Dominus Estate Napanook
Napa Valley, California, United States
January 31, 2019, Jeb Dunnuck
“Brought up in 20% new barrels, the 2015 Napanook is an awesome wine in its own right, offering classic cassis, tobacco, leafy herbs, and violets notes, with an almost Bordeaux-like earthiness. Full-bodied, incredibly pure and seamless on the palate as well as impeccably balanced, it’s more than worth your time and money.”
96 Points, #76 Top 100 American Wines of 2018
May 23, 2018, James Suckling
“This is fantastic on the nose with blackberries and forest flowers. Very aromatic. Full body with soft, well-integrated and medium-grained tannins. Undertones of black olives. Love the hints of sandalwood. Drink or hold.”
March 1, 2018, Antonio Galloni
“The 2015 Napanook is dark, plush and inviting, all of which make it an excellent choice for drinking now and over the next decade or so. Super-ripe black cherry, plum, spice and licorice notes are all pushed forward in a decidedly lush, open-knit Napanook that will be ready to go pretty much upon release.”
The Wine Advocate
October 31, 2017, Lisa Perrotti-Brown
“Bottled in July 2017, Dominus’ more approachable, less tannic sister wine, Napanook, is a blend this year of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc. Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2015 Napanook Proprietary Red Wine is redolent of crème de cassis, potpourri, plum preserves and violets with hints of dark chocolate, menthol, licorice and charcoal. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is densely packed with black fruit preserves and earthy layers, supported by firm, ripe, fine-grained tannins and finishing with great length.”
Napanook is made solely from grapes grown at the historic Napanook Vineyard in Yountville, Napa Valley. The wine is blended from blocks in the vineyard that were carefully selected for their lively fruit, soft tannins and early maturing characteristics.
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.
Napanook 2015, with its nose of violet is reminiscent of a fine Pomerol. Delivering fresh blue plums and notes of game, the wine is enveloped in refined tannins and is medium bodied. It displays a sleek finish and a notable 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.
Varietals: 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc
Harvest Start Date: September 2, 2015
Harvest End Date: September 16, 2015
Bottling Date: July 2017
New Oak: 20%
Cases Produced: 3800 – 9 Litre cases
Suggested Retail Price: $79.99