Le Dome (Futures Pre-sale) 2011
Blend: 80% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot
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.
Range: 94-96 Points
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.
Range: 91-94 Points
While the wood is prominent, so is its concentrated, perfumed fruit. With its immense structure, this wine is spicy and very intense.
Barrel Sample: 92-94 Points
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.
Barrel Sample: 90-93 Points
Sweet flavors of berry, minerals and dark chocolate follow through to a full body, with firm tannins and a long finish. Tight and solid.