A real showy wine with intoxicating perfume on the nose. Plush mouth feel, delicate and finessed with good concentration of red fruits and currant. Has a lower intensity finish, with well resolved tannins, and there's decent acidity holding this together. In a good place right now. Very well balanced wine, bridging the gap between old and new Napa very nicely. 93 points.
This is a perfect wine.
External Reviews for Dominus Estate
The impeccably made 2001 Dominus boasts a dense plum/purple color in addition to a fragrant, promising perfume of cocoa, cedar, coffee, roasted herbs, and copious quantities of black fruits. There are 7,000 cases of this 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, 4% Merlot, and 5% Petit Verdot blend. Rich and medium to full-bodied, with sweet but noticeable tannin, a layered mid-palate, and a long finish with obvious tannin, it will require 3ndash;4 years of cellaring. It should last for two decades.
The 1989 is a candidate for the Cabernet Sauvignon of the vintage. The color is a dark ruby/purple and the nose offers up sweet, fragrant scents of black fruits, cedar, herbs, and spicy wood. In the mouth, there is extraordinary concentration, medium to full body, and an authoritatively rich, lingering finish. Terroirists will have a difficult time explaining why the wine tastes more like a Pomerol than Napa Cabernet.
Easily the greatest Dominus in memory. Comes down on the drier, lower alcohol and less ripe side than many Cabs in its league, yet lacks for nothing in complexity and sheer deliciousness. Tantalizes with blackberry tart, cherry, carob bean and a Pinot Noir-esque-cola-rhubarb richness that retreats behind rich tannins and an earthiness suggesting sweet blond tobacco and dried sage. Clearly ageable, it will develop bottle complexity over the next 12 years, at least. It's 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, with a few drops of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.
Good ruby-red. Superripe aromas of plum, cherry, licorice, mocha, smoke and minerals. At once sweet and gripping, with very intense, nuanced flavors of cherry, plum, currant, tobacco, minerals and currant leaf. Despite the very high pH of 4.01, this shows no shortage of energy in the mouth. A muscular, firmly tannic, serious wine for aging. (A second sample that had been decanted for four hours prior to my visit was sweeter and more seamless, but still showed solid tannic spine.)
Saturated ruby-red. Ripe, nuanced nose combines black raspberry, currant, black plum, menthol, mocha and laurel. Chewy and superbly concentrated, with vibrant, sharply delineated flavors of red- and blackcurrant, tobacco, tar, chocolate, minerals and licorice. Powerful and juicy, with layers of flavor and terrific verve despite its obviously low acidity. The very broad tannins reach the front teeth. Promises to be a superb vintage for Dominus, and should also offer terrific early charm.
Dominus is a large vineyard, and they have the ability to make a strict selection. The 2002 Dominus gets my nod as the greatest example of this cuvee since the 1991 and 1994. There are 4,500 cases of this 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot, and 3% Merlot blend fashioned from minuscule yields ranging from 1.8 to 2.8 tons of fruit per acre. Christian Moueix told me that the phenolic material was higher analytically in 2002, as were the acids, which surprised everyone. The deep, saturated purple-colored 2002 boasts an extraordinary perfume of roasted coffee intermixed with black currants, cherries, cocoa, cedar, cigar smoke, and new saddle leather. A classic, full-bodied palate possesses great structure, tremendous depth, loads of tannin, and a multilayered, concentrated yet elegant finish. It is difficult to predict when this beauty will plateau in terms of maturity. My best guess is it needs 3-5 years of bottle age, and should last for 25 years.
Good full ruby-red. Tightly wound nose hints at cassis, minerals, licorice and menthol. Then surprisingly dense and rich on entry, with complex flavors of smoky black fruits, licorice and dark chocolate. Has the sweetness and fat to carry its substantial building tannins. Large-scaled and fat but without the grip of the 2001. This is a more upfront wine, while the 2001 is leaner on entry, then expands and lingers on the back half.
Food Pairings for Dominus Estate
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