Friday, November 18, 2016

Chateau De La Dauphine Fronsac, A Leader in Both Winemaking & Wine Tourism by Philip S. Kampe

             


                                                      Chateau De La Dauphine


              
It’s not often when you attend a rather intimate wine luncheon that you fall in love with the three wines that were poured with your meal. Well, that was the case at Gotham Bar and Grill (NYC) at a luncheon hosted by Marion Merker, who represents the chateau from the historic, Bordeaux winery, Chateau de La Dauphine.

Having never been to Bordeaux and always dreaming about the region and its eight thousand chateaux and sixty appellations, the wines from Chateau de La Dauphine were the vehicle that transported my palate to the diverse Fronsac appellation.

The wines from Chateau de La Dauphine have historical significance.

Louis XV praised the high quality of the wines after they were presented by Cardinal Richelieu. The mother of Louis XVI fancied the wines so much that the Chateau chose to use the slogan, ‘Wines Fit For A Princess’ in her honor.

That tradition is still alive today.

But, today, the vineyard is part of the 21st Century and has recently, in 2015, been awarded certification as an ‘Organic’ vineyard. With the adaptation of the environmental philosophy, biodynamic methods work hand in hand with the harmony of natures rhythms at the chateau.

Managing the vineyards according to the lunar calendar are an ingredient that make the wines from Chateau de La Dauphine special.

Chateau de La Dauphine has recently adopted a ‘Wine Tourism Service’ that shows the 18th century chateau, winner of the ‘Best of Gold’ award in the ‘Architecture and Landscape’ category, to the public.

Marion Merker leads the program of ‘Classic; Luxury; Tasting and Yummy Tours’ year round.

The chateau also won the ‘Best of Wine Tourism’ award in 2014.

As great as the chateau is, so are the wines.

Priced between $18 and $35, the three wines that I sampled showed the terroir of Fronsac in a new light. Working, as of late, with wine consultant and oenologist, Michel Rolland, the limited production wines excel both in quality and price.

Recommended Wines (all under $35)
2012 Chateau de La Dauphine Fronsac
Michel Rolland’s first vintage that I sampled and the first year for the chateau quest for ‘Organic’ certification. This impressive wine is made from 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. At 15% alcohol, the wine was aged in oak for 12 months. Only 30% of the barrels were new, The 2012 was dark in color, a combination of ruby and plum visually. My palate exploded with dense fruit, that of tart raspberries and juicy Washington state cherries. That fruity combination helped balance well the ever so constant underlying acidity that helped propel a long and lasting finish. The wine was a signature Michel Rolland product, one that can be stored in the cellar until full maturation.

2010 Chateau de La Dauphine Fronsac
At 14.5% alcohol, this imposing 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc wine made by oenologist, Denis Dubourdieu is an example of a rich, fresh, fruity wine that is dense and somewhat dry, in a good way, on the palate. The wine is an example of a perfect food wine that can only enhance the dishes that pair well with this licorice gem.

2009 Chateau de La Dauphine Fronsac
Structured and expressive, the 2009 shows the best of the vineyard prior to focusing on organic farming. Made with the usual mix of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, this example of a 14.5% alcohol content wine shows superior balance between the acidity and oak. The rather creamy texture and long finish make this wine a wine that could be drunk on its own. The 2009 is impressive and affordable.

As you should surmise by now, the wines from Chateau de La Dauphine are the exact wines that have made me a big fan of this chateau, prior to the addition of famed oenologist and consultant, Michel Rolland.

To learn more about the vineyard and the ‘Wine Tourism’ possibilities, visit:
www.chateau-dauphine.com  

                                                                 Marion Merker






Philip S. Kampe
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