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Dominus Napa Valley Estate Proprietary Red 2005
The dark ruby/purple-hued 2005 Napanook (76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Cabernet<br/>Franc, and 10% Petit Verdot) reveals a big, spicy, tobacco, black currant,<br/>sweet cherry, new saddle leather, and loamy soil-scented bouquet. With<br/>attractive fruit, a soft, round, full-bodied mouthfeel, and beautiful<br/>complexity as well as balance, it is one of the most Bordeaux-like Cabernet<br/>Sauvignon-based wines made in Napa. This 2005 should drink easily for 10-12<br/>years. <br/>(Robert Parker - Wine Advocate - Dec 08)
Tried this - A long time ago .... not sure about the year but overall was one of my favorites in my collection!
External Reviews for Dominus Napa Valley Estate Proprietary Red
Throughout its history, Dominus has been a difficult wine on release. The historic Napanook vineyard is Yountville (thought to be one of the oldest in Napa Valley) began its current incarnation first as a joint venture between John Daniel's heirs and Bordelais Christian Moueix. Later, Moueix bought out his partners, built the stone winery at the base of the vineyard slope, and most recently hired enologist Boris Champy who grew and made this '97, the most generous and accessible Dominus we've yet tasted on release.
Good full red-ruby. Fresher on the nose than the Napanook, showing raspberry, plum, mocha and tobacco aromas. Round and plummy in the mouth, with a restrained sweetness to the flavors of milk chocolate, mocha and licorice. A wine of moderate ripeness for the vintage, and in a shell today. Finishes with substantial dusty tannins and notes of plum, mocha and chocolate. I don't find quite the structure or grip of the best years.
Made in a more masculine style, the 2008 Dominus has all of that along with bigger body and more structure, fat, density and texture. Both are brilliant wines and they represent the finest back-to-back vintages for Dominus since 2001 and 2002 or 1990 and 1991. Both the 2007 and 2008 Dominus should drink well for 25-30 years.
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 doesn't require the faith of previous vintages; its lines are already defined, to be further embellished by time.
Christian Moueix's Napanook vineyard has pedigree, and so does the wine. Moueix's 20th-anniversary vintage, this emphasizes distinction and restraint, the deep black-fruited scent and milder tobacco sweetness balancing the savor of fine tannins. It takes several days for the tannins to release the dark cherry flavors more completely. For the collector's cellar.
Napanook, one of the Napa Valley'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, it's also staunch and taut. As in '98 the vines at Napanook produced great wine in what others might consider a lesser Napa vintage.
On the third day opened, the wine begins to yield. Black raspberry and currant fruit presides where tannin reigned. It'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, '98 caused winemaker Bruno Champy to adjust any number of factors - 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 doesn't show in the wine, or perhaps it shows in the greatness of the wine. Cellar it.
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