1994 Dominus Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Christian Moueix and his talented winemaking team continue to rewrite the definition of a Napa Valley reference point wine. I have had a difficult time keeping the corks in my bottles of 1994 Dominus. Eight-thousand cases were produced from a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Cabernet Franc, 12% Merlot, and 4% Petit Verdot. In this vintage, 174 days passed between bud break and the harvest, a remarkable period of time for any wine region in the world. The 1994 is a strikingly thick, compellingly rich wine with the texture of a great Pomerol, despite being made primarily from Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine exhibits a dense purple color, and an incredibly fragrant nose of jammy black fruits, spice, smoke, and loamy, truffle-like scents. In the mouth, it is full-bodied, with thrilling levels of extract and richness, but no sense of heaviness or harshness. This seamless Dominus possesses no hard edges, as its acidity, tannin, and alcohol are beautifully meshed with copious quantities of ripe fruit. This wine offers early drinking, yet has the potential to last for 30+ years. (RP)
Full, deep red with an amber rim. Distinctly sauvage aromas of redcurrant, coffee, leather, game and spicecake. Suave, seamless and fully mature, offering a plush texture and moderate sweetness to its slightly decadent flavors of currant, leather, smoke, mocha, earth and fresh herbs. This wild boy is at its apogee right now, although some tasters may find it too funky. Finishes classically dry, with dusty sweet tannins and considerable sex appeal. (ST)
Dark-hued, rich and intense, deftly balanced, with a pretty array of ripe currant, anise, black cherry and plum. Concentrated, with firm tannins, it finishes with a bold, rich aftertaste that shows off cedar, sage and pretty earthy nuances. (JL)
Mid ruby with a lightly animal note that threw us blind tasters off the scent completely. We hovered and havered between the southern Rhône and right bank bordeaux (which, in a way, a long way, it sort of is). Very sweet and transparent, a bit like a mature Châteauneuf! We should have ignored the fact that our host's cellar is 90% French... It didn't seem to have that much more life in it but was an attractive notably ripe drink. (JR)
97 point update from Wine Advocate's Lisa Perrotti-Brown, in contributor blog Wine Journal: "Deep garnet-brick colored, this has quite a perfumed nose with notes of potpourri, game, anise, baking spices and kirsch plus hints of toast and yeast extract. Generously fruited and full bodied, it offers a medium-firm level of grainy tannins, crisp acid and a long, layered finish." (1/2011) Also 95 points, Advocate's Neal Martin: "A dark garnet core, much more opaque than I was expecting. The nose soars from the glass: meaty, savoury, touches of peppermint lacing the ripe blackberry fruit. Great definition. The palate is full-bodied with a soft entry, superb structure with Asian spice, white pepper. It does actually remind me of a Pomerol towards the off-dry finish. Great length and vigour: a wine with a long, long future ahead. Drink 2014-2030+ Tasted February 2009."