Dominus Estate Dominus
Napa Valley, California, United States
January 31, 2021, Matthew Luczy
“A perfumed and refined nose of rose petal, orange rind, raspberry and coriander flower. This elegant nature continues through the palate, which is lacy and plush, but becomes quite rustic on the finish. Continues to evolve over hours and days, never showing itself the same way twice. Still laying in wait, although perfectly enjoyable now.”
Dominus Estate is the Napa Valley property of Bordeaux producer Christian Moueix. The wine is bottled from the historic Napanook Vineyard. Located at the foothills of the Mayacamas, the vineyard was planted in 1838 and continues to evolve under the stewardship of Christian Moueix. The estate’s Bordeaux varietals benefit from the Yountville microclimate where temperatures are moderated by cool breezes from the San Pablo Bay. The resulting wine is a uniquely refined expression of this special terroir.
Enjoying a temperate climate, the vineyard’s volcanic, well draining soils are specifically suited to growing Cabernet Sauvignon and the other Bordeaux varietals which compose the Dominus Estate wines. The soil is gravelly and clay loam. Meticulous efforts are made throughout the seasons to produce grapes of the highest quality for Dominus Estate wines.
During the winter season, precise cane pruning ensures ideal cluster spacing for optimal fruit ripening. Dry farming relies on a deep root system to take advantage of natural water sources from rain and underground supplies. Cluster thinning optimizes quality through yield regulation.
Rinsing the grapes 10 to 15 days before harvest removes dust and enhances the purity of the fruit. The sunny side of the vines is picked a few days before the shady side respecting perfect maturity.
Minimal intervention and restraint throughout the process of grape berry selection, fermentation and aging preserve the character of the fruit. The resulting wines convey the very personality of the vineyard. Dominus winemaking includes separate lot-by-lot fermentation. Cluster sorting by hand is complemented by an optical berry sorting system. Gentle pumping-over extracts aromas, color and tannins. Vertical wine press at low pressure delicately releases components from the skin. Racking barrel to barrel in 100% french oak removes sediment and assures clarification of the wine during aging.
The 2011 vintage displays fresh almond, wild strawberry and cassis. The wine has delicate notes of smooth caramel. Polished tannins, dark berries, cocoa and sage accompany a long elegant finish.. We recommend decanting the wine prior to serving, to allow it to develop its full potential. This is especially important when serving young Dominus wines.
A vintage that demanded experience and selection, 2011 was characterized by unusually wet conditions. The growing season began with a cold spring, delaying bloom after an early budbreak. Summer’s average temperatures prolonged the growing season. Rains at the beginning of October precipitated a selective harvest, where our Bordeaux experience of such conditions proved to be very useful.
Varietals: 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc
Harvest Start Date: October 15, 2011
Harvest End Date: October 24, 2011
New Oak: 40%
Cases Produced: 5,000