Dominus Estate Dominus
Napa Valley, California, United States
September 13, 2016, James Suckling
“The aromas to this are multidimensional and fascinating with black truffles, bark, cloves, black currants, citrus, and even ginseng. Full-bodied, yet reserved and austere with chewy and powerful tannins that remain polished and refined. The flavors are more umami and savory. Then there are forest fruits and blood-orange undertones. The wine goes on for minutes. A wine to age for a lifetime. It's an experience to taste this. A new classic showing its history and tradition as a source of the greatest wines ever from Napa. A wine to enjoy forever.”
May 30, 2016, William Kelley
“A captivating bouquet of violets, lilac, black fruit, blood orange and meaty soil tones is striking for its extravagent range and amplitude; and on the palate, the wine is three-dimensional, sophisticatedly savoury, and massive but refined. Tod Mostero remarks that, having crafted the 2013 Dominus, he can die happy as a winemaker. Selection here was especially rigorous, as the team wanted to realise the vintage's unparalleled potential as fully as possible, so only 3,500 cases were produced. A special label commemorates the 30th anniversary of Dominus Estate.”
The Wine Advocate
October 29, 2015, Robert Parker
“The 2013 Dominus is, to my way of thinking, one of the most profound wines Christian Moueix has yet made in his rather brilliant winemaking history, both in France and in Napa Valley. This wine, with very low yields of only 3,500 cases and a final blend of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot and 4% Cabernet Franc, offers up notes of cedar wood, forest floor, loamy soil and oodles of blackberry and blackcurrant fruit. Very opaque purple in color, super-pure and intense, this wine has low acidity, but ripe, noticeable tannins. This is a 30- to 40-year wine and a profound effort from this famous vineyard in Yountville. Drink it over the next 40+ years.”
October 2015, Antonio Galloni
“The 2013 Dominus overwhelms all the senses with its magnificent overall balance and towering intensity. Deep and nearly impenetrable in the glass, the 2013 boasts off the charts dry extract and overall power. Violets, smoke, black cherries, menthol, incense, crème de cassis and dark spices are some of the many signatures that take shape in the glass. Even better in bottle than it was in barrel, the 2013 is utterly magnificent. This is a remarkably vivid, nuanced wine considering its sheer size.”
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.
At Dominus Estate, 2013 was characterized by a very dry spring and a consistently warm summer/early fall. Only 6.4 inches of rainfall were recorded from January to June (versus 17.7 inches average). Low reserves of soil water limited vine growth. While average temperatures remained warm throughout spring and summer, no heat spikes were recorded in July, August or September. In terms of thermal time (growing degree days), the season was 18 days ahead of the norm at the beginning of harvest (September 10).
Varietals: 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot
Harvest Start Date: September 10, 2013
Harvest End Date: September 26, 2013
Bottling Date: July 2015
New Oak: 40%
Cases Produced: 2400 – 9 Litre cases