The 2008 vintage at the Dominus Estate was quite challenging but very rewarding in the end. The winter and spring saw uncommonly low levels of precipitation, followed by cold mornings towards the end of March and April, which threatened the sensitive young shoots with frost. Extreme fluctuations in temperatures disrupted pollineation, resulting in few berries per cluster. The yields were kept at a record low by reduced water reserves. The summer that followed was very warm, with temperatures above 100ºF recorded on six days. The harvest took place between September 19th and October 3rd. The Dominus Estate Napa Valley 2008 is a blend of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot. Following a manual sorting of clusters in the vineyard, the grapes passed through an optical sorting system at the winery. During maceration, a series of gentle pump overs were carried out, followed by a light vertical pressing at a cool temperature for a gentle release of aromas, color and tannins. The wine matured in French oak barrels, of which 40% were new. It was fined with egg whites before bottling.The Dominus Estate Napa Valley 2008 is a very pure wine, with very distinct aromas of red berries coming through on the nose, along with deep blackberry and dark plum fragrances. The nose also offers notes of flowers and mint. On the palate, this Napa Valley red blend is full bodied, with very smooth, velvety tannins and great texture. The finish is superb, with the tannins carrying through until the very end, and flavors of ripe berry and chocolate coming through.