A blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, the 2018 Dalem has a deep garnet-purple color and compelling notes of blackberry preserves, wild blueberries and ripe, juicy black plums, with hints of dark chocolate, licorice and black olives. The full-bodied palate (15% alcohol) appears bright and fresh with the lively black fruits framed by soft, velvety tannins, finishing long and savory. Nicely done!
93 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate (Mar 2021)
An elegant nose of flowers, plums, red berries and cedar. It’s medium-bodied with silky texture. Shows balance and finesse, supported by polished tannins and a pretty drive. Lovely all around. Try after 2023.
93 points, James Suckling (Jan 2021)
The 2018 Dalem is quite backward on the nose, opening gradually to offer blackberry, licorice and very light menthol aromas; you just want to give the aromatics a polite kick up the backside. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins and a fine bead of acidity. Quite juicy in the mouth, delivering black cherries and cassis toward the well-defined, persistent finish. Excellent, but give it 24 months in bottle, because the nose needs time to find its mojo.
92 points, Neal Martin, Vinous (Mar 2021)
Beautiful cassis, violets, and orange blossom notes emerge from the 2018 Château Dalem. It has a certain modern style, delivering classy oak, yet it has good minerality on the palate, medium to full-bodied richness, ripe tannins, and a great finish. This ripe yet balanced, lively 2018 has lots to love and is going to keep for a decade.
91 points, Jeb Dunnuck (Mar 2021)