In the late 1960s, christian moueix fell in love with the napa valley and its wines...

In the late 1960s, while attending the University of California at Davis, Christian Moueix fell in love with the Napa Valley and its wines. son of Jean-Pierre Moueix, the famed wine merchant and producer FROM Libourne, France, Moueix returned home in 1970 to manage the family vineyards, including chateaux Petrus, La Fleur-Petrus, Trotanoy in Pomerol and Magdelaine in Saint Emilion.

His love of Napa Valley lingered and, in 1981, he discovered the historic Napanook vineyard, a 124-acre site west of Yountville that had been the source of fruit for some of the finest Napa Valley wines of the 1940s and 1950s. In 1982, Moueix entered into a partnership to develop the vineyard and, in 1995, became its sole owner. He chose the name 'Dominus' or' Lord of the Estate' in Latin to underscore his longstanding commitment to stewardship of the land.

Rooted in values of quality, stewardship, tradition and innovation, the Dominus Estate team shares a vision of producing distinctive wines that express the essence of the historic Napanook vineyard.

Dominus Estate Values>

Early morning harvest at dominus estate

We are committed to making balanced wines of exceptional quality, which, through clear vision, intellectual rigor and unceasing effort, express the characteristics of our terroir.

At Dominus Estate, we combine centuries-old traditions of grapegrowing and winemaking with innovative practices to transform the highest quality grapes into fine wines with a great potential for aging.

Our respect for the land and the history of this place underlies our role as caretakers of the vineyard and our commitment to conveying a property that is improved for future generations.

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One of the most respected wine producers in the world, Christian Moueix is on a personal quest for perfection in grapegrowing and winemaking. It is a journey that began in Bordeaux and continues today at Dominus Estate, where he has instilled his philosophy and inspired his team to share his values. To walk the vineyard with Christian is to witness a commitment to the land, a strong sense of purpose and the modest soul of a man of the vines.

Download Christian Moueix Bio>

Christian Moueix

Gently sloping from the foothills of the mayacamas
Range in the yountville appellation, dominus estate is
Sited on the historic napanook vineyard...

Enjoying a temperate climate, the Napanook vineyard's volcanic, well draining soils are specifically suited to growing Cabernet Sauvignon and the other Bordeaux varietals which compose the Dominus Estate wines.

In 1838, George Yount, who gave his name to the nearby town of Yountville, planted some of the first vines of the valley here. In 1850, he sold the land to Charles Hopper, another early settler, as part of a significant land purchase extending to the north. Since that time, the Estate has had several esteemed owners, including Hugh La Rue, a pioneer in the use of rootstocks, and John Daniel, the owner of Inglenook, who added the grapes from the Napanook Vineyard in the Inglenook blend from 1943.

Vineyard Facts> Timeline>

Historic napanook vineyard

103 acres planted

Varietals planted: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot

Soil Type: gravelly and clay loam

Climate: warm dry summers tempered by cooling breezes from the san pablo bay. Cold, wet winters. Mid-valley location affords moderate temperatures.

dry farmed

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Timeline

Rancho caymus, an 11,814-acre land grant in present day napa county is given to George C. Yount by the mexican government. named for a subgroup of the mishewal-wappo indians, the rancho included present-day yountville, oakville and rutherford.

The napanook vineyard is purchased by john daniel, whose inglenook cabernet sauvignon is regarded as one of the finest wines ever produced in the napa valley.

Christian Moueix begins farming the Napanook Vineyard.

Christian Moueix reviews the Quality of the Grapes to be used in the first Vintage of Dominus.

Dominus Estate produces its first vintage of Napanook.

Herzog and de Meuron complete the winery, their first commission in the United States. They were awarded the Pritzker prize in 2001.

Moueix purchases Schmidt ranch, a 40-acre property located in Oakville, one mile north of Dominus Estate.

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John Daniel being interviewed by
KSFO in the Napanook Vineyard

Christian Moueix's deep respect for history and his commitment to conveying the land to future generations underlies the role of the Dominus Estate team as caretakers of the land. Since its inception in 1983, Dominus Estate has been a community leader in sustainability and environmental stewardship, at the forefront of preserving the environment.

Sustainability at Dominus Estate>

Christian moueix and winemaker
Tod mostero in the napanook vineyard

Sustainability at Dominus Estate

Erosion controls protect the Hopper Creek watershed,
home to native salmon and other species.

Dry farming conserves water.

Passive cooling of the winery reduces energy
consumption.

Cover crops naturally replenish the soil, prevent erosion and support beneficial insects for pest management.

Electric golf carts conserve gasoline, minimize dust and
reduce soil compaction.

Owl boxes and bluebird houses provide homes to natural
predators of vine pests and rodents.

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Spring cover crop

Protecting Hopper Creek

 

Winding its way through the Napanook Vineyard, the Hopper Creek Tributary to the Napa River is an important habitat for native Pacific Coast Steelhead Salmon. Restoration of this waterway has created a more hospitable environment for spawning and migration of native wildlife. Additionally, the removal of non-native plants has benefited both indigenous species and vineyard health.

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Hopper Creek

Completed in 1997 by the visionary Swiss architects, Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, the Dominus Estate winery is perfectly integrated into its landscape, offering panoramic views of the vineyard and hillsides. With its gabion facade, the winery seems to dissolve into its surroundings, an intentional effect, underscoring the importance of the vineyard in the production of a great wine.

The winery was Herzog and de Meuron's first project outside of Europe. from Basel, Switzerland, The architects have since constructed numerous renowned buildings, including the Tate Modern in London, the Allianz Stadium in Munich, the Prada boutique in Tokyo, the de Young Museum in San Francisco and the "Bird's Nest" stadium in Beijing. In 2001, they were awarded the Pritzker Prize, contemporary architecture's highest award.

Winery Features>

Entrance to the Winery facing West

Winery Features

 

Measurements: 446' x 26' x 80' (136m x 8m x 24m).

Tilt-up concrete structure with gabion exterior cladding.

Gabions filled with basalt rocks from nearby American Canyon.

Gabions provide insulation from heat and cold and allow natural light to filter into interior spaces.

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Images
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The winery’s western exterior passageway

Gabion facade captures and dissipates thermal energy

Winery interior

"A wine is only as good as the grapes
from which it is produced...", Christian Moueix

Meticulous efforts are made throughout the seasons to produce grapes of the highest quality for Dominus and Napanook wines.

Viticultural Practices>

Christian moueix has practiced crop thinning
since the first vintage of dominus

Viticulture Practices at Dominus Estate

During the winter season, precise cane pruning
ensures ideal cluster spacing for optimal fruit ripening.

Dry farming relies on a deep root system to take
advantage of natural water sources from rain and
underground supplies.

the french plough removes invasive weeds and
encourages deep root growth.

cluster thinning optimizes quality through
yield regulation.

Strategic trellising ensures perfect canopy management.

Frequent grape sampling provides invaluable data
for determining optimal ripeness.

Rinsing the grapes 10 to 15 days before harvest
removes dust and enhances the purity of the fruit.

Hand-picking with small french shears instead of
harvest knives minimizes bruising and vine damage.

small harvest baskets preserve the integrity of
the clusters as they are transported to the winery.

the sunny side of the vines is picked a few days before
the shady side respecting perfect maturity.

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Images
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Grapes are hand picked with small
shears at the time of harvest

Individual berries are frequently sampled
for quality and size prior to harvest

Dry farming is more than just avoiding irrigation of the vines. It is an active form of preserving moisture in the ground through the use of cover crops and careful cultivation so that irrigation is not needed. The reward is wines that are deeply connected to the soil and complex in flavor.

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Cover crops and careful cultivation with the french plough

Dominus Estate wines are meticulously made with an objective of purity, balance and complexity. Minimal intervention and restraint throughout the process of grape berry selection, fermentation and aging preserve the character of the fruit. The resulting wines convey the very personality of the Napanook vineyard.

Winemaking at Dominus Estate>

Tasting in the winery’s technical tasting room

Winemaking at Dominus Estate

Separate lot-by-lot fermentation.

cluster sorting by hand is complemented by an
optical berry sorting system.

Gentle pumping-over extracts aromas, color and tannins.

Vertical wine press at low pressure delicately releases
components from the skin.

Racking barrel to barrel in 100% French oak
removes sediment and assures clarification of the
wine during aging.

Egg white fining eliminates impurities.

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Images
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Meticulous cluster and individual berry sorting

Vertical wine press

Individual lot samples during fermentation

The Vistalys Optical Sorter is an automated berry sorting system using image analysis to eliminate unwanted elements, like stems, at a rate of up to ten tons an hour.

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THE VISTALYS TARGETS AND DISCARDS IMPERFECT BERRIES

The vistalys targets and discards imperfect berries

The vistalys evaluates and sorts
each grape berry individually

Dominus Estate Winemaking is inspired by the
Tradition of Classic Bordeaux Wines...

Known for its complexity and balance, dominus demonstrates the potential of a wine produced on exceptional terroir. Structured, seamless and perfectly integrated, dominus is an elegant wine that
improves with age.

We recommend decanting the wine prior to serving, to allow it to develop its full potential, particularly when serving young dominus wines.

Vintage summaries>

Napanook is a blend of bordeaux varietals specifically selected from the estate vineyard for their lively fruit and bold character. Napanook wines are youthful and exuberant, meant to be enjoyed regularly when a more casual wine is called for.

Vintage summaries>

Due to a restrictive napa valley winery use permit, we are not open to the public. Please accept our sincere apologies.

contact us> Image Library>

Vintage summaries

Locate Dominus Wines>

DOMINUS 2011

2011 DOMINUS

The 2011 vintage displays fresh almond, wild strawberry and cassis. The wine has delicate notes of smooth caramel.  Polished tannins, dark berries, cocoa and sage accompany a long elegant finish.

The 2011 vintage is composed of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot, and 5% Cabernet Franc.

We recommend decanting the wine prior to serving, to allow it to develop its full potential.  This is especially important when serving young Dominus wines.

VINTAGE SUMMARY

A vintage that demanded experience and selection, 2011 was characterized by unusually wet conditions. The growing season began with a cold spring, delaying bloom after an early budbreak. Summer’s average temperatures prolonged the growing season. Rains at the beginning of October precipitated a selective harvest, where our Bordeaux experience of such conditions proved to be very useful.

BEGINNING DATE OF HARVEST: October 15

FINAL DATE OF HARVEST: October 24

PERCENTAGE OF NEW BARRELS: 40%

TIME IN BARREL: 18 months

BOTTLING DATE: July 2013

9-LITER CASES PRODUCED: 5000

RELEASE DATE: April 2014

Dominus Vintage Summaries

DOMINUS 2010

The Dominus 2010 displays compelling notes of black cherries and plums as well as a hint of graphite and sandalwood. With a round and sweet attack, the chiseled and deftly polished tannins give a savory evolution. Its finish is long and replete with cedar, anise and cacao.

The 2010 vintage is composed of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petit Verdot. In recent years the Napanook vineyard has undergone an extensive replanting program. This, coupled with a rigorous selection of lots for the final blend resulted in the smallest quantity of Dominus produced since 1984.

We recommend decanting the wine prior to serving, to allow it to develop its full potential.  This is especially important when serving young Dominus wines.

Vintage Summary

The 2010 season began with a cool and wet spring, resulting in a late bud break, flowering and veraison. Summer was also cool but a record-breaking heat wave (107°F) marked the end of August. The heat of late summer and early fall resulted in an extraordinary concentration of tannins and color. While the high temperatures dramatically reduced yields for Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, the Cabernet Sauvignon thrived in the late season warmth.

BEGINNING DATE OF HARVEST: October 4

FINAL DATE OF HARVEST: October 23

PERCENTAGE OF NEW BARRELS: 40%

TIME IN BARREL: 18 months

BOTTLING DATE: July 2012

9-LITER CASES PRODUCED: 3000

RELEASE DATE: June 2013

Dominus Vintage Summaries

DOMINUS 2009

The Dominus 2009 exemplifies the finest qualities of Cabernet Sauvignon from an ideal vintage. The nose, at once powerful yet restrained, is dense and filled with pure dark berry fruit and hints of sandalwood. On the palate is a harmonious blend of fresh plum and focused minerality with tannins that are firm, round and elegant. Spherical in quality, this wine is complete from start to finish. A sublime vintage.

The 2009 vintage is composed of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Petit Verdot.

We recommend decanting the wine prior to serving, to allow it to develop its full potential.  This is especially important when serving young Dominus wines.

Vintage Summary:

2009 was characterized by an ideal season. Plentiful rainfall in February and May abated winter drought concerns, and a mild spring with few temperature fluctuations contributed to even bud break and healthy bloom. Summer temperatures were consistently warm, without excessive heat spikes, and a long Indian summer allowed the berries to develop perfect complexity and ripeness. Harvest was an intense effort, beginning on October 5th and was completed on October 12th, just before the heavy rainfall on October 13th.  

BEGINNING DATE OF HARVEST:  October 5

FINAL DATE OF HARVEST:  October 12

PERCENTAGE OF NEW BARRELS:  40%

TIME IN BARREL:  18 months

BOTTLING DATE:  June 2011

9-LITER CASES PRODUCED:  6000

RELEASE DATE: May 2012

Dominus Vintage Summaries

DOMINUS 2008

Dominus 2008 is a wine of great purity and definition, with distinct berry aromas and a supple yet precise palate. Deep blackberry and dark plums complement fine mineral notes. This wine is intensely perfumed, velvety and ethereal.

The 2008 vintage is a blend of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Cabernet Franc, and
4% Petit Verdot.

We recommend decanting the wine prior to serving, to allow it to develop its full potential. This is especially important when serving young Dominus wines.

Vintage Summary:

A challenging year for viticulturists yet extremely rewarding for winemakers, 2008 was conditioned by uncommonly low precipitation throughout the winter and spring. Starting in mid-March through late April, cold mornings threatened the young shoots with frost while dramatic temperature fluctuations during flowering hampered pollination, resulting in few berries per cluster. Reduced water reserves in the soil limited vigor, decreased berry size and generated record low yields. With six days over 100ºF, the summer was warm; a peak of 104ºF was recorded on August 28th. The end of September marked the start of a quick and high-quality harvest characterized by evenly ripened grapes.

BEGINNING DATE OF HARVEST: September 19

FINAL DATE OF HARVEST: October 3

PERCENTAGE OF NEW BARRELS: 40%

MONTHS IN BARREL: 18

BOTTLING DATE: June 2010

9-LITER CASES PRODUCED: 4500

RELEASE DATE: June 2011

Dominus Vintage Summaries

DOMINUS 2007

Dominus 2007 is a seamless “haute coutur” estate wine with an intensely aromatic nose and perfectly elegant palate. Notes of ripe red cherries, fresh almonds, pomegranate and blond tobacco precede sweet tannins and a wonderful, bright finish with great length. It is youthful, noble and discreet.

The 2007 vintage is a blend of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petit Verdot.

We recommend decanting the wine prior to serving, to allow it to develop its full potential. This is especially important when serving young Dominus wines.

Vintage Summary:

The 2007 vintage began dry with some very cold days and single-digit nighttime temperatures in early January, and continued dry, with about 60% of normal precipitation through the spring. Temperatures were warmer than normal in April and May with resulting earlier budding, bloom and set. The summer growing season continued on the mild to cool side. There was a brief period of heat that spiked to 103° F on August 29th, but the temperatures cooled after several days. Clusters, as well as individual berries on the clusters were notably small and nicely concentrated in all varieties due to the dry season.

BEGINNING DATE OF HARVEST: September 11

FINAL DATE OF HARVEST: October 5

PERCENTAGE OF NEW BARRELS: 40%

TIME IN BARREL: 18 months

BOTTLING DATE: June 2009

9-LITER CASES PRODUCED: 5000

RELEASE DATE: June 2010

Dominus Vintage Summaries

DOMINUS 2006

The Dominus 2006 epitomizes the best qualities of Cabernet Sauvignon in a top terroir of Napa Valley. At first, the wine displays tremendous power. Then, it surprises by the purity of the fruit and the lingering finesse. It clearly possesses a fantastic aptitude for aging. We recommend decanting the wine prior to serving, to allow it to develop its full potential. This is especially important when serving young Dominus wines.

“When I drank Dominus 2006 in Europe recently, it confirmed what is for me the best definition of a great wine,” Christian Moueix declared. “This wine travels well. Dare I say that the 2006 vintage is our best so far.”

The 2006 blend is comprised of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petit Verdot. No Merlot was used in the blend this year.

Vintage Summary:

The 2006 growing season started late; bud-break was delayed by very wet and cold weather throughout winter and early spring. An exceptionally hot mid-summer season helped accelerate growth. By the end of July, when temperatures soared over 100° F on eight days, the vines had entered into a more typical cycle. Beautiful weather followed in August, with characteristic warm days and cool nights. Mid-veraison was observed on August 8. Mild temperatures throughout the months of September and October allowed for increased hang-time and favored perfect ripening.

BEGINNING DATE OF HARVEST: October 2

FINAL DATE OF HARVEST: October 26

PERCENTAGE OF NEW BARRELS: 40%

TIME IN BARREL: 16 months

BOTTLING DATE: June 2008

9-LITER CASES PRODUCED: 6000

RELEASE DATE: June 2009

Dominus Vintage Summaries

DOMINUS 2005

In 2005, weather, budbreak and set were ideal, allowing us to harvest quality grapes and to reduce intervention in the cellar.

Dominus 2005 is dark red, almost deep crimson in color. The nose is dense and compact, filled with dark berries, blond tobacco, black cherries and cacao. The entry is both powerful and supple, spherical in quality. Perfectly ripe, the enveloped tannins are firm, rounded and elegant. Black fruit and licorice linger throughout the evolution in mouth, well-balanced and harmonious. A superb vintage.

The 2005 blend consists of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petit Verdot. No Merlot was used in the blend this year.

This wine clearly has tremendous aging potential. We recommend decanting the wine prior to serving, to allow it to develop its full potential. This is especially important when serving young Dominus wines.

Vintage Summary:

The winter was typical, with only slightly above-average rainfall. We received 28″ during the winter, 6″ in March and 4″ in May. Rains were light and spread out over 68 days. Temperatures throughout the season were quite moderate; we saw a cool spring that delayed budbreak, and a summer without excessive heat. 2005 was a year with only 23 days over 90° F, and one day over 100° F – July 23rd. The beautiful weather contributed to a long growing season and very even ripening. With no threat of a heat wave or rain during the harvest period, the grapes reached full maturity at a slow, steady pace.

BEGINNING DATE OF HARVEST: September 29

FINAL DATE OF HARVEST: October 20

PERCENTAGE OF NEW BARRELS: 40%

TIME IN BARREL: 17 months

BOTTLING DATE: July 2007

9-LITER CASES PRODUCED: 7000

RELEASE DATE: June 2008

Dominus Vintage Summaries

DOMINUS 2004

In 2004, we had the shortest growing season in recent history. We saw an early budbreak followed by a warm spring and summer, and an early harvest.

The 2004 vintage is deep red in color, with an intense nose of vanilla, black currants and cedar. The elegant integration of the tannins and fruit is noticed immediately. Flavors of warm mulled spices on the mid-palate complement the balanced and complex structure. The long, aromatic finish exhibits notes of leather and cardamom.

The 2004 blend is comprised of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc, and 7% Petit Verdot. No Merlot was used in the blend this year.

The wine is charming and fragrant, and will age gracefully. We recommend decanting the wine prior to serving, to allow it to develop its full potential. This is especially important when serving young Dominus wines.

Vintage Summary:

The winter was normal with moderate rainfall. The vineyard received over 11 inches of rain during 26 days in December, and 8 ½ inches of rain in February. Little rain fell during the spring. A heat wave in March prompted an early budbreak – we saw 11 days over 80° F. April was also warmer than average. All of this warm weather resulted in a short growing season and an early harvest – the earliest on record for Dominus. September was a hot month, with 13 days over 90°F and 3 days over 100°F. We maintained the integrity of the canopy to protect the grapes from the heat during their final stage of maturation.

BEGINNING DATE OF HARVEST: August 31

FINAL DATE OF HARVEST: September 26

PERCENTAGE OF NEW BARRELS: 40%

TIME IN BARREL: 14 months

BOTTLING DATE: August 2006

9-LITER CASES PRODUCED: 5600

RELEASE DATE: June 2007

Dominus Vintage Summaries

DOMINUS 2003

2003 will be remembered as a vintage with a very long growing season, one that continued into November for some blocks. The beautiful fall weather permitted the prolonged hang time, allowing the fruit to develop its complexity.

The 2003 vintage is plum in color, with an aromatic nose of violets, raspberries and worn leather. Flavors begin discretely with essences of cumin and dark red fruit that build up to a suppleness and elegance that is enveloping. The finish is long, fragrant and fresh, with an intensity of tobacco and truffle notes.

The 2003 blend is 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Petit Verdot. No Merlot was used in the blend this year.

The wine is charismatic, with a Bordeaux-like style. We recommend decanting the wine prior to serving, to allow it to develop its full potential. This is especially important when serving young Dominus wines.

Vintage Summary:

Between November and May, the vineyard received over 35 inches of rain, with December alone seeing over 16 inches. During the first six months of the vintage, there were 91 days of rain, with 9 days over 1 inch. April not only brought over 5 inches of rain, but was recorded as the coldest in decades. With cool spring temperatures, bloom occurred late in May – long after the rains had passed. Summer temperatures were above average, with 7 days topping 100° F between June and September. Steady temperatures allowed the fruit to mature slowly and evenly. October was exceptional – warm and dry, so the grapes were able to linger on the vines until perfect ripeness.

BEGINNING DATE OF HARVEST: October 3

FINAL DATE OF HARVEST: November 2

PERCENTAGE OF NEW BARRELS: 40%

TIME IN BARREL: 16 months

BOTTLING DATE: June 2005

9-LITER CASES PRODUCED: 5600

RELEASE DATE: June 2006

Dominus Vintage Summaries

DOMINUS 2002

Dominus Estate continues the tradition of producing a wine that expresses the characteristics of the Napanook Vineyard terroir. With small yields in 2002, fruit flavors were particularly intense.

The 2002 vintage exhibits a profoundness of color – a dark red that is nearly purple. The nose is immediate yet subtle, complex yet refined. It starts with an aroma of leather, continues with an essence of roasted almonds and finishes with a lingering reminiscence of blackberry. This wine is harmonious and balanced; tannins are integrated with flavors of caramel, cacao, cinnamon and warm chutney. The finish is expressive, feminine, aromatic and enduring.

The 2002 blend is comprised of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc, 3% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot.

2002 is a charming wine that will mature in the style of other great Dominus vintages. We recommend decanting the wine prior to serving, to allow it to develop its full potential. This is especially important when serving young Dominus wines.

Vintage Summary:

Rainfall in November and December was well above average at 9 inches and 15 inches respectively. The remainder of the winter and spring was rather dry, followed by an average rainfall in May. The winter and spring saw unsettled temperatures; a cool May and warm June affected the bloom, naturally reducing the crop size early in the growing season. Temperatures in July were average, followed by a slightly cooler August and normal September. It was a beautiful summer, without excesses. The season ended with morning fog which assured the last of the grapes to mature gently.

BEGINNING DATE OF HARVEST: September 9

FINAL DATE OF HARVEST: October 16

PERCENTAGE OF NEW BARRELS: 40%

TIME IN BARREL: 18 months

BOTTLING DATE: August 2004

9-LITER CASES PRODUCED: 5000

RELEASE DATE: September 2005

Dominus Vintage Summaries

DOMINUS 2001

2001 was characterized by an early bloom and long growing season that yielded grapes of exceptional maturity. The low rainfall brought stress to the vines, contributing to the intensity and complexity of the fruit.

The 2001 vintage has a dark ruby color with a luxuriant nose of licorice, exotic spices, Bing cherries and an essence of roses. This wine has the unique ability to be rich and complex while possessing a smooth and silky texture. The evolution of flavor develops like a crescendo into an intense finish of cloves and aromatic cassis.

The 2001 blend includes 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, 4% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot.

This elegant wine is truly a classic, and will benefit from years of aging. We recommend decanting the wine prior to serving, to allow it to develop its full potential. This is especially important when serving young Dominus wines.

Vintage Summary:

Well below-average rainfall characterized the winter, with the last precipitation on April 20, 2001. April got underway with a freeze on the 3rd, requiring diligent use of frost protection equipment. The remainder of the spring was warm and saw rapid growth and development of the vines. Bloom started in early May, well ahead of schedule. All indications pointed to a very good vintage. Moderately warm summer months provided conditions for slow maturation and even ripening. The cool month of September allowed the fruit to continue to mature slowly, which gave us the time to pay attention to even the smallest detail in each vineyard block.

BEGINNING DATE OF HARVEST: September 15

FINAL DATE OF HARVEST: October 13

PERCENTAGE OF NEW BARRELS: 40%

TIME IN BARREL: 18 months

BOTTLING DATE: August 2003

9-LITER CASES PRODUCED: 7000

RELEASE DATE: September 2004

Dominus Vintage Summaries

DOMINUS 2000

The first vintage of the new millennium will be remembered for its fine quality. This vintage was characterized by a rather normal growing season and an unusually long harvest- a year where careful planning resulted in a wine with fully-developed flavors and complexity.

The 2000 vintage has a deep ruby color with a complex nose of cloves, blackberries and dark chocolate. The structured tannins are enrobed with an enticing aroma. This wine explodes in the mid-palate, with essences of spices and worn leather. The long, lingering finish displays a harmony of tobacco, coffee and fruit.

The 2000 blend comprises 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Cabernet Franc, 5% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot.

This wine will age gracefully. We recommend decanting the wine prior to serving, to allow it to develop its full potential. This is especially important when serving young Dominus wines.

Vintage Summary:

The 2000 growing season started with a winter of average rainfall, but included 2.4 inches of rain in a single day in February. A warm and sunny spring resulted in a uniform budbreak. The bloom commenced in mid-May, during a period of light rain and cool temperatures, followed by warm and windy days. June saw a record high temperature of 109ºF on the 13th and 14th, but did not cause sunburn because of late leaf-picking. The remainder of the summer was ideal – warm days and cool nights. The average temperature was 83ºF in July and 85ºF in August. A little rain fell on August 30th and September 2nd, allowing a prolonged hang time for the grapes and the ability to reach full maturation. Following a heat spike of 105ºF on September 18th, the weather cooled. We finished our harvest prior to the rain that started October 10th, and concluded a quality vintage.

BEGINNING DATE OF HARVEST: August 30

FINAL DATE OF HARVEST: October 5

PERCENTAGE OF NEW BARRELS: 40%

TIME IN BARREL: 18 months

BOTTLING DATE: August 2002

9-LITER CASES PRODUCED: 6500

RELEASE DATE: June 2003

Dominus Vintage Summaries

DOMINUS 1999

The last vintage of the century will be remembered for its exceptional quality. This vintage was characterized by its extremely long growing season- a season where patience eventually paid dividends in the form of wine with outstanding character and complexity.

The 1999 vintage is beautifully harmonious with an inviting color and a very full body. This wine starts with a delicate entry of black cherry aromas, evolving toward impressively structured tannins. The long, fragrant finish reveals spicy notes and a hint of cedar.

The 1999 blend includes 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Cabernet Franc, 9% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot.

This wine is built to age. We recommend decanting this wine prior to serving, to allow it to develop its full potential. This is especially important when serving young wines.

Vintage Summary:

The 1999 growing season was noteworthy with a very dry winter, rather cold, followed by a cool spring and mild summer. The berries were quite small, resulting in distinctively concentrated wine that will need long cellaring to reveal its full potential. Due to the small berry size, the yield was very low- the lowest of the decade. Bottling was done one month earlier than usual to preserve the exceptional fruit character.

BEGINNING DATE OF HARVEST: September 14

FINAL DATE OF HARVEST: October 14

PERCENTAGE OF NEW BARRELS: 40%

TIME IN BARREL: 16 months

BOTTLING DATE: May 2001

9-LITER CASES PRODUCED: 7000

RELEASE DATE: July 2002

Dominus Vintage Summaries

DOMINUS 1998

Dominus, our premier wine, is produced from grapes grown on the renowned Napanook vineyard. These grapes are hand-selected from blocks that contain our older, mature vines. The 1998 crop was relatively small due to rigorous crop thinning, concentrating the flavors in the clusters that remained.

The 1998 vintage has a deep garnet robe with a complex nose of figs, tobacco, toasted hazelnuts and wild strawberries. The voluptuous texture is surrounded by sweet tannins, with a pleasant and harmonious finish.

The 1998 blend includes 73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc, 6% Merlot and 6% Petit Verdot.

We recommend decanting this wine prior to serving, to allow it to develop its full potential. This is especially important when serving young wines.

Vintage Summary:

1998 was the viticulturist’s year; very challenging in all aspects. The very heavy rainfall from November 1997 through May 1998, combined with a rather cool spring, caused an extremely long blooming period and a very late harvest. Persistent and severe crop thinning allowed the remaining grapes to reach their full maturity during the unexpectedly warm month of September.

BEGINNING DATE OF HARVEST: September 20

FINAL DATE OF HARVEST: October 22

AVERAGE DAYS OF CUVAISON: 18

PERCENTAGE OF NEW BARRELS: 40%

TIME IN BARREL: 18 months

BOTTLING DATE: July 2000

9-LITER CASES PRODUCED: 6000

RELEASE DATE: April 2001

Dominus Vintage Summaries

DOMINUS 1997

The 1997 Vintage has a deep ruby color and aromas of very ripe black currant, spices and mineral overtones. It exhibits power and elegance and finishes with substantial but silky rich tannins. A luscious and dense wine, it is delicious to drink now with a great aging potential.

The 1997 blend includes 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Merlot. The balance between the three varietals was excellent and no Petit Verdot was added to the blend.

As with all Dominus wines, we recommend decanting this wine prior to serving to allow it to develop its full potential.

Vintage Summary:

Substantial rains fell in December and January and were followed by a very dry spring. As the dry weather continued, the bloom started very early in mid-April and was relatively short. This would later make for uniformity of ripeness. By summer it was evident that the harvest would be large and that severe crop thinning was necessary. The favorable weather continued during the summer, which helped the maturation and improved the flavors of the Cabernets and Merlots. At the time of the harvest, the grapes were perfectly matured with refined tannins and a high concentration of flavors.

BEGINNING DATE OF HARVEST: September 4

FINAL DATE OF HARVEST: September 26

PERCENTAGE OF NEW BARRELS: 33%

TIME IN BARREL: 16 months

BOTTLING DATE: July 1999

9-LITER CASES PRODUCED: 8500

RELEASE DATE: April 2000

Dominus Vintage Summaries

DOMINUS 1996

The 1996 Vintage exhibits a deep garnet robe with ripe flavors of blackberries, dried cherries and hints of violets, allspice, vanilla and tobacco. Silky tannins and a long and complex finish balance its warm, luscious and elegant body.

The blend includes 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petite Verdot and 4% Merlot.

As with all Dominus wines, we recommend decanting this wine prior to serving to allow it to develop its full potential.

Vintage Summary:

The heavy rains of February and March were followed by a warm April and May which allowed good moisture for the growing season and an early budbreak. The warm weather continued in June and July and was followed by very hot days moderated by cold nights in August and September. These excellent growing conditions allowed the fruit to mature to full balanced maturity.

BEGINNING DATE OF HARVEST: September 6

FINAL DATE OF HARVEST: October 8

PERCENTAGE OF NEW BARRELS: 33%

TIME IN BARREL: 16 months

BOTTLING DATE: May 1998

9-LITER CASES PRODUCED: 8000

RELEASE DATE: April 1999

Dominus Vintage Summaries

DOMINUS 1995

Comparable in quality to the lovely 1992, the 1995 Dominus shows intense ruby color and ripe, handsomely balanced flavor. Lively and fresh, the nose has hints of raspberry. While tannins are present — as expected in so young a wine — their exceptional suppleness makes them discreet. With a few minutes in the glass, the wine evolves nicely and is very enjoyable to drink now.

The blend includes 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, 6% Merlot, and 4% Petit Verdot.

As with all Dominus wines, we recommend decanting this wine prior to serving, to allow it to develop its full potential.

Vintage Summary:

The spring of 1995 was cool and wet. Muddy soil made it difficult to get into vineyards to cultivate. Finally, the weather warmed up in June creating ideal conditions for bloom.

The summer and early fall were relatively mild leading to a prolonged harvest. Fortunately, there was a long Indian Summer with excellent conditions through September and October. Fruit was allowed to remain on the vines for extended hang-time until ripe flavors were fully developed. As a result, the wine is elegant and perfectly balanced.

BEGINNING DATE OF HARVEST: September 17

FINAL DATE OF HARVEST: October 25

PERCENTAGE OF NEW BARRELS: 40%

TIME IN BARREL: 16 months

BOTTLING DATE: May 1997

9-LITER CASES PRODUCED: 6000

RELEASE DATE: April 1998

Dominus Vintage Summaries

DOMINUS 1994

The 1994 Dominus follows the 1992, as there was no release from the 1993 vintage.

Comparable in quality to the 1991 Dominus, the 1994 is a deeply colored, dense wine with substantial but supple tannins. Luscious to drink now, its concentration suggests a long future.

The blend includes 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc, 12% Merlot, and 5% Petit Verdot.

As with all Dominus wines, we recommend decanting this wine prior to serving, to allow it to develop its full potential.

Vintage Summary:

The 1994 growing season was the longest on record at the Napanook Vineyard since Dominus began farming it in 1982: 186 days between budbreak and harvest. Dry, with moderate temperature, this long, mild season allowed the fruit to develop to full, balanced maturity.

BEGINNING DATE OF HARVEST: September 19

FINAL DATE OF HARVEST: October 21

PERCENTAGE OF NEW BARRELS: 40%

TIME IN BARREL: 16 months

BOTTLING DATE: May 1996

9-LITER CASES PRODUCED: 8000

RELEASE DATE: April 1997
The blend includes 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc, 12% Merlot, and 5% Petit Verdot.

Dominus Vintage Summaries

DOMINUS 1992

1992 is the tenth vintage of Dominus produced by Christian Moueix at the historic Napanook Vineyard in Yountville, California.

While previous vintages have been predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon, the 1992 contains increased percentages — nearly 20% each — of both Merlot and Cabernet Franc, with a touch of Petit Verdot. Production was 6,000 cases, bottled in June, 1994.

The 1992 Dominus has a deeply saturated color and a forward, ripe, fruity nose, with a touch of violets. Typically Dominus in style, this vintage is round, lush and elegant, with a soft, fleshy texture.

As with all Dominus wines, we recommend decanting this wine prior to serving, in order to allow it to develop to its full potential.

The Dominus label, christened with the 1991 vintage, is now the permanent label for Dominus.

Vintage Summary:

The 1992 growing season was one of above average warmth, following a relatively dry winter. Steady warm weather during August and September advanced grape maturity, resulting in an earlier than normal harvest.

BEGINNING DATE OF HARVEST: September 5

FINAL DATE OF HARVEST: September 25

PERCENTAGE OF NEW BARRELS: 25

TIME IN BARREL: 17 months

BOTTLING DATE: June, 1994

9-LITER CASES PRODUCED: 6,000

Dominus Vintage Summaries

DOMINUS 1991

The 1991 Dominus is the most harmonious and elegant wine to be released by the Dominus winery in the first decade of its existence.

All Dominus wines to date, including the 1991, originate solely from the Bordeaux varieties grown at Napanook Vineyard. The 1991 is composed of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, complemented by 19% Cabernet Franc and a small amount of Petit Verdot.

The 1991 Dominus has a deep ruby color, and possesses extraordinary intensity and balance, as well as phenomenal richness and fruit. The wine exhibits silky tannins with a full-bodied palate and an elegant, long finish.

As with all Dominus wines, Christian Moueix recommends decanting this wine prior to serving, in order to allow it to develop to its full potential.

The new Dominus label, christened with the 1991 vintage, was created by a French designer.

Vintage Summary:

We received 26.5 inches of rain (normal 35.68). Initially the season was of concern due to the late bloom, veraison and harvest. As it turned out, the 1991 season was an example of where the added time on the vines was indeed positive. The 1991 growing season was one of the longest on record in the Napa Valley, producing a fruit of extraordinary quality.

BEGINNING DATE OF HARVEST: October 6

FINAL DATE OF HARVEST: October 18

PERCENTAGE OF NEW BARRELS: 40%

TIME IN BARREL: 15 months

BOTTLING DATE: July 93

9-LITER CASES PRODUCED: 6500

RELEASE DATE: October 1995

Dominus Vintage Summaries

DOMINUS 1990

August and September were neither too hot, nor too cool, and this allowed the fruit to ripen slowly and fully, with well-balanced acid and mature tannins. Although the latter part of the season is normally thought of as the most crucial to the vintage, it is the rain of late May that remains the most significant event in the vineyard for the 1990 season.

The relatively low yields, coupled with the moderate temperatures of late summer, translated into concentrated, yet elegant wines. For the first time in the history of Dominus, all four varietal components – Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot – were included in the final blend.

The 1990 Dominus has a deep ruby color. In the nose, aromas of roasted coffee beans and vanilla overlay the ripe blackberry fruit. These aromas are echoed in the mouth, and sweet, round tannins are apparent in the wine’s lingering finish.

Please decant this wine before serving, to allow it to reach its full potential.

Vintage Summary:

The 1990 growing season at Napanook Vineyard appeared to be headed toward drought as the month of May began. We had seen the first rainless December in this century and only 18 inches of rain had fallen since the previous July. This was not enough to sustain even the low crops of this renowned dry-farmed vineyard. Typically in the Napa Valley, if the rain has not come by mid-April, it will not come at all. However, in 1990, between the dates of May 20th and 30th, close to 4 inches of rain fell. At the time there was widespread concern about the effect that the rainfall would have on the vines that were in bloom and the potential for mildew, but in fact this spring storm saved the vintage. It provided the moisture that the vineyard needed to sustain it through the long growing season, and had the added benefit of naturally thinning the crop and thus increasing intensity.

BEGINNING DATE OF HARVEST: September 11

FINAL DATE OF HARVEST: September 29

PERCENTAGE OF NEW BARRELS: 30%

TIME IN BARREL: 16 months

9-LITER CASES PRODUCED: 6200

RELEASE DATE: October 1994

Dominus Vintage Summaries

DOMINUS 1989

The 1989 Dominus Estate is the seventh vintage produced by the John Daniel Society made solely from grapes grown on the international company’s Napanook Vineyard in Yountville, California.

The 1989 vintage is the first wine of the latest phase of Dominus Estate — nature leads us, and we listen. Since Cabernet Franc did not improve the blend, it was not used. This blend includes Petit Verdot for the first time, as well as a special selection of Merlot.

The 1989 Dominus Estate has a deep ruby color and a rich, complex nose reminiscent of cassis, violets and vanilla. The wine is velvety and full in the mouth, with an elegant and long finish of rich fruit and violets. Christian Moueix recommends decanting this wine before serving to allow it to fully develop its full potential.

The label portrait for the 1989 vintage was done by the English artist Raymond Mason. Mr. Mason was born in 1922 and currently resides in Paris. He is primarily a sculptor, but is also known for his water colors of vineyard landscapes. His large compositions are displayed in London, Birmingham, Paris, Montreal, New York and Washington.

Vintage Summary:

We received 22.69 inches of rain (35.68 average) for the season. The year was moderate to warm with some concern due to warm weather at set and some scorching of fruit that ended up not being significant. The big story was rainfall during harvest. On 9/16 and 9/17, we received 1.4 inches of rain; we did not resume harvest until the 25th. Then, on 9/29 with only 40 tons left to pick, we received 0.25 inches of rain; we did not resume picking until 10/6. Our European experience helped us to wait and regain excellent concentration and intensity even under these difficult conditions.

BEGINNING DATE OF HARVEST: September 15

BEGINNING DATE OF HARVEST: October 7

PERCENTAGE OF NEW BARRELS: 30%

TIME IN BARREL: 15 months

BOTTLING DATE: July 1999

9-LITER CASES PRODUCED: 7500

RELEASE DATE: October 1993

Dominus Vintage Summaries

DOMINUS 1988

The 1988 Dominus Estate is the sixth vintage produced by the John Daniel Society from grapes grown solely in the international company’s Napanook Vineyard in Yountville, California.

The 1988 growing season was complicated by rain during bloom, which affected the evenness of maturity at harvest. It was necessary to make very severe selections both in the vineyard and in the winery to produce a wine of Dominus quality. The result — 3,300 cases of elegant wine showing excellent balance and concentration of fruit — represented half of the potential production.

The 1988 Dominus Estate has a deep ruby color and a rich nose reminiscent of cassis, cedar and tea. The wine is soft and spicy in the mouth, with an elegant finish of subtle vanilla and cedar. Christian Moueix recommends decanting this wine before serving to allow it to develop its full potential.

The label portrait for the 1988 vintage was done by the English artist, Peter Blake. Born in 1932 and currently residing in London, Mr. Blake became famous as a leader of Pop Art in Europe. His works are displayed in major museums throughout the world.

Vintage Summary:

Seasonal rainfall was 26.87 inches (average 35.68). May was the wettest month with .84 inches, followed by .46 inches in June and .49 inches in September. Altogether, it was a strange growing season characterized by an interrupted bloom that gave a large variability at harvest.

BEGINNING DATE OF HARVEST: August 27

FINAL DATE OF HARVEST: September 24

PERCENTAGE OF NEW BARRELS: 15%

TIME IN BARREL: 12 months

BOTTLING DATE: July 1990

9-LITER CASES PRODUCED: 3300

RELEASE DATE: October 1992

Dominus Vintage Summaries

DOMINUS 1987

The 1987 Dominus Estate is the fifth vintage produced by the John Daniel Society made solely from grapes grown at their Napanook Vineyard in Yountville, California.

The blend of the 1987 Dominus Estate is 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Merlot. Winter rainfall for the 1987 season was 50% of average. The very warm early summer and moderate late summer resulted in fruit with fully developed varietal character and excellent acid balance.

Note: with almost the identical blend as 1986, we have a completely different wine–proof that classical winemaking, i.e., single vineyard, non intervening winemaking, and no acidification allows the vintage to express itself through the wine.

The 1987 Dominus Estate has a deep ruby color and a rich nose reminiscent of cassis and vanilla, with a silky texture, excellent balance and a long elegant finish. Christian Moueix recommends decanting this wine before serving to allow it to develop its full potential.

The label portrait for the 1987 vintage was done by the Israeli artist Avigdor Arikha.

Vintage Summary:

Seasonal rainfall was quite low at 18.85 inches (normal 35.68 inches); 10 inches in February and March, which is almost identical to the rainfall pattern of 1985. A very warm early summer was followed by a moderate late summer. There were 16 days over 100 degrees and 26 days over 95 degrees.

BEGINNING DATE OF HARVEST: September 4

FINAL DATE OF HARVEST: September 17

PERCENTAGE OF NEW BARRELS: 25%

TIME IN BARREL: 14 months

BOTTLING DATE: July 1989

9-LITER CASES PRODUCED: 6500

RELEASE DATE: October 1999

Dominus Vintage Summaries

DOMINUS 1986

The 1986 Dominus Estate is the fourth vintage produced by the John Daniel Society, and, as always, the grapes for this wine were grown solely at Napanook Vineyard in Yountville, California. This vintage marks the first of the “second series” of Dominus Estate — the 1986, 1987, and 1988 vintages use Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc in the blend, which introduces a floral, herbal character and added complexity.

The varietal composition of the 1986 Dominus Estate is 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Cabernet Franc and 8% Merlot. The 1986 growing season was marked by very high winter rainfall and an unusually cool summer, which made the timing of harvest crucial to ensure full maturity.

The 1986 Dominus Estate has a deep ruby color and a rich nose reminiscent of ripe cherries, with elegance, finesse and excellent balance. Christian Moueix recommends decanting this wine before serving to allow it to develop its full potential.

The label artist for the 1986 vintage is the well-known American artist Jim Dine.

Vintage Summary:

Seasonal rainfall was 53.93 inches vs. 35.68 inches normal. We had heavy rainfall and flooding in February. Summer was very cool with only three days over 100 degrees (two of these were in June), and only nine days over 95 degrees.

BEGINNING DATE OF HARVEST: September 8

FINAL DATE OF HARVEST: October 6

PERCENTAGE OF NEW BARRELS: 20%

TIME IN BARREL: 18 months

BOTTLING DATE: January 1989

9-LITER CASES PRODUCED: 6200

RELEASE DATE: November 1990

Dominus Vintage Summaries

DOMINUS 1985

The 1985 Dominus Estate is produced solely from Bordeaux varieties grown at Napanook Vineyard, creating the most harmonious and complex wine of the “first stage” of Dominus Estate — the 1983, 1984 and 1985 vintages were blended from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes grown on the property when we took over management.

The 1985 vintage is composed of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot. The climatic conditions of the 1985 season were moderate, and the final weeks of ripening were cool by California standards, resulting in gradual ripening and intensely flavored fruit with a mature tannic development.

The 1985 Dominus Estate has a deep ruby color and a rich nose reminiscent of black cherries. It is a full-bodied wine with ripe tannins that are just beginning to soften. Christian Moueix recommends decanting before serving to allow the wine to develop its full potential.

The label artist for 1985 is Gerard Barthelemy, a French artist born in Paris in 1938. Mr. Barthelemy received the Prix de Rome in 1966 and has had extensive exhibits in France. The present portrait was done with the ancient walnut stain technique.

Vintage Summary:

Winter rainfall was slightly below normal (27.95 inches vs. 35.68 inches), but 10 inches of rain in February and March provided good moisture for the growing season. The season began with a mild April and May, followed by a hot June and July. August was mild and most of September was cool. We received 1/2″ of rain on September 8 & 9 and temperatures were in the high 70′s and low 80′s until it reached 84 on 9/20, 90 on 9/21 and 95 on 9/22.

BEGINNING DATE OF HARVEST: September14

FINAL DATE OF HARVEST: September 25

PERCENTAGE OF NEW BARRELS: 20%

TIME IN BARREL: 16 months

BOTTLING DATE: July 1987

9-LITER CASES PRODUCED: 4000

RELEASE DATE: November 1989