jamie goode's wine blog: Le Dome 1996, plus others, blind

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Le Dome 1996, plus others, blind

So we headed off to brother-in-law Beavington's (who is married to my sister Hester) for lunch, along with twin sister Anne and her husband Dominic. Little did I know that I was going to be treated to a flight of 13 wines, all blind. It was a really interesting excercise, and we had a great time.

As someone who professes to know a bit about wine, I love the chance to taste blind. Of course, there's more to a wine that just what is in the glass. The context matters, and the sight of the label can help a great deal in guiding or shaping our perception. At the same time, the sight of the label can lead us into bull***t land, where we begin to 'experience' things we have never really perceived, but this doesn't mean that the only legitimate tasting is blind.

What blind tasting does is focus the mind and provide a bit of a reality check. If a taster can't tell the difference blind between a first growth Bordeaux and a Chilean Cabernet, or Krug and Cava, then what are they doing wasting my money buying the top stuff? If the difference is too close to call, then they could save a lot of money by buying the cheaper option.

I'll just mention one of the wines we tasted today here; many of the others deserve their own space. 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.

Chateau Le Dome 1996 Saint Emilion
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. 94/100

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At 10:26 PM, Anonymous Alex Lake said...

Blimey - I'd not realised how expensive that stuff was. Who paid for it?!!

At 10:44 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

Beavington, who also paid for the other 12 blind wines, including a Lynch Bages from the 1970s, a Grand Cru white Burgundy, a 95 Vieux Telegraphe and several other gems. [Mental note: must see more of my family.]

At 9:36 AM, Anonymous keith prothero said...

Is Le Dome made by the same guy who also produces the LaForge which I am rather keen on.
Cannot beat blind tastings.Unfortunately I have no relatives with the inclination to entertain in this way-------you are blessed!!

At 10:22 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

Just had an anguished text from Beavington who has been on winesearcher and realized how much 96 Le Dome is selling for now. He hadn't intended to be that generous, and now he's opened one of his case, it will be harder to sell the remaining 11. Perhaps I should have told him?

At 1:36 PM, Anonymous keith prothero said...

put him in touch with me Jamie---I am a sucker for decent wine as long as he does not expect to get the wine-searcher price!!

At 11:29 AM, Anonymous Sue said...

Nice observation, thanks. I donít visit your blog every day, but when I
visit your blog I enjoy browsing through your old posts and try to catch up
what I have missed since my last visit.


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