A Hauntingly Complex and Elegant Napa RedDominus Estate was founded by Christian Moueix, a Bordeaux native from a family of wine merchants and producers, who fell in love with the terroirs and wines of Napa Valley while studying at the University of California Davis. After returning to Bordeaux to manage his family vineyards, including Chateaux Petrus, La Fleur Petrus, Trotanoy and Madelaine, for one decade, his passion pulled him back to California in 1981. It was in this year that Moueix discovered the 124-acre Napanook Vineyard in Napa Valley. After entering into a partnership with the estate, he eventually became the sole owner in 1995. The Napanook Vineyard includes over 103 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot vines, the flagship varietals of Bordeaux's Left Bank. Here the terroir is characterised by gravelly and clay loam soils, which drain quite easily, allowing for the cultivation of concentrated, high quality fruit. Out in the vineyard, principles of sustainable agriculture are used and dry farming is at the core of the estate's philosophy.
The 2014 vintage at Dominus saw a very dry early winter, followed by heavy rains in February, all the way through April. On average, temperatures were higher than those historically recorded, with heat spikes occurring in both June and July.
The harvest took place between September 2nd and 30th. The Dominus Estate Napa Valley 2014 is a blend of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot and 7% Cabernet Franc. The clusters were sorted by hand in the vineyard and the berries went through an optical sorting system at the winery. Maceration was carried out with gentle pump overs, followed by a vertical press at a low temperature to encourage a gentle release of aromas, colour and tannins from the skins. The wine was matured in 100% French oak, of which 40% were new, and fined with egg whites, as is traditional in Bordeaux.
The Dominus Estate Napa Valley 2014 has been called hauntingly beautiful, a wine of great breeding with plenty to offer. On the glass, it displays a deep ruby or plum color. On the nose, hints of cardamom, tobacco and forest floor mingle with deep aromas of blue fruit, blackcurrants, boysenberries and plum. On the palate, this wine delivers a cocentrated, ripe, full-bodied texture, with ultra-fine tannins and a bright acidity on the long, textured finish. This wine is already drinking beautifully but will evolve very well over the next 25 years in bottle.
Wine Advocate-Parker :
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 color 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.