Flirting with perfection, the 2012 Dominus is composed of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc. Five thousand cases were produced, a relatively modest amount from this large vineyard’s big crop. Christian Moueix told me that there was plenty of heat in 2012, but there were no excessive hot spells that can plague Napa Valley vintners during the growing season and harvest. This wine’s opaque plum/purple color is accompanied by a beautiful nose of sweet crème de cassis, a touch of background oak (only 40% new oak is used), spice box, cedarwood, black cherries and a hint of spring flowers. The complex, intense aromatics are followed by a deep, opulent, multidimensional, full-bodied wine with not a hard edge to be found. Everything is seamlessly crafted in this beauty and the vintage’s abundant richness is well-displayed. This 2012 can be drunk in its exuberant youthfulness or cellared for another 20-25 years. Drink 2014-2039
Fabulous purity and clarity of fruit. Black currants, blackberries and violets. Full body, big soft tannins and a chocolate, hazelnut and dark fruit character. Some hot stones too. Ripe, velvety and fruity finish. Better in 2020 but delicious to drink now. Wonderful Dominus.
The 2012 Dominus is a real head-turner. Flashy, voluptuous and intense, but with tons of underlying concentration, the 2012 is simply magnificent. A towering, vertical Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2012 Dominus is one of the most concentrated wines of the vintage, yet it also maintains considerable freshness, the signature of a late-ripening vintage with no heat spikes. Sweet red cherry, raspberry and floral notes add lift on the perfumed, expressive finish. The blend is 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc.
In the late 1960s, while attending the university of California, Christian Moueix fell in love with the Napa valley and its wines. Although he returned to Bordeaux to manage the family vineyards, including Petrus, La Fleur-Petrus and Trotanoy, his love of the Napa valley lingered and in 1981, he discovered the historic Napanook vineyard that had been the source of fruit for some of the finest Napa valley wines of the 1940s and 1950s. In 1982, Moueix entered into a partnership to develop the vineyard and, in 1995, became its sole owner. He chose the name ‘Dominus’ to underscore his longstanding commitment to stewardship of the land. This dedication has borne spectacular results. The wines themselves are a beguiling combination of old world knowledge and new world potential, elevating good vintages to great heights and great vintages to mesmerising levels. Invariably these are some of the most complex, compelling and complete wines produced in Napa.
This small town north of San Francisco has grown up to be one of California’s most famous wine regions. It is home to opulent Cabernets and sweetly-spiced Zinfandels, grown across many sub-regions including Stags Leap, Rutherford, Oakville and others. Cooling ocean fogs roll in from the Pacific at night and burn off in the summer sunshine, keeping the region cooler than you would expect for its latitude, and help produce some of the best Californian wines. Napa wines have the concentration and structure to age magnificently.