2005 Dominus Napa Valley Proprietary Red
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Medium to deep garnet-purple colour. Vibrant scents of warm blackcurrants, plums, mocha, vanilla, cloves and nutmeg with a whiff of smoked meat. On the palate this vintage provides the characteristic high level of acidity matched by firm fine tannins and a lot of rich, concentrated fruit yielding a more opulent style. Very long finish with lots of spice.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(a blend of 93% cabernet sauvignon, 4% cabernet franc and 3% petit verdot) Good full red-ruby. Highly complex nose melds black raspberry, minerals, milk chocolate, tobacco, licorice and brown spices. Wonderfully silky, sweet and broad; quite primary for a young Dominus vintage but with subtle earth tones adding nuance. This has plenty of high-quality tannins but the wine's buffering flesh gives it an impression of sweetness. One senses near-perfect ripeness here in the way the wine saturates the palate with flavor. Very suave and fine-grained wine that will almost certainly rank among the best half-dozen vintages of Dominus made to day. Incidentally, long-time winemaker Boris Champy has returned to his native France to make wine, and Ted Mostero, previously in charge of winemaking at Almaviva in Chile, is now in charge here. 94(+?)
*Cellar Selection* More balanced than the overripe 2004, the ’05 Dominus is marked by dryness and firm tannins. It’s an obvious cellar candidate. Those tannins, along with unresolved acidity, give the wine a tough, almost rustic grittiness now. But there’s an enormous core of black currants, crushed blackberries, anise and cedar that’s deep and balanced. Should develop bottle complexity over many years, perhaps as long as 15.
I appreciate the subtle complexity here. Aromas of dried herbs, currant bush, and sweet tobacco. Full bodied, with a lovely balance of fruit and spices. Very long and refined. This is open and pretty right now, no need to wait.
Wine & Spirits
This vintage produced a more feminine style than is typical of Dominus. It's bright, sweet and floral, with scents of candied violets over chocolate-rich tannins. There is a grit and detail to those tannins, but it is masked for now in youthful fruit. There's also a zest to the wine that implies it has the energy to live long into maturity.