Learn everything about Le Dome St. Emilion with wine tasting notes and wine with food pairing tips. Learn all 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
Le Dome History, Overview
Le Dome is the benchmark estate and wine of Jonathan Maltus. Jonathan Maltus owns a myriad of other chateaux in Bordeaux, all of which are located in the Right Bank.
The first vintage of Le Dome was produced in 1996. The wines of Le Dome are expensive, hard to find, and have a unique character, due to the high portion of Cabernet Franc in the blend.
Jonathan Maltus is fond of Cabernet Franc, as he has large plantings of that grape variety planted in several of his other properties.
Chateau Le Dome was created and developed by Jonathan Maltus from different parcels located close to Chateau Beau-Sejour Becot, Chateau Canon, and Chateau Angelus. While some of the other wines produced by Jonathan Maltus are also located in the same, general area, each has a unique terroir that allows for a myriad of styles and characteristics from the wines.
In 2017, Maltus sold 50% of his shares to an investor from Eastern Europe. Thomas Duclos is the consultant.
Le Dome Vineyards, Terroir, Grapes, Winemaking
The small, 7-hectare, Right Bank vineyard of Chateau Le Dome is planted to 80% Cabernet Franc and 20% old vine Merlot. Their oldest vines were planted in the 1950s with one parcel of vines being planted in 1947. The vineyards of Le Dome utilize one of the highest concentrations of Cabernet Franc in the Right Bank.
The vineyard is divided into 12 parcels, with the best parcel located close to the winery, not far from Chateau Canon and Chateau Angelus.
Interestingly, when Jonathan Maltus purchased the first vines for the property, he thought he was buying Merlot. It was not until a few weeks later that he discovered he actually bought Cabernet Franc. However, as you can see from tasting the wine, he turned out to be very lucky indeed.
The terroir is sand over layers of iron in the soil. The vineyard is planted to a vine density of 5,750 vines per hectare. New plantings are done at higher levels of density at 7,000 vines per hectare. In a concerted effort to reduce the yields, Jonathan Maltus conducts three green harvests a year in his tiny vineyard. To further concentrate the wine and keep yields low, they prune to allow only 4 grape bunches per vine.
However, in late 2019, the estate hired noted architect Norman Foster to design a completely new cellar. Foster is best-known in Bordeaux for his redesign and updating of the cellars at Chateau Margaux.
Vinification takes place in 12 stainless steel tanks that range in size from 22 hectoliters up to 35 hectoliters allowing for parcel by parcel vinification. Malolactic fermentation takes place in barrels. The wine of Le Dome is aged in between 80% French oak barrels. Since the 2008 vintage, the amount of new oak used to age the wine has decreased to 80% on average, previous vintages were higher. The average annual production is close to 2,500 cases of Le Dome are produced in every vintage.
The best vintages of Chateau Le Dome are: 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2005 and 2000.
When to Drink Le Dome, Anticipated Maturity, Decanting Time
Le Dome needs time before it can be enjoyed. Young vintages can be decanted for an average of 2-3 hours. This allows the wine to soften and open its perfume.
Older vintages might need very little decanting, just enough to remove the sediment. Le Dome is usually better with at least 8-10 years of bottle age. Of course, that can vary slightly, depending on the vintage character. Le Dome offers its best drinking and should reach peak maturity between 10-25 years of age after the vintage.
Serving Le Dome with Wine and Food Pairings
Le Dome is best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift.
Le Dome is best paired with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, roasted, braised, and grilled dishes. Le Dome is also good when matched with Asian dishes, rich fish courses like tuna, mushrooms, and pasta.
Château Le Dome Wine Tasting Notes
21 Vintages 128,358 Views Sort by Vintage-Rating
Dark in color, the wine offers black fruits, flowers, licorice, smoke, espresso, and cocoa aromatics. On the palate, the wine is deep, dark, fresh, long, and packed with the essence of minerality. The tannins are long, and polished, leaving you with mint leaves, salt, chewy-cherries, spices, herbs, and lingering plummy notes. The wine blends 80% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot, 15.1% ABV. The harvest took place September 14 - October 28. The yields were 30 hectoliters per hectare. Drink from 2027-2050. 96-98 Pts.
2,127 Views Tasted May 8, 2023
Flowers, licorice, black cherry, smoke, spice and fresh, leafy herbs open the nose. On the palate, the wine is fresh, supple, soft and polished, with silky tannins and a spicy, plum and deep cherry finish that delivers just a dab of vanilla and crushed rock coming in on the endnote. The wine is a blend of 80% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot, which includes fruit normally placed into Les Asteries, 13.4 ABV, pH 3.71. Yields were low at 28 hectoliters per hectare. Harvest took place October 6-14. 2021 is the first vintage produced in their new cellars. Drink from 2025-2042. 93-95
2,125 Views Tasted May 20, 2022
Quite floral in nature, this is an elegant, complex wine loaded with sweet, ripe, red pit fruits, incense, crushed rocks, and leafy essences at the core of the nose and palate. The wine is vibrant, polished, refined and long, with purity, lift and richness in the seductive wave of salt, tinged cherries in the lingering endnote. Drink from 2025-2050.
1,026 Views Tasted Mar 21, 2023
Flowers, incense, crushed stone, smoke, thyme and red pit fruit aromas get the wine started in the right direction. Full-bodied, fresh, lively, rich, silky and mineral driven, there is purity, lift and richness, leaving you with a gorgeous, elegant, seductive wave of cherries in the end note that lingers long after the wine has left the glass. 96-98 Pts
3,272 Views Tasted May 20, 2021
Flowers, herbs, truffle, chalk, espresso, red and black pit fruit with a touch of cedar and green, forest leaves are found with ease on the nose. On the palate, the wine is concentrated, dense and intense, with layers of ripe, showy, polished, fruits that come in richly-textured waves blended with herbs, spicebox, toasty oak and black cherries. There is ample lift, weight, concentration and freshness here that accompany the wealth of fruit to keep you interested. Drink from 2027-2049.
1,867 Views Tasted Mar 29, 2022
Fresh and stony, with good purity to the plums, cherries and blackberry, this wine offers additional complexities of spice box, crushed rock, licorice, mint and espresso. There is ample lift, weight, concentration and freshness, along with a wealth of fruit to keep you interested. 95-97 Pts
3,345 Views Tasted Jun 8, 2020
Dark in color, the wine balances power with intensity. You find layers of richness, fruit, crushed rocks, stone, burnt caramel, espresso, ripe, lush plums, thyme and spice in every sniff, swallow and sip. The wine fills your palate while offering balance, complexity and a long, fruit-filled finish. Created from 80% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot, 14.7% ABV.
2,524 Views Tasted Mar 9, 2021
Dark in color, intensive aromas of vanilla, blackberry, five spice, plum, spring flowers and jam bring you to a full-bodied, polished, refined wine. Slightly austere but in a good way. There is length, complexity and uniqueness of character. Created from 80% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot, reaching 14.7% ABV, the harvest took place October 1-October 10. 95-97 Pts
3,600 Views Tasted Apr 19, 2019
Intense in color with lush, polished textures, the wine pops with flowers, plums, herbs and black raspberries. Full bodied and concentrated, there is a freshness and a solid fruitiness right through to the finish. The wine was created from a blend of 80% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot.
5,701 Views Tasted Apr 26, 2018
Inky dark in color, the wine pops with all the flowers, black raspberries, smoke, licorice, cherry and vanilla bean you'll need. Full bodied, powerful and concentrated, there is lushness to the textures, ripeness to the fruit and a salty, mineral character that really hangs on your palate. The wine has one of the largest percentages of Cabernet Franc in all of Bordeaux at 80% with the remainder coming from 20% Merlot. The wine reached 15% ABV with a pH of 3.81. Thomas Duclos is the new consultant at Le Dome and he's apparently kicked things up a notch.
6,064 Views Tasted Apr 29, 2017
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. This wine was made from a blend of 80% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot reaching 13.8% ABV with a pH of 3.85. The harvest took place from October 2 to October 6.
4,649 Views Tasted Apr 29, 2016
Licorice, black plum liqueur, caramel and spice on the nose, this wine is concentrated with ripe tannins, minerals and a fresh, fennel, cocoa and black cherry finish. The wine was made from a blend of 80% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot reaching 13% ABV with a pH of 3.71. 92-94 Pts
6,659 Views Tasted Apr 27, 2015
With licorice, chocolate, plum and floral notes on the nose, the wine is fresh, spicy, medium bodied and plush with a soft chocolate, red plum and stone-driven finish. From 80% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot, the wine reached 12.9% ABV with a pH of 3.65. The yields were 26 hectoliters per hectare. 90-92 Pts
2,705 Views Tasted Apr 28, 2014
With a lot of Cabernet Franc for the vintage at 80%, the remainder taken up by 20% Merlot, the wine reached 13% ABV 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. 92-94 Pts
4,017 Views Tasted Apr 26, 2013
Inky in color and from a blend of 80% Cabernet Fran and 20% Merlot, the wine reached 13.10% ABV. With espresso bean, licorice, earth and black cherry, this wine is densely packed with tannin, black cherry liqueur, licorice and coffee. Structured to age, this will take time to come around. 92-94 Pts
6,435 Views Tasted Apr 24, 2012
Le Dome 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% ABV 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. 92-94 Pts
8,763 Views Tasted Apr 22, 2011
2009 Le Dome is inky black. Produced from a whopping 80% cabernet franc, this unique wine offers licorice, fresh herbs, black raspberries, black cherry jam, coffee, espresso, and smoke aromas. Full bodied and filled with ripe fruit, this powerful wine ends with a long finish of blackberry, toasty oak, licorice, and mocha flavors. 92-94 Pts
7,863 Views Tasted Aug 28, 2010
Château Le Dome is the top wine in the extensive catalogue of Jonathan Maltus, is an engaging bottling. With the highest level of cabernet franc used in Bordeaux, 75%, the wine has a definite personality not always easy to discern in barrel. From sandy, limestone soils and 100% new oak, this 750 case cuvee is the color of ink. This aromatically complex wine with coffee, spice, black and red fruits with BBQ and caramel notes has much to offer. Full bodied and concentrated, the wine finishes with strong flavors of boysenberry and fennel root. The 08 is the richest vintage yet for this winery, and also the most accessible one.
5,222 Views Tasted Jul 1, 2009
05 Le Dome Coffee, blackberry, juicy red plums, licorice and forest floor scents greeted your nose. With soft textures, this wine finishes with freshness, licorice, coca, plums and black cherries. Another 5 years will add a lot of roundness to this wine.
7,515 Views Tasted Feb 17, 2011
This opens with fresh herbs, ripe red and black fruits, new oak and fennel. Medium bodied/full bodied, with silky textures and ample freshness to give it lift. The wine finishes with elegant ripe fruits.
5,470 Views Tasted Jun 12, 2008
The nose expresses berries, coffee. herbs and new wood scents. Some green was noted in the back of the mouth in the smooth, textured finish.
5,152 Views Tasted Jun 12, 2008
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.
4,470 Views Tasted Jun 12, 2008
Full-bodied, rich, and intense, the wine is lushly textured with notes of licorice, flowers, crushed rocks, tobacco, thyme, dried flowers, espresso, and dark red berries. Still youthful, this can benefit from a few more years in the cellar.
2,724 Views Tasted Sep 30, 2021
Soft, sweet, silky, spicy berries find their way to your palate, This full boded wine ends with a blend of black and red fruits, spice, fresh herbs,and licorice
5,942 Views Tasted Feb 17, 2011
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.
5,248 Views Tasted Jul 4, 2010
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.
5,185 Views Tasted Feb 17, 2011
Charcoal, smoke, cassis scents in the nose. This medium bodied wine ends with herbs and tart black cherries. This is probably past its prime and is on the downside of life. This is the debut vintage for this wine. Subsequent vintages are better wines.
4,748 Views Tasted Feb 17, 2011
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.
3,940 Views Tasted Jun 12, 2008