How to Make It into Bordeaux’s Parker 100-Point Club

Will Lyons chronicles the rise of Le Dôme, from its conception to its inception into “Bordeaux’s exclusive 100-point club,” a selective group of wines that received a perfect score from wine critic Robert M. Parker Jr..

It all started 18 years ago, when Jonathan Maltus, a young and relatively inexperienced English winemaker heard about Parker’s approach to rating wine. Parker “had shaken up the natural order of things by saying he didn’t care whether your father was a count or your property had been in the family for 400 years, if he liked the wine he would rate.” 

Maltus also saw a trend towards redefining the traditional style of Bordeaux — “fruitier, more supple and higher in alcohol, and didn’t require years of bottle age” — by châteaux near St.-Emilion. With Le Pin leading the charge, these châteaux became known as the Garagistes. Maltus was inspired by the rise of these wineries, and sought to follow in their footsteps.

After purchasing Château Teyssier, Maltus and his winemaking team got to work, implementing, “the viticultural techniques of the Garagistes, including keeping yields to around four bunches per vine.” 

Le Dôme was born and, 15 vintages later,  received perfect 100 points by Parker. “I remember seeing [Mr. Parker] after he gave the score,” recalls Maltus. “He just smiled and said: ‘Don’t worry, it’s all downhill from now.’” [The Wall Street Journal] [Photo: Flickr/Joe Shlabotnik]