A finer combination of vinous history, experience and culture is hard to imagine. In 1982 Christian Moueix, owner of Chateau Pétrus in Pomerol bought a share of the historic 124 ha Napanook Estate near Yountville in California’s Napa Valley. The vineyard’s pedigree attracted Christian as it was here George Yount planted the Napa Valley’s first vines in 1836. History proves Yount chose a great site as this has been the source of many of California’s finest Cabernet wines over the years, including the iconic Inglenook wines of the 1940s and 1950s .
A lover of classic Californian Cabernet Sauvignon, Christian had no real option but to base his new wine on this variety. Applying classic Bordelais techniques, he produced his first vintage in 1983. Such was the success of the wine that Christian was able to purchase the whole estate from the daughters of the Napa legend John Daniel Jr. in 1995.
Dominus is exceptional wine by any standard, one of California’s finest Bordeaux blends, combining the subtlety and fragrance of fine claret with the deep colour and richness so typical of California. The estate launched Napanook, a second wine in 1996, using fruit from specific plots within the historic vineyard to produce a more relaxed, softer wine that maintains a rewarding claret style while offering exceptional value.
Dominus 2005, Napa Valley £87.17 btl £1,046.05 dzn
‘The 2005 Dominus continues to strut its stuff, tasting like a Napa hybrid blend of a St.-Emilion and Pomerol. Its dark ruby/purple-tinged color is followed by notions of cedarwood, spice box, roasted herbs, sweet black cherry and cassis fruit, licorice, and truffles. Full-bodied with excellent fruit intensity, complex aromatics, supple tannins, and a long finish, this 7,000-case blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petit Verdot should drink well for two decades or more.’
95+/100 Robert Parker The Wine Advocate, #180 Dec 2008
Napanook 2005, Napa Valley £41.67 btl £500.05 dzn
‘The dark ruby/purple-hued 2005 Napanook (76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Petit Verdot) reveals a big, spicy, tobacco, black currant, sweet cherry, new saddle leather, and loamy soil-scented bouquet. With attractive fruit, a soft, round, full-bodied mouthfeel, and beautiful complexity as well as balance, it is one of the most Bordeaux-like Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines made in Napa. This 2005 should drink easily for 10-12 years.’
91/100 Robert Parker The Wine Advocate #180 Dec 2008
Dominus 2004, Napa Valley £87.17 btl £1,046.05 dzn
‘The elegant, dark plum/purple/garnet-colored 2004 Dominus exhibits a big, sweet, cedary, roasted herb, mocha, black cherry liqueur, black currant, and earth-scented perfume. Medium to full-bodied with silky tannin as well as a luscious mouthfeel and finish, it should be more accessible in its youth than many of its predecessors, but easily last for two decades.’
94/100 Robert Parker The Wine Advocate #180 Dec 2008
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