1996 Dominus Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend

SKU #301104 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 1996 Dominus, a blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, 4% Merlot, and 4% Petit Verdot, tips the scales at 14.2% alcohol. Although this offering lacks the power, intensity, and compelling characteristics of the 1991 and 1994, it is not far off the pace of those two monumental wines. A super nose of roasted coffee, chocolate, dried herbs, black fruits and kirsch is both intense and persuasive. The wine displays terrific richness, medium to full body, low acidity, a succulent, opulent texture, and superb purity. This beautifully made 1996 is one of the few wines that has successfully tamed the vintage's elevated tannin level. It should be relatively drinkable upon its release, yet evolve nicely for two decades. Impressive! (RP)  (12/1998)

94 points James Suckling

 Really impressed how balanced and refined the wine is. The texture is so silky and beautiful, and the fruit pure, even more satisfying. Perfect to drink now.  (3/2012)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Full, saturated red-ruby. Dusty black cherry, plum, game, woodsmoke, herbs and a suggestion of leafy cabernet franc on the nose. Thick and lush in the mouth, with the extravagant sweetness of the best '96s. This has good structure and grip, but there plenty of deep fruit to buffer the substantial tannins. This wine and the '97 were both vinified by David Ramey before he moved on to Rudd Estate. (ST)  (7/1999)

90 points Wine Spectator

 Complex, with mature herb, currant, anise and sage notes that are reminiscent of an aged Bordeaux. Ends with a supple texture, fine-grained tannins and good length. (JL, Web-2007)

Jancis Robinson

 Made at Rombauer winery. Bright crimson with a ruby rim. Bright red fruits with some tertiary aromas. Quite elegant and Christian Moueix admits it's one of the most bordelais of the Dominuses. Dry and fully evolved. Beautiful silky texture and very dry finish. Á good but not great vintage.  (3/2014)

K&L Notes

Rated 95 points from Wine Advocate's Lisa Perotti-Brown: "Medium garnet-brick colour. Complex, evolved aromas of black olive, dried cherries, bacon fat, graphic, balsamic, soy and a touch of truffle. The palate is finely knit with crisp acidity and a medium level of very fine tannins pulling together fruit a well balanced amount of earthy / savoury fruit. Very long finish." (In Asia, 5/2010)

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Price: $179.99

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Additional Information:

Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the M├ędoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.