2012 Dominus "Napanook" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
This is shows wonderful aromas of tar, asphalt, wet earth and pure cherries. Full-bodied, yet soft and velvety with a fine dusty texture to the finish. Fresh and austere. Dignified. This has no Cabernet Franc in it this year. Normally there is 3% to 5%.
The 2012 Napanook is a big, intense wine, especially if given some time in the decanter. Rich red cherry, plum, smoke, licorice and spice meld together in an effortless, gracious Cabernet Sauvignon. The tannins are silky and polished, which gives the 2012 much of its early appeal, but there is so much density and pure concentration that a few years in bottle will only do it good. The 2012 is a fabulous Napanook. Frankly, the 2012 is as good or better than the top wines at many estates. Napanook remains one of the great values in Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. The blend is 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petit Verdot. (AG)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The second wine, the 2012 Napanook Proprietary Red Wine has a similar profile, but certainly comes across as less nuanced and slightly less concentrated and profound compared to its bigger sister. It is a blend of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petit Verdot. It does reflect the fact that the selection process has gotten so severe that the second wine at Dominus is really special in top vintages such as 2012 or 2013. The wine has low acidity, beautiful ripe black cherry and blackcurrant fruit, a hint of unsmoked cigar tobacco and a touch of roasted herbs in the finish. This is a beauty to drink over the next 15-20 years. (RP)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(a 95/5 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot): Bright red-ruby. Blueberry, licorice and tobacco leaf on the nose. Sweet and densely packed, with lovely depth of fruit for this second wine. Rich, pliant and layered, showing good energy but zero aggressiveness to its flavors of currant, chocolate and espresso. Finishes with a note of nutty oak and good grip. Looks to be an excellent vintage for this wine. (ST)
A solid, steady effort that keeps the focus on modest dark berry, cedary oak, spice and loamy earth flavors, gaining on the finish, where anise and black licorice notes emerge. Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2022.