Dominus Estate 2012
"Another candidate that flirts with perfection is the 2012 Dominus. Composed of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc that came in at 14.3% natural alcohol, it could turn out to be as great as the 2010, but very different stylistically. The 2012 recalls the 1991 and 1994. Flamboyant aromas of fruitcake, Asian spices, black currants, kirsch and unsmoked cigar tobacco are followed by a wine that’s still an infant, but exhibits explosively rich fruit, lots of glycerin, a full-bodied mouthfeel and a pungent, penetrating intensity that goes on and on in the mouth. It has been seamlessly constructed and should age effortlessly for 20+ years...98-100" WA 11/13 "Iron, smoke, tobacco, incense and white pepper are some of the many notes that explode from the 2012 Dominus. An insanely nuanced and impeccable wine, the 2012 is explosive and totally harmonious from the very first taste. Hints of orange peel and wild flowers add an exotic dimension as layers of fruit build to the textured, totally inviting finish. The 2012 is simply breathtaking...98-100" AG
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 2003 Dominus has turned out even better than I thought from barrel. There are 4,800 cases of this 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Petit Verdot blend. A big, sweet nose of roasted coffee, Provencal herbs, black currants, cherry jam, plums, allspice, and forest floor is followed by a spicy, rich, full-bodied, fragrant, intense wine. The tannins are sweet, but noticeable in this beautifully complex, strikingly aromatic 2003. It has much more similarity to a great Bordeaux than anything from Napa Valley. Anticipated maturity: 2007ndash;2025.
It has been 20 years since Christian Moueix began his Dominus project ion Napa Valley. This 1999 ranks among the top Cabernet-based wines of the vintage. Itrsquo;s a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc grown in the Napanook Vineyard, the source of Naparsquo;s historic Inglenook Cabernets.
On the third day opened, the wine begins to yield. Black raspberry and currant fruit presides where tannin reigned. Itrsquo;s transformed into a beautiful, shimmering thing, a wine completely distinct from most Napa Valley Cabernets, one grown to age and to express the Yountville hillside vines rising up from the stone winery at the foot of the hill. What for some was a difficult Cabernet vintage in Napa, rsquo;98 caused winemaker Bruno Champy to adjust any number of factors mdash; from thinning after a difficult bloom, to tannin management through maceration and less pumping over, to lees new oak and less time in barrel and finally eliminating 50 percent of the lot. The struggle doesnrsquo;t show in the wine, or perhaps it shows in the greatness of the wine. Cellar it.
A great vintage of Dominus, this wine combines staying power with tremendous elegance on release. Christian Moueix has farmed John Danielrsquo;s classic vineyard since 1983; he now works with Boris Champy to make this wine. If you can procure a case, the complex red fruit scents and satin pleasure of the texture make it well worth opening a bottle now. Plan to drink most of it between 2010 and 2014, when the earthy tannins will have fully matured, adding more complexity to that voluptuous texture. Then save a few bottles to see whether this or the rsquo;01 will age best.
Youthfully floral and tight, this vintage of Dominus is a big wine that holds all of its weight behind a powerful structure. And itrsquo;s the power of that structure that is front and center mdash; red apple-skin acidity and walnut-skin tannin mdash; needing a rib eye with plenty of fat to bring the fruit out of its cage. Stay with it and the winersquo;s earthiness begins to meld with the blueberry and chocolate richness. But itrsquo;s all completely primary. Put this away for ten years, and drink the Napanook while it matures.
The soon-to-be-released 2007 Dominus is a 5,400-case blend of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petit Verdot. It is ironic that Christian Moueix, the practitioner of utterly profound Merlot-based wines from St.-Emilion and Pomerol, eschews Merlot from his Napa vineyard, recognizing that it is Cabernet Sauvignon, and to a lesser extent Cabernet Franc, that hits the high notes in Napa. A prodigious example of Dominus, the 2007 represents a hypothetical blend of a Pomerol, Pauillac, and a Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep ruby/purple-colored with a sweet nose of incense, cedar wood, black currants, black cherries, licorice, and a subtle hint of roasted herbs, it is an expansive, savory, opulent wine with a full-bodied mouthfeel, silky tannins, and sensational concentration. A legend in the making, it should evolve for 25ndash;30 years, possibly longer given the fact that his vintages from the early eighties are still going strong, and the wines today are better made given Moueixrsquo;s Napa experience and the estate winery he did not have 25 years ago.
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. Itrsquo;s 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, with a few drops of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.
Food Pairings for Dominus Estate
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