Born with the 2017 vintage, Long Dai is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Marselan, and Cabernet Franc. The traditional Bordeaux winemaking method for the emblematic grape varieties is complemented by gentle extractions for the Marselan, facilitating a slow diffusion of aromatic and phenolic compounds. The first wine of Long Dai combines the distinctive qualities of each of the terraces from which it originates, its grapes, and the climate. A balanced and mineral wine that exhibits a combination of tasty black fruits and sweet spices.
"Long Dai is the result of the distinctive qualities of each of its terraces, its grape blend, and the climate. It's a combination of delicious black fruits and sweet spices on a fine, balanced palate, bound by a minerality that melts through it." - Denise Cosentino, Technical Manager
2020: The wine reveals itself on the nose with aromas of small black fruits such as blackcurrant, melted with more spicy notes of liquorice. On the palate, the attack is ample, supported by a vibrant balance on a delicate tannic weft. Roasted notes appear in the final and the mouth will retain the nice roundness of this wine.
2019: The wine begins with a sweet nose of black cherry, raspberry and plum followed by a peppery spice and a cedar-scented bouquet. Its medium-bodied palate, after a generous attack, is embodied with a balanced structure and elegant fine grain tannins. Hints of black chocolate give a luscious feel to the finish.
WA 94: The 2020 Domaine de Long Dai is a blend of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Cabernet Franc and 20% Marselan and has a relatively deep ruby appearance. As noted in my review of the 2020 Hu Yue (Long Dai’s second wine), this was an initially cooler and wetter vintage followed by a relatively dry growing season; but the fluctuations in temperature and obviously very different ripening conditions in its 420 terraces of vineyard meant that the Long Dai harvest extended from September 3 to October 28.
JS 95: “Balance” and “freshness” are the key words for this 2020 Long Dai-- a big difference from the warmer, denser 2019. Understated but a pure, precise and vibrant nose, with fine spices to the fresh plums, cherries, currants, mineral and hints of iodine, graphite and freshly picked flowers. Vibrant fruit with lots of deep, rounded tannins that grow on the palate. Medium to full body with impressive structure, texture and purity of fruit. More lively and brighter than the deeper and more supple 2019. 56% cabernet sauvignon, 24% cabernet franc and 20% marselan. Already quite approachable now, but will improve in 2-3 years. Better in 2024.
WA 92: The 2019 Domaine de Long Dai is a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Cabernet Franc and 6% Marselan, a blend that partly reflects the warm, dry year that was 2019 (not dissimilar to 2018). The 2019 Long Dai has a deep purple appearance. On the nose, there is some lifted but very young dark fruit showing cassis, bramble, mulberry, black cherry and a hint of blueberry with a touch of violet as well as some slight herbaceous notes (sage, green bell pepper). These primary characters are complemented by some gentle new oak influence (the 2019 Long Dai having been matured in a range of French barriques both new and old for some 18 months). On the palate, the 2019 Long Dai is austere in this youthful stage with fine-grained, coating tannins showing to the fore, some refreshing acidity—so typical of wines from this region—and relatively well-integrated 14.5% alcohol. This structure is nicely fleshed out with the dark fruit and savory oak notes. With its relatively long length, the 2019 vintage does not have the same density as the 2018, but it will be fascinating to see how both vintages age. Better approached from 2022, the 2019 Long Dai will improve in bottle over the next 6-8 years and perhaps beyond.
JS 95: A wine that you should decant properly if you decide to open now. Pretty red-berry fruit, fresh blueberries and black cherries, nuanced spices and understated sandalwood and fine, stemmy freshness, evolving to violets and minerals. The medium-to full-bodied palate is hit by a dollop of tight and fine-grained tannins that dissipate into the fruit. This is also a vintage in which I feel Long Dai shows less acidity, which renders a mellow and calm sensibility. It’s quite dry, if not a little austere at first, but when you give it time to breathe, you will find more generosity on the palate with sweeter fruit. While it shows pedigree, power, and restraint, a little more depth on the palate would take it to the next level. A blend of 85% cabernet sauvignon, 9% cabernet franc and 6% marselan. Decant for 2-3 hours if you want to approach it now, but best give it two years to pull everything together. Try from 2024.
WA 93: The 2018 Domaine de Long Dai has a deep purple appearance reminiscent of the second wine Hu Yue—whose inaugural vintage is also 2018—but deeper in intensity of appearance on the nose and palate. There’s an immediately fragrant bouquet of lifted, floral, dark fruit with distinct blueberry, black cherry and black plum and violet—all typical of ripe Marselan—complemented by a herbaceous hint and some new-oak notes of clove, toast and smoke. On the palate, 2018 Long Dai has considerable ripe, chewy and fine-grained tannins with some lifting acidity, relatively well-integrated alcohol and a fragrant core of dark black fruit flanked by toasted new oak.
JS 96: Complex, perfumed nose of lavender, clove, potpourri, bark, sandalwood, black cherry, blackcurrant, sweet tobacco and musk. It’s full-bodied with firm, ultra fine and velvety tannins. Plenty of dark fruit and spice with dried tobacco leaves. The deep fruit and density goes on for minutes. A step up from the last vintages. Give this several years to come together. But already fantastic. Blend of cabernet sauvignon, marselan and cabernet franc.