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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 1989 Dominus Estate is the seventh vintage produced by the John Daniel Society made solely from grapes grown on the international company’s Napanook Vineyard in Yountville, California.
The 1989 vintage is the first wine of the latest phase of Dominus Estate — nature leads us, and we listen. Since Cabernet Franc did not improve the blend, it was not used. This blend includes Petit Verdot for the first time, as well as a special selection of Merlot.
The 1989 Dominus Estate has a deep ruby color and a rich, complex nose reminiscent of cassis, violets and vanilla. The wine is velvety and full in the mouth, with an elegant and long finish of rich fruit and violets. Christian Moueix recommends decanting this wine before serving to allow it to fully develop its full potential.
The label portrait for the 1989 vintage was done by the English artist Raymond Mason. Mr. Mason was born in 1922 and currently resides in Paris. He is primarily a sculptor, but is also known for his water colors of vineyard landscapes. His large compositions are displayed in London, Birmingham, Paris, Montreal, New York and Washington.
We received 22.69 inches of rain (35.68 average) for the season. The year was moderate to warm with some concern due to warm weather at set and some scorching of fruit that ended up not being significant. The big story was rainfall during harvest. On 9/16 and 9/17, we received 1.4 inches of rain; we did not resume harvest until the 25th. Then, on 9/29 with only 40 tons left to pick, we received 0.25 inches of rain; we did not resume picking until 10/6. Our European experience helped us to wait and regain excellent concentration and intensity even under these difficult conditions.
BEGINNING DATE OF HARVEST: September 15
BEGINNING DATE OF HARVEST: October 7
PERCENTAGE OF NEW BARRELS: 30%
TIME IN BARREL: 15 months
BOTTLING DATE: July 1999
9-LITER CASES PRODUCED: 7500
RELEASE DATE: October 1993