Dominus Estate, Yountville, California, was established in 1983 by Christian Moueix. Situated on the famed Napanook vineyard, it was, in the 1940s and 1950s, the source of fruit for some of the finest Napa Valley wines. In fact, the vineyard’s history can be traced back to Napa Valley’s beginnings, when in 1838 George Yount, for whom the town of Yountville was named, first planted grapevines there.
Today, this historic vineyard produces three wines: Dominus, its flagship; Napanook; and Othello. Christian Moueix chose the name ‘Dominus’ (‘lord of the estate’ in Latin) to underscore his longstanding commitment to the land. Rooted in values of quality, stewardship, tradition and innovation, the Dominus Estate team shares a vision of producing distinctive wines that are expressive of this singular terroir.
The vineyard is entirely dry-farmed, allowing the vines to draw deeply on the land’s unique geology. The viticulture and winemaking are undertaken meticulously, with the objective of producing wines that are pure, balanced and complex. Minimal intervention and restraint throughout the process of grape berry selection, fermentation and aging preserve the character of the fruit.
The resulting wines, with a tremendous potential for ageing, convey the very personality of this historic vineyard. Known for its complexity and balance, Dominus demonstrates the potential of a wine produced on exceptional terroir. Structured, seamless and perfectly integrated, Dominus is an elegant wine that improves with age.
Notes and Reviews
Wine Advocate (97)
The 2014s, where the production of Napanook was only 2,200 cases and Dominus slightly more than the 2015 at 4,000 cases, was another early harvest, although somewhat later than 2015. The 2014 Dominus, which is 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc and 7% Petit Verdot really struts its stuff.
Moueix’s belief in dry farming seems to be paying off with stronger and stronger vintages, each successive year, and the 2014 is a sexy, opulent, layered, multidimensional wine with notes of red and blackcurrant, cedar wood, tobacco leaf , spice box, and licorice. The colour is a dense plum/ruby/purple, much like the Napanook. This is a beauty that is already drinking gorgeously – as most 2014s are – and will continue to evolve for 25 or so years.
James Suckling (98)
Loads of dark tobacco aromas with blackcurrants and black olives. Boysenberries, too. Full to medium body, ultra-fine tannins, and lots of flavours of smoke, dried roasted chillis, black truffles, mushrooms, and fruit. Bright acidity on the finish. Sexy and subtle austerity. Alluring. Very approachable now but better in 2021.
|Grape Varieties||Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc|
|Age of Vines||30 years on average|
|Vinification||Manual harvest followed by manual and optical sorting. Fermentation and maceration in temperature-controlled stainless-steel and concrete vats.|
|Elevage||18 months in French oak barrel (40% new oak)|
|Soil Type||Gravel, clay and loam|