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100 Parker points!
Composed of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petit Verdot, the stunning, full-bodied 2010 Dominus boasts an exceptional perfume of hoisin sauce, licorice, underbrush, forest floor, plums, black currants and jammy cherries intertwined with hints of cedar, baking spices and oak. Full-bodied and voluptuously textured, the 2010 is on a slightly faster evolutionary track than the 2009 (somewhat of an anomaly for these two vintages). This exquisite as well as prodigious 2010 can be drunk young, but it should age effortlessly for 20-25 years. Bravo!
Looking at the harvest dates for the 2009 through 2012 Napanook and Dominus reveals that none of these were early, very warm years, such as 2013 is promising to be in northern California. For example, in 2009 the harvest took place between October 5 and 12; 2010 between October 4 and 23; 2011 between October 15 and 24; and 2012 between October 9 and 21. Production has remained steady because the estate crop-thins as much as 50% of the harvest to ensure bunch regularity, even ripening and reasonable yields. The second wine, Napanook, tends to come in around 3,000 cases per year, and Dominus around 5,000 cases per year. I was joking with Christian Moueix when I visited the winery and I told him I am one of the geezers old enough to remember his first vintage of 1983, which was tasted at the Rombauer Cellars until he moved to what appears to be an old bank building in downtown St. Helena, after which they constructed a spectacular winery in Yountville that resembles an extension of their historic terroir. Another great vintage, the 2012s have slightly lower alcohols than the 2009s and 2010s, which surprised me given the exuberant nature of this vintage and its boisterous fruit and glycerin. I was shocked to realize that 2013 will mark over thirty vintages for Christian Moueix and Dominus, not to mention my visits each year. How time flies!
vinousmedia.com - Antonio Galloni - November 01, 2013
97+ Points "A towering, utterly magnificent wine, the 2010 Dominus boasts stunning depth and power. Asphalt, licorice, menthol, plums and cassis wrap around the palate and never let up. The 2010 is endowed with serious density and structure, so it is going to require plenty of time to come together. Melted road tar, sage and intense mineral notes support rich, dense fruit that is just beginning to emerge from beneath a wall of tannin. This is a fabulous showing."
erobertparker.com - Robert Parker - October 31, 2013
100 Points "Composed of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petit Verdot, the stunning, full-bodied 2010 Dominus boasts an exceptional perfume of hoisin sauce, licorice, underbrush, forest floor, plums, black currants and jammy cherries intertwined with hints of cedar, baking spices and oak. Full-bodied and voluptuously textured, the 2010 is on a slightly faster evolutionary track than the 2009 (somewhat of an anomaly for these two vintages). This exquisite as well as prodigious 2010 can be drunk young, but it should age effortlessly for 20-25 years. Bravo!"
The Wine Advocate - Antonio Galloni - December 2012
96+ Points "The sweetest and most succulent black cherries, plums, violets, graphite, cinnamon and cloves come to life in the 2010 Dominus, a wine that stands out for its superb precision and balance. There is a purity and sheer sweetness in the fruit that is completely striking. ...The 2010 Dominus is a model of class and elegance. I find it utterly compelling."
International Wine Cellar - Stephen Tanzer - May 2012
92-95 Points "Wonderfully seamless wine with broad, silky tannins and impressive chocolatey length. This wine was made from the vintage's most refined lots..."
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 Dominus 2010 displays compelling notes of black cherries and plums as well as a hint of graphite and sandalwood. With a round and sweet attack, the chiseled and deftly polished tannins give a savory evolution. Its finish is long and replete with cedar, anise and cacao.The 2010 vintage is composed of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petit Verdot. In recent years the Napanook vineyard has undergone an extensive replanting program. This, coupled with a rigorous selection of lots for the final blend resulted in the smallest quantity of Dominus produced since 1984.
We recommend decanting the wine prior to serving, to allow it to develop its full potential. This is especially important when serving young Dominus wines.
Vintage Summary The 2010 season began with a cool and wet spring, resulting in a late bud break, flowering and veraison. Summer was also cool but a record-breaking heat wave (107°F) marked the end of August. The heat of late summer and early fall resulted in an extraordinary concentration of tannins and color. While the high temperatures dramatically reduced yields for Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, the Cabernet Sauvignon thrived in the late season warmth.
BEGINNING DATE OF HARVEST: October 4
FINAL DATE OF HARVEST: October 23
PERCENTAGE OF NEW BARRELS: 40%
BOTTLING DATE: July 2012
9-LITER CASES PRODUCED: 3000
RELEASE DATE: June 2013