Dominus Estate Dominus
Napa Valley, California, United States
March 31, 2019, James Molesworth
“This has a dark and brooding feel, showing hefty juniper and cedar notes along with humus and singed bay leaf details holding sway for now over a dense core of dark currant and plum fruit flavors. The loamy edge adds more bass through the finish, while the fruit lurks underneath. Decidedly backward and built for cellaring. Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2022 through 2035.”
January 31, 2019, Jeb Dunnuck
“The 2015 Dominus is a flawless, perfect wine as well as a legend in the making. A blend of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot and the rest Cabernet Franc, from dry-farmed vines and brought up in just 40% new French oak, its ruby/purple color is followed by an extraordinary bouquet of blackcurrants, crème de cassis, damp earth, smoke tobacco, and spring flowers. Reminding me of the 2015 Château Margaux with its incredible mix of elegance and power, this beauty hits the palate with full-bodied richness, stunning purity of fruit, building tannins, and awesome length. This sensational textured and voluptuous Dominus drinks well today yet will evolve for 25-30 years or more.”
May 23, 2018, James Suckling
“A phenomenal red from the vintage with sandalwood, roses, currants, blackberries and blackcurrants. Full-bodied, extremely structured and intense with a great finish. The tannins are so polished and poised. Shows tension and beauty throughout. Straight and focused. Drink in 2022.”
March 1, 2018, Antonio Galloni
“The 2015 Dominus is fabulous. Explosive and alluring on the palate, the 2015 possesses stunning texture and intensity. Blueberry jam, cloves, menthol, licorice and graphite are some of the many nuances that develop over time. In 2015 Dominus artfully balances the richness of the year with the classic structural elements that are such a signature of this wine.”
The Wine Advocate
October 31, 2017, Lisa Perrotti-Brown
“Bottled in July 2017 and composed of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot and 5% Cabernet Franc, the Dominus 2015 Proprietary Red Wine leaps from the glass with notes of fresh wild blueberries, crushed blackberries and black currant juice with touches of wild thyme, underbrush, iron ore and aniseed with wafts of lavender and pencil lead. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has incredible energy and vivacity, with the firm, pixelated tannins and lively backbone skillfully framing the muscular fruit, finishing with wonderful length and depth.”
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. Hand-picking with small french shears instead of harvest knives minimizes bruising and vine damage. Small harvest baskets preserve the integrity of the clusters as they are transported to the winery. 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.
Dominus 2015, with its remarkably complex nose, is an utterly seductive wine. It displays red and black fruits and an ethereal aroma of deep cherry, warm citrus and marzipan. Finely polished tannins on a beautiful, weightless finish are accompanied by great depth and length.
2015 was characterized by a wet winter, which replenished the soil’s water reserve, followed by a dry spring. A sudden cooling of temperatures in May affected the bloom and reduced the size and number of berries per cluster. The remaining growing season was consistently warm with a three-day heat wave during harvest that sent temperatures above 102°F from September 8-10.
Decanting the wine prior to serving is recommended to allow it to develop its full potential. This is especially important when serving young Dominus wines.
Varietals: 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc
Harvest Start Date: September 2, 2015
Harvest End Date: September 16, 2015
Bottling Date: July 2018
New Oak: 40%
Cases Produced: 3800 – 9 Litre cases