2012 Dominus "Napanook" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend

SKU #1203891 95 points James Suckling

 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%.  (4/2015)

94 points Vinous

 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)  (10/2015)

93 points 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)  (10/2015)

90-92 points 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)  (4/2014)

Wine Spectator

 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.  (11/2015)

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Price: $64.99
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Staff Image By: Trey Beffa | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/22/2016 | Send Email
In 1994, Dominus created “Napanook”: a label that featured the young vine fruit from the newer plantings. As these vines have gotten older, the second wine has gotten stronger and stronger. The wine has taken a huge jump in quality thanks to the maturity of the vines. The 2012 Napanook is a delicious Cabernet that shows a medium body, lovely spice, cedar, red fruits and juicy integrated tannin. Very approachable right now!

Staff Image By: Daniel Maas | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/4/2015 | Send Email
From famed Bordeaux producer Christian Mouiex comes this, the second wine to Dominus. Napanook has always been an incredibly well-made Bordeaux blend, and this new vintage is no exception. Full-bodied and rich on dark fruit, licorice, and toasty oak, the wine has a long finish and pronounced hints of herbs. An amazing pairing with that nice, thick porterhouse!

Staff Image By: Keith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/4/2015 | Send Email
The second wine from Dominus is always a little more forward and fleshy than its big brother. The 2012 is no different, and I couldn't be happier. Think about the deep rich fruit, supple tannins and loads of currants and blackberries. Basically, baby Dominus, that you can drink now, and one-third the price. Sold!

Staff Image By: Olivia Ragni | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/4/2015 | Send Email
A fuller, plusher style of the typically restrained Napanook with notes of plums, dried figs and dates, and coffee grounds. Big and bold, this vintage is sure to age for years, even decades to come.

Staff Image By: Christie Brunick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/4/2015 | Send Email
The 2012 Napanook is the second label from the 99-Robert-Parker-point 2012 Dominus and is just about the best value I've seen for this pedigree of fruit in years! This Napa Valley Bordeaux blend should constitute a wine that's triple in price! A bit more plush and forward than the usual restrained and more lean style of Napanook, but with all the structure and finesse that will keep this baby aging gracefully for decades to come. I love it now, but I will love, love, love it in 5 to 15 years!

Additional Information:


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 Médoc 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.

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.


- 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.
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.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.5