x
  • Country ranking ?

    92
  • Producer ranking ?

    9
  • Decanting time

    3h
  • When to drink

    now to 2035
  • Food Pairing

    roasted lamb

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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DOMINUS 2014 LEADS US FINE WINE TRADE

The 2014 vintage of Californian winery Dominus has been the most traded US wine on Liv-ex so far this year.

As the fine wine market has broadened away from Bordeaux, leading US labels have gained increasing traction in the secondary market – especially those from California.

Dominus, Opus One, Screaming Eagle and Harlan in particular lead the pack, combining high scores and scarcity.

The 2014 Dominus has been trading strongly so far this year. Described as “haunting” by its UK agent Corney & Barrow, just 4,300 cases were produced.

Rated 97-points by Robert Parker, it has declined slightly in price since release but at under £2,000 a case it represents an excellent buying opportunity for those seeking to get on the Dominus/Californian ladder – if one can find any of course.

The next top-traded wine was also from the 2014 vintage, this time from Opus One – which was launched around the same time as Dominus in October last year.

Screaming Eagle’s very highly rated 2015 (100 pts WA) and 2014 vintages come next and then Caymus’ 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon.

All of the top 10 wines hail from the 2013-2015 vintages, a string of excellent harvests in California.

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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

98 points James Suckling

 Loads of dark tobacco aromas with blackcurrants and black olives. Boysenberries, too. Full to medium body, ultra-fine tannins and lots of flavors of smoke, dried roasted chillis, black truffles, mushrooms and fruit. Bright acidity on the finish. Sexy and subtle austerity. Alluring. Very approachable now but better in 2021. 

97 points Jeb Dunnuck

 Coming from their valley floor site in Yountville, the 2014 Dominus is a rich, concentrated red, especially in 2014. A blend of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc and the rest Petit Verdot, it sports a deep ruby/plum color as well as a ripe nose of blackcurrants, unsmoked tobacco, lead pencil, licorice and smoked earth. With a ripe, full-bodied, concentrated style, sweet tannin, and a great finish, it has some similarities to the 1990 and will evolve for three decades or more. There’s 4,300 cases of this beauty.  (12/2017) 

97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 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. (RP)  (10/2016) 

96 points Vinous

 The 2014 Dominus is endowed with tons of depth, power and muscle. Black cherry, plum, smoke, menthol, licorice, chocolate, dried herbs and dark spices are all pushed forward. Deep, pliant and exquisitely layered, the 2014 possesses tons of concentration and mid-palate depth. Like so many wines in this vintage, the 2014 comes across as a hybrid of 2013 and 2012. I very much like the energy and focus in this wine. This is a fabulous wine in every way. With time in the glass, the flavors gain in brightness and focus. There is certainly much to look forward to. (AG) 96+  (12/2016)

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Tasting note

color

Deep and Purple

ending

Long and Vibrant

flavors

Blackcurrant and Leather

nose

Youthful, Complex, Ripe and Refined

taste

Average in Acidity, Balanced, Well-Integrated, Well-structured, Youthful, Round, Harmonious, Focused and Silky tannins

Verdict

Sophisticated and Fine

Written Notes

The 2014 vintage was characterised by a dry winter, heavy rains in February and continued rainfall during the spring. The summer was calm, sunny and warmer than usual with heat spikes in June and July and then milder weather in August and September. The grapes ripened perfectly and as Dominus is one of the rare estates in Napa which is dry farmed (no irrigation) these growing conditions brought out the best in the wine. Made from a blend of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot and 7% Cabernet Franc, picked throughout the month of September, the wine was aged in 40% new oak French barrels. This is an extremely elegant, silky Dominus with a bright dark intense purple colour, a nose of ripe plums, wild herbs and cedar; good depth of flavour on the palate and a long, fresh finish.

  • 96p

Loads of dark tobacco aromas with blackcurrants and black olives. Boysenberries, too. Full to medium body, ultra-fine tannins and lots of flavors of smoke, dried roasted chillis, black truffles, mushrooms and fruit. Bright acidity on the finish. Sexy and subtle austerity. Alluring. Very approachable now but better in 2021.

  • 98p

Lovely toasty coffee nose with layers. Full-bodied, very sweet dark fruit almost jammy. Elegant, polished round powdery tannins covers mouth gently. Long lingering finish. At its best in 2024-2030. (JL 96; Nov 2018)

  • 96p
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Information

Origin

Yountville, Napa Valley

Inside Information

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, and this venerable "First-Growth" producer of Napa Valley continues to have incredible success with the 2014 vintage, following their outstanding 2013 vintage which received three 100-point scores from Robert Parker, Antonio Galloni and James Suckling.

 

2014 was characterized by a very dry early winter with heavy rains in February and continued rainfall in March and April (February: 11.7 inches | March: 4 inches | April: 2 inches).

Average temperatures were higher than historical averages, with minor heat spikes in June (101F) and in July (103F). No heat spikes were recorded in August or September.

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