2012 Dominus Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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. (RP)
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.
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. (AG)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
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. (ST)
*Editors' Choice* A magical blend of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc, this estate-crafted blend exudes elegance, etching out silos of herb, lavender, cedar and earth around savory-laced texture. A powerful concentration of dark chocolate appears on the lengthy finish, the wine sourced from dry-farmed, impeccably tended vines. (VB)
Wine & Spirits
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.
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. (JL)