2013 Dominus "Napanook" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend

SKU #1215825 97 points James Suckling

 Fabulous nose of mushrooms, like porcini, with black truffle that turns to citrus fruits such as orange and tangerine. Some vine bark. Full-bodied yet wonderfully firm and formed with refined and polished tannins. Super definition.  (1/2015)

95 points Vinous

 Just as magnificent from bottle as it was in barrel, the 2013 Napanook is dense, powerful and brooding, with searing intensity and extraordinary balance. Lavender, plums, violets, licorice and smoke are some of the signatures, but the 2013 exudes finesse, power and intensity. Bracing and searing, the 2013 is going to require quite a bit of patience. If anything, this is an insane level of quality for the second selection. The 2013 could turn out to be a thirty year old wine. It is every bit that magnificent, especially if given some aeration. (AG)  (10/2015)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 There are 2,000 cases of the 2013 Napanook Proprietary Red Wine, a blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc. This wine reflects the much higher quality that’s emerging with the second wine of Dominus, which has really become almost its own entity. Loads of loamy soil notes, grilled herbs, meat, blackcurrants, sweet kirsch and licorice are all present in this medium to full-bodied, lush, sexy wine, even in 2013. (RP)  (10/2015)

93 points Wine Enthusiast

 The estate Napanook is made to be soft in tannin and fresh in fruit. It succeeds in this vintage on both accounts, blending 92% Cabernet Sauvignon with 5% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc, allowing the wine to age in 20% new barrels. Clove, currant, black tea and chocolate-covered raspberry lie luxuriously on the palate, finishing in velvety violet. *Cellar Selection* (VB)  (11/2016)

92 points Decanter

 Red and black fruits, graphite, plum sauce and incipient notes of tobacco and umami introduce a nicely integrated and harmonious Napanook, the most elegant rendition of this cuvée I've encountered. While this is serious wine in its own right, it will give more immediate gratification than its grander sibling. (WK)  (5/2016)

91 points Wine & Spirits

 This is a selection from Christian Moueix’s estate on the western edge of Yountville, where only 25 percent of the vintage went into Dominus. Napanook tends to come from younger vines and the sunnier side of each vine row, as well as blocks to the east, where the influence of the rocky, benchland soils is less prevalent. Napanook takes on a coltish energy in the 2013 vintage. If you open the bottle and pour, you might find candied cherry flavors and firm, brisk tannins. A day later, that candied edge is gone, absorbed into the airy tannins, the tight, linear structure yielding mineral notes and juicy freshness. Give it hours in a decanter, or cellar it for at least five years.  (10/2016)

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Price: $79.99
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Staff Image By: Mari Keilman | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/2/2016 | Send Email
It's impossible to believe the Napanook is a second wine, but that's fine with me because it just means we get Dominus fruit and quality at a third of the price. The grapes that go into the Napanook come off of the exact same vines that produce the Dominus Estate. The only difference; sun exposure. With the vines oriented West to East, the sun hits the fruit on different sides of the vine at different times in the day. One side gets the bright, early morning sun, while the other receives the hot, golden afternoon sun that peaks right before sunset. These differing sun exposures creates unique phenolic ripeness depending on which side of the vine the grapes lie on and Dominus takes this into account and chooses to bottle them separately. What you get from the ’13 Napanook is the same quality, structure and ageability as the Dominus Estate but with a touch more accessibility. This Bordeaux blend is intense, concentrated and structured with a sweet mid-palate ripeness of dark black, brooding fruits, and an almost savory sanguine character. The dense silky texture is matched with some young, grippy tannins that will integrate with just a little bit of time in bottle. What truly showcases the Dominus fruit is how glorious this wine is going to age. The Napanook will be phenomenal with just a short amount of aging and can be continually enjoyed over the years as you wait for the ’13 Dominus Estate to properly age.

Staff Image By: Andrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/2/2016 | Send Email
While this isn't the 3x100 point masterpiece that is the 2013 Dominus, it is a wonderful alternative at a spectacular price. Truly a second wine of the Dominus, the Napanook possesses an incredible level of depth and concentration. The intensity of the blue and black fruits is mesmerizing. The palate is clean, pure, and full bodied without an ounce of extra fat or fluff. Everything is in perfect balance. The alcohol is just high enough to add a smooth glycerol weight, but low enough to leave the wine feeling cool and complete. With all of the hype of the 2013 vintage in Napa and the accompanying price increases, this is absolutely a top value. Don't miss it.
Top Value!

Staff Image By: Kirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/1/2016 | Send Email
It is crazy to think that this is a second wine. This wine has more structure, complexity and polish than most wines that are significantly more expensive. While "Bordeaux blend" is often used to describe the varietals used in a blend, it almost never make me think of Bordeaux wine. Here is does, this is Napa Valley Bordeaux. Dark fruits, earthy mineral tones, cigar box; sounds like Bordeaux right, wrong its Napanook. This has great concentration and structure, drink it now or cellar it for a decade. Just like a great Bordeaux, only better? Once you taste this you'll understand where I am coming from. Oh, and by the way, all the grapes for this wine come from the same vines as Dominus.

Staff Image By: Bryan Brick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/1/2016 | Send Email
The 2013 Dominus is one of the most heralded wines I’ve seen in quite some time from California, with its multiple 100 point scores collectors have been ringing our phones off the hook for months looking for any way to make sure they are able to secure the wine for themselves. While that wine is just a bit away from release the 2013 Napanook is here and is one of the best values of the tremendous 2013 vintage in the Napa Valley. Made from the exact same vineyard and in the exact same way as the Dominus this wine is about three times less expensive than its big brother and should age almost as long. Tightly wound and powerful on the nose this wine is all about tension and inky weight. The word monolithic came to mind with brooding dark fruit and woody, tannic intensity. In fact I’ve tasted past vintages of Dominus that weren’t this wound up in their adolescence. Savory olive, fresh thyme, black fruits, asphalt and hardwood combine for a powerful and earthen wine. Simply put I was blown away by the intensity, concentration and power of this wine. A cellar wine for sure, in fact if you want to drink this before it’s 10th birthday I think you’d be doing the wine a great disservice. This is one for the cellar for sure.

Staff Image By: Brian Allie | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/1/2016 | Send Email
What a spectacular experience it was to taste this at Dominus! And what a taste it was! Bright and lovely with black and red berries on the nose. Cherry and plum flavors come through wonderfully, with a bit of dark chocolate. Fresh floral notes and a lovely minerality tie this wine to together. It was like velvet on the palate. Highly recommended!

Staff Image By: Ryan Moses | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/1/2016 | Send Email
Tasted at the winery following the '12. While the previous vintage was defined by a cool purity and elegance, the 2013 is a much more compact and juicy style of Napanook. While the "Grand Vin" at Dominus reflected a tightly wound First Growth, Napanook seems to show more of a robust Napa character in 2013. All that being said, it is a ton of wine for the going price (especially for the heart of Napa) and considering it comes from the triple 100-point Dominus vines, I'd expect this will be quickly snatched up by collectors.

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