1997 Dominus Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Saturated ruby-red. Multidimensional nose offers a panoply of scents: black plum, currant, leather, smoked meat, cigar ash, lead pencil, sandalwood, dark chocolate, licorice, brown sugar. Very bright and sharply defined; flavors of plum, leather, hot stones and lead pencil. An impeccably balanced wine of compelling sweetness, but rather dominated today by its structure. Strong, thoroughly ripe tannins spread out to coat the entire palate. Very long and subtle.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 1997 Dominus, a blend of 86.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Cabernet Franc, and 4.5% Merlot, is showing fabulously well. With 14.1% alcohol and a pH that would make many New World oenologists shudder (about 3.95), this wine is a fleshy, silky-textured, opulent wine with a gorgeous nose of roasted herbs, coffee, jammy black cherry and plum-like fruit. Asian spice, licorice, and blackberry and cherry notes with tobacco spice all add to this complex, very involved, yet gorgeously symmetrical Dominus. The wine is medium to full-bodied, very concentrated, and silky-textured. It is gorgeous to drink now, but should age easily for 10-15 years.
A wine of substance and depth. Dark, rich and polished, with complex notes of earthy, meaty currant, anise, spice, cedar and leather, fanning out on the finish. Young and concentrated. Better than previously reviewed.
Bloom was brief in the dry spring of 1997, which contributed to a uniform ripeness after a long, dry season. Harvest started early in September in this near-perfect vintage.