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£164.00 DP

Average critic rating : 95.33 points



There are 6,500 cases of the superb 2006 Dominus (91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petit Verdot). Its dark plum/purple color is accompanied by aromas and flavors of truffles, forest floor, black cherries, black currants, and Asian spices. One of the finest wines of the vintage, it is complete, full-bodied, and seamlessly built with beautiful ripe tannins, low acidity, and a luscious, layered mouthfeel. The aromatics are even more evolved and complex than the 2005's. The 2006 should drink well for 20-25 years.

Christian Moueix, Dominus’ owner, has purchased the 35-acre Swanson Vineyard, which is situated between the well-known California bistros, Brix and Mustard’s. I suspect that will result in a third label from Dominus. At present, the production from these large holdings in Yountville is approximately 10,000-12,000 cases, with the second wine, Napanook, representing 3,500-4,000 cases, depending on the vintage. It is ironic that Christian Moueix, the great Merlot specialist at his flagship chateaux in Pomerol, especially Petrus, prefers the other Bordeaux varietals at his Napa property. Interestingly, when I visit Dominus, they always open a fresh bottle and serve it alongside a bottle that has been decanted for 24 hours. On each occasion, the more complex, open wine is the one that has had 24 hours of aeration, something buyers of this wine should take into consideration. These are the two strongest back to back vintages for Dominus since 1990-1991 and 2001-2002. Dec 2008,, Drink: 2008-2033



Starting to take on the tertiary character of ripe fruit and savory components with dusty tannins. Full and round with a lovely texture and a light salty, meaty and tobacco character. Forest floor. Sweet and sour. Just opening. Apr 2012,



Bright red-ruby. Lovely floral lift contributes precision to the aromas of raspberry, rose petal and licorice. Sweet, high-pitched and sharply delineated; velvety but not thick. There's a juicy quality to the ripe red fruit, mineral and graphite flavors, not to mention a firm underlying spine, that promises a long and positive evolution in bottle. Quite young but not austere, finishing with building tannins and lovely lift. The lingering perfume of red fruits, pepper, flowers and licorice is unusually complex. A really superb 2006, seemingly every bit as good as the sensational 2005. 94+. May 2008,

Christian Moueix/Dominus: The Importance

Christian Moueix is seen by many to be the one of the most important men in wine. Named Decanter Man of the Year in 2008 and as president of Bordeaux négociant Établissements Jean-Pierre Moueix (JP Moueix), Christian Moueix has overseen production of several estates in Saint-Émilion and Pomerol, including Pétrus and Château Trotanoy.


However, it is Moueix’s work across the Atlantic that is currently turning heads: he is the founder and owner of Dominus, the Californian cult label with the pedigree of top-class right-bank Bordeaux. To quote Robert Parker: “The Dominus wines possess a distinctive French character… The wines go from strength to strength and are meant to age for 20 to 25 years. They represent profound expressions of Napa Cabernet Sauvignon made in the style of an outstanding Bordeaux.


Christian Moueix/Dominus: The Insight

As might be expected from a man who played an instrumental part in the evolution of Pétrus, Moueix’s Dominus is a simply brilliant wine. The essence of Bordeaux runs through the DNA of Dominus, complementing the Napa terroir beautifully. Low yields result in dense, concentrated wines, which Robert Parker comments “smell like a hypothetical blend of a top Napa Cabernet Sauvignon and a serious Bordeaux, possibly a cross blend of a Pomerol and Pauillac.”


Typically complex, with intense aromatics and full-bodied, Cabernet-dominated flavours, the estate's two chief wines - the Dominus and Napanook proprietary reds - are, quite simply, the perfect blends of the best of Bordeaux and the best of California. The first vintage of Dominus was 1983 while the first of Napanook was 1996. With 100 Robert Parker points apiece, the Dominus 2010 and 2013 are the two showstoppers, but plenty more follow hot on their heels, such as the 1991, 1994, 2002 and 2008.


Christian Moueix/Dominus: The Background

Moueix first fell in love with Napa Valley in the 1960s while attending the University of California. On graduating he returned home to manage the family vineyards, including those of Pétrus, La Fleur-Pétrus, Trotanoy and Magdelaine. However he could not resist Napa’s siren call forever, and in 1980s he took joint possession of the historic Napanook vineyard, a 124 acre site credited with producing the fruit of the some of Napa’s greatest historic wines. By 1995, Moueix was the vineyard’s sole owner. In 1997 construction was completed on the Dominus winery, a striking combination of metal and rock designed by famous Swiss architect duo Jacques Herzog & Pierre de Meuron. It was the architects’ first project in the US, and has been described by some as “the stealth winery” for the way that it seems to vanish into the surrounding landscape.


Though the estate has been in production in Yountville's Napanook in the foothills of the Mayacamas for more than twenty years, the recent vintages have been some of the most remarkable in Dominus' impressive history, with near-perfect scores awarded for its 2012 and 2013 vintages, bringing it to the fore of Napa's roster of icon wines. He called the estate Dominus and the rest is a modern winemaking success story.

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