Fronsac) 91

Deep in color, with flowers and chocolate, along with round, silky textures and a blast of rich, ripe dark red fruits, licorice, earth and spice. The wine meshes fruits, supple textures, espresso, cocoa and a fruity, fresh, silky finish. Drink it young, or age it for a few years. 90-92 Pts

1,931 Views   Tasted
2018 Château de la Dauphine  (Fronsac) 92

Rich, ripe, silky and seductive, the fruits have a nice bite of freshness, giving lift and energy. The medium/full-bodied, fruit-filled wine finishes with a gorgeous blend of coffee bean, licorice, plums and dark cocoa. You can pop a cork on release or age it for a few years. 92 Points

1,384 Views   Tasted

Showing good color, the wine is rich, fat and juicy, espresso, dark chocolate covered cherries and licorice from start to finish. Lush, rich and concentrated, there is length, density and freshness here. Plus, you can pop a cork on release or age it for a few years. 91-93 Pts

1,653 Views   Tasted
2017 Château de la Dauphine  (Fronsac) 91

With deep color, this fruity wine is on the dark berry side with plenty of fresh, juicy blackberries and plums adding to the fun. Lushly textured, sweet and fleshy, the wine has a ripe, plump personality. 91 Points

2,086 Views   Tasted
2016 Château de la Dauphine  (Fronsac) 92

Still dark in color, the wine is floral, fennel filled and fruity. Rich, silky, elegant and deep, there is fruit, freshness, length and character, and the best part is, the wine is easy to find and it is affordable too! 92 Points

2,409 Views   Tasted

With deep color, you catch the floral, blackberry, licorice and vanilla nose first. The lush textures, freshness and juicy fruits in the finish make this wine already delicious, and it should age for a few years too. 92 Points

3,527 Views   Tasted
2015 Château de la Dauphine  (Fronsac) 92

Deep in color, the wine is lush, rich, fleshy, sweet and long. There is minerality, loads of ripe, juicy fruits, length and character. You can drink this for pleasure for at least 15 years or so. 92 Points

2,814 Views   Tasted

Deeply colored, with a lush, round, supple character, the wine is packed to the gills with licorice, sweet, juicy, dark red and black fruits, chocolate and espresso beans. Sweet, fresh, ripe, earthy, dark fruits with great textures and presence, plus it sells for a song and drinks well early! 90-92 Pts

3,054 Views   Tasted
2014 Château de la Dauphine  (Fronsac) 88

Stony plums, espresso, wood and cocoa in character, the wine is forward, round and made for early drinking. 88-89 Pts

3,076 Views   Tasted
2013 Château de la Dauphine  (Fronsac) 87

Fresh herbs, fennel and red berries, soft and round in texture, the wine exchanges depth for an ease of drinkability. 86-88 Pts

2,703 Views   Tasted
2012 Château de la Dauphine  (Fronsac) 90

Sensuous textures, forward, lush dark fruits, licorice, cocoa and earth for an affordable price. What’s not to like? 90 Points

2,427 Views   Tasted

Soft, silky, lush, and forward, this will make for delicious, early, uncomplicated, well-priced drinking. 89-91 Pts

2,806 Views   Tasted
2011 Château de la Dauphine  (Fronsac) 87

Licorice, chocolate and earthy scents with black raspberry, this wine is open and soft on the palate, finishing with jammy black cherry. This Fronsac estate is consulted by Denis Dubourdieu. 87-89 Pts

3,652 Views   Tasted
2010 Château de la Dauphine  (Fronsac) 90

Deep in color, with oak, licorice, floral, chocolate and dark berry scents pairs well with the wines round textures and sweet black cherry finish. 89-91 Pts

5,159 Views   Tasted
2009 Château de la Dauphine  (Fronsac) 90

Licorice, black cherry, red plums, espresso bean and earth make up the perfume. Medium bodied, with round textures and an accessible personality, this will drink best at a young age. 90 Points

4,520 Views   Tasted
2008 Château de la Dauphine  (Fronsac) 88

Coffee, earth, cassis aromas open up this early drinking crowd pleaser that ends with flavors of kirsch and plums. 88 Points

4,042 Views   Tasted
2006 Château de la Dauphine  (Fronsac) 87

Soft, lush and plush, this licorice, coffee, vanilla and dark cherry filled wine is a bit on the oaky side. Drink this young as it's not going to develop much more complexity. 87 Points

2,263 Views   Tasted
2005 Château de la Dauphine  (Fronsac) 91

Licorice, chocolate, black raspberry and black cherry aromas lead the way to a a rich, ripe, concentrated wine filled with gobs of lush dark berries, black cherries and fennel. From one of the best producers in Fronsac, this bargain priced Bordeaux wine made from a blend of 80% Merlot & 20% Cabernet Franc delivers a lot of bang for the buck. Personally, I prefer wines like this on young side. I'd drink it before its 10th birthday. 91 Points

4,038 Views   Tasted