Dominus Estate Dominus
Napa Valley, California, United States
February 2023, Antonio Galloni
“The 2019 Dominus is shockingly primary. A wine of tremendous density and power, the 2019 is also a wine for readers who can be patient, as it won't be ready to drink for another 10-15 years! Dark fruit, leather, tobacco, incense, dried herbs and scorched earth lend striking complexity. The 2019 is a huge wine that needs time to come into its own. This is impressive, to say the least.”
96 Points, HOT WINES
August 3, 2022, James Molesworth
“A loaded wine, though reserved in style, with waves of dense cassis, plum reduction and blackberry preserves moving through authoritatively, while sweet bay leaf, warm loam and tobacco accents fill in the background. The long cast iron spine is deeply buried in the fruit, and this has superior cut and drive. Built for serious cellaring, too. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Best from 2024 through 2040.”
The Wine Advocate
May 31, 2022, Joe Czerwinski
“The 2019 Dominus is blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot and 4% Cabernet Franc, aged in 40% new French oak. Impressively dark-hued in the glass, it yields scents of cherries and cassis on the nose—or is it black cherries and redcurrants? Subtle notes of mocha, pencil shavings and almost Graves-like earthiness wind through the concentrated, medium to full-bodied palate, giving it a sense of savory gravitas, while the finish is silky and long, leaving a lingering residue of soft tannins and mouthwatering freshness.”
March 2022, James Suckling
“Lots of crushed stone, lead pencil and licorice aromas that are extremely aromatic and bright. Black cherries, cloves and purple fruit, too. Full body and a round and ripe center-palate with a juicy interior. It opens at the end with a savory and juicy finish. Layered and beautiful. Drinkable now, but better in three or four years.”
The Wine Independent
March 2022, Lisa Perrotti-Brown
“Composed of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc, and 6% Petit Verdot, the 2019 Dominus was harvested from September 29 to October 10. It was aged in 40% new oak. Deep garnet-purple colored, the nose slowly unfurls to unveil beguiling floral notes of candied violets and rose oil over a core of crème de cassis, blackberry pie, and plum preserves, giving way to notions of licorice, Indian spices, iron ore, and crushed rocks. Full-bodied, the palate is jam-packed with taut, muscular black fruit layers, intertwined with gorgeous floral and exotic spice accents, and framed by firm, finely grained tannins with seamless freshness, finishing long and mineral-laced. Tightly coiled with so much latent energy waiting to explode, this is a spectacular expression of the vintage and Napanook vineyard. Still tightly coiled, give it a good 6-7 years in the cellar before broaching, and allow it a few hours in a decanter if consumed before 2032. 3500 cases were made, to be released in May 2022.”
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.
Dominus 2019 opens gradually with sweet tobacco, marjoram and jasmine leading to a resonant core of iron and black plum.
Varietals: 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc, 6% Petit Verdot
New Oak: 40%