x
  • Country ranking ?

    90
  • Producer ranking ?

    8
  • Decanting time

    3h
  • When to drink

    now to 2045
  • Food Pairing

    Spanish Lamb with Rosemary

The Tb points given to this wine are the world’s most valid and most up-to-date evaluation of the quality of the wine. Tastingbook points are formed by the Tastingbook algorithm which takes into account the wine ratings of the world's best-known professional wine critics, wine ratings by thousands of tastingbook’s professionals and users, the generally recognised vintage quality and reputation of the vineyard and winery. Wine needs at least five professional ratings to get the Tb score. Tastingbook.com is the world's largest wine information service which is an unbiased, non-commercial and free for everyone.

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The Wine Advocate - Robert Parker - October 31, 2014

99 Points "Flirting with perfection, the 2012 Dominus is composed of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc. Five thousand cases were produced, a relatively modest amount from this large vineyard’s big crop. Christian Moueix told me that there was plenty of heat in 2012, but there were no excessive hot spells that can plague Napa Valley vintners during the growing season and harvest. This wine’s opaque plum/purple color is accompanied by a beautiful nose of sweet crème de cassis, a touch of background oak (only 40% new oak is used), spice box, cedarwood, black cherries and a hint of spring flowers. The complex, intense aromatics are followed by a deep, opulent, multidimensional, full-bodied wine with not a hard edge to be found. Everything is seamlessly crafted in this beauty and the vintage’s abundant richness is well-displayed. This 2012 can be drunk in its exuberant youthfulness or cellared for another 20-25 years."

Wine Spectator - James Laube - September 02, 2015

94 Points "Deftly balanced, with an enticing mix of gravelly, loamy earth, dried berry, cedar and cigar box, all rich and extracted. Ends with raw, assertive tannins. Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2018 through 2030."

 

JamesSuckling.com - James Suckling - April 29, 2015

98 Points "Fabulous purity and clarity of fruit. Blackcurrants, blackberries and violets. Full body, big soft tannins and a chocolate, hazelnut and dark fruit character. Some hot stones. Fruit at the finish. Ripe and velvety finish. Better in 2020 but delicious to drink now. Wonderful Dominus."

 

vinousmedia.com - Antonio Galloni - December 23, 2014

97+ Points “A towering, majestic wine, the 2012 Dominus is a real stunner. Opulent and intense, yet backed up by a classic expression of acidity and tannin, the 2012 hits the palate with considerable richness. Graphite, dark red and black stone fruits, tobacco and incense soar from the glass as this voluptuous Cabernet Sauvignon shows off its irresistible sexy personality. Expressive floral notes add lift on the finish. The 2012 has become a bit more tender than it was last year, which is excellent news for Dominus fans, especially with super powerful 2013s lurking right around the corner.

 

International Wine Cellar - Stephen Tanzer - May 31, 2014

92-95 Points "Bright ruby-red. The nose combines a chocolatey ripeness and a medicinal reserve, offering scents of currant, licorice, flowers, spices and herbs. Dense, voluminous and harmonious; fully ripe but classically dry. This wonderfully horizontal wine finishes with serious plush tannins and really echoes and lingers on the aftertaste. Superb potential. Much more Old World than California in style."

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The Story

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.

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Wine Information

The Dominus 2012 exemplifies the finest qualities of Cabernet Sauvignon from an ideal vintage. The intriguing nose offers a depth of aromas including lavender, Asian spices and cedar. Soft, supple tannins buoy layers of dark earth and cocoa. The wine is racy yet refined with a long elegant finish.

The 2012 vintage is composed of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Petit Verdot.

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

2012 enjoyed a perfect growing season. Plentiful rainfall in March and April lessened winter drought concerns, and a mild spring with few temperature fluctuations contributed to an even budbreak and a healthy bloom. Summer temperatures were consistently warm, without excessive heat spikes, which provided conditions for slow, homogenous maturation of fruit, exhibiting great character and richness.

BEGINNING DATE OF HARVEST: October 9
FINAL DATE OF HARVEST: October 21
PERCENTAGE OF NEW BARRELS: 40%
BOTTLING DATE: June 2014
9-LITER CASES PRODUCED: 5000
RELEASE DATE: June 2015

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

12 tasting notes

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Written Notes

Fabulous purity and clarity of fruit. Black currants, blackberries and violets. Full body, big soft tannins and a chocolate, hazelnut and dark fruit character. Some hot stones too. Ripe, velvety and fruity finish. Better in 2020 but delicious to drink now. Wonderful Dominus.

  • 98p

98 Antonio Galloni, Vinous (October 2015)
The 2012 Dominus is a real head-turner. Flashy, voluptuous and intense, but with tons of underlying concentration, the 2012 is simply magnificent. A towering, vertical Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2012 Dominus is one of the most concentrated wines of the vintage, yet it also maintains considerable freshness, the signature of a late-ripening vintage with no heat spikes.

Sweet red cherry, raspberry and floral notes add lift on the perfumed, expressive finish. The blend is 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc.

  • 98p
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Information

Origin

Yountville, Napa Valley

Vintage Quality

Outstanding

Inside Information

If you’re used to riper styles of Napa Valley cabernet, give yourself time to adjust to the savory profile of one of the region’s oldest vineyard sites. Dominus sits on a rocky alluvial fan, a gentle benchland slope nestled into the western hills of Yountville. If, like some of their neighbors, Christian Moueix and Tod Mostero pushed the vines to extreme ripeness, you would find a sweeter wine in the glass. But they prefer to farm the vineyard so they can capture it at the moment when the grapes will sustain their distinctive flavors, yielding precision and detail in their tannins rather than the creamy smoothness that has come to define Napa Valley luxury wine. In fact, the 2012 vintage does provide a hint of sweetness in the end, red-fruited, bright and filled with youthful energy. That energy circulates through the wine in the fresh scent of bay and madrone, while the tannins gird the fruit for a long life ahead.

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