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
As good as the 2001 Napanook is, this wine is more intense. The fruit is lusher, the oak newer, the control more complete, but the kicker is the tannins. Theyrsquo;re powerful and dusty, and conceal the flamboyance, for now. This is a monster of a wine that desperately needs time before exploding. Hold until 2010 and beyond.
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.
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 3ndash;5 years of bottle age, and should last for 25 years.
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.
Napanook, one of the Napa Valleyrsquo;s most storied vineyards, is nestled into the hillside west of Yountville; in 2000, Christian Moueix and his team coaxed a classic Napa wine from those vines, a Dominus layered in plush currant fruit. The fruit modulates from red to forest green to black, layered in an elegant, clean arc of flavor. While generous, itrsquo;s also staunch and taut. As in rsquo;98 the vines at Napanook produced great wine in what others might consider a lesser Napa vintage.
Raspberry and cedar on a beautiful nose; surprisingly accessible fruit on palate, with supple layers of plum, tobacco and bell pepper.
Of course, generous and accessible are relative terms, here meaning that if you open this wine on release you will taste the elevated, powerful and dynamic presence of the wine; that the deep fruit flavors are perceptible, big and plummy yet restrained and structured by substantial tannins tight and smooth as graphite; that even though the wine needs plenty of time to develop, and probably will only begin to show its best around ten years from the vintage, it already has the glamour and flash of a great Napa red. This wine doesnrsquo;t require the faith of previous vintages; its lines are already defined, to be further embellished by time.
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