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Dominus is created by French winemaker Christian Moueix, who crafted the wines of Chateau Petrus (a bottle of which recently sold at auction as one of the most expensive wines ever sold). The Dominus estate owns the historic Napanook Vineyard that was the base of so many of the historic Inglenook Cabernet Sauvignons of the 1950s and 1960s. It is considered one of the finest reds of Napa Valley.
Christian Moueix’s approach to creating wines of stature and longevity in Napa’s fertile and warm climate wasn’t always as popular as it is today. It started with his search for the perfect piece of land where he could realize his dream of creating a Napa Valley Cabernet to rival the First Growths of Bordeaux. This didn’t happen overnight, in fact the entire vineyard that feeds Dominus was reorganized and replanted over the last three decades to take better advantage of the varieties, expositions and spacing that would best express this esteemed terroir. The introduction of Tod Mostero as vineyard manager and winemaker was another big step in the right direction.
The 1986 Dominus Estate is the fourth vintage produced by the John Daniel Society, and, as always, the grapes for this wine were grown solely at Napanook Vineyard in Yountville, California. This vintage marks the first of the “second series” of Dominus Estate — the 1986, 1987, and 1988 vintages use Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc in the blend, which introduces a floral, herbal character and added complexity.
The varietal composition of the 1986 Dominus Estate is 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Cabernet Franc and 8% Merlot. The 1986 growing season was marked by very high winter rainfall and an unusually cool summer, which made the timing of harvest crucial to ensure full maturity.
The 1986 Dominus Estate has a deep ruby color and a rich nose reminiscent of ripe cherries, with elegance, finesse and excellent balance. Christian Moueix recommends decanting this wine before serving to allow it to develop its full potential.
The label artist for the 1986 vintage is the well-known American artist Jim Dine.
Vintage Summary: Seasonal rainfall was 53.93 inches vs. 35.68 inches normal. We had heavy rainfall and flooding in February. Summer was very cool with only three days over 100 degrees (two of these were in June), and only nine days over 95 degrees.
BEGINNING DATE OF HARVEST: September 8
FINAL DATE OF HARVEST: October 6
PERCENTAGE OF NEW BARRELS: 20%
BOTTLING DATE: January 1989
9-LITER CASES PRODUCED: 6200
RELEASE DATE: November 1990