The Sommelier Journal features Christian Moueix in December 2016 issue
“Celebrating Thirty Years at Dominus Estate” by Christopher Sawyer
Swiss Magazine “VINUM” names Dominus 2001 # 1 in its Top 100 Wines
Dominus 2001- Vinum Magazine, edition 1-2/2016
“Thanks to the respect of nature and dry-farming at the historic Napanook Vineyard, as well as a winemaking that is consistently fine tuned, Dominus Estate succeeds in producing highly complex and seductive wines in a Bordeaux style, yet with a hint more opulence.”
Dominus featured on CNN’s Ecosolutions “Making Wine Without Water”
James Suckling Top 100 Reds of Napa Valley 206
James Suckling names Dominus 2013 and Napanook 2013 in his top ten of his top 100 for the year.
Dominus featured in ‘Making Wine Without Water’ on CNN’s ECOSOLUTIONS
Watch and learn about our dry-farming practices at Dominus Estate. It is the foundation of how we grow our grapes.
James Suckling Names Dominus in his top 10 Napa 2013 wines
The aromas are multidimensional and fascinating, with black truffles, bark, cloves, blackcurrant and citrus—even ginseng. Full bodied yet reserved and even austere, with chewy and powerful tannins. The flavours are more umami and savoury. Lasts for minutes. A wine to age for a lifetime. New classic showing its history and tradition as a source of the greatest wines ever from Napa.
Napanook 2012 Named Hot Brand by Wine Business Monthly
“True, Honest, Complex, Not Overdone
Christian Moueix pursued his own path and combined a Bordelaise heritage with Napa’s climate to produce exemplary wines. Dominus and Napanook have demonstrated that an excellent Napa Cabernet Sauvignon need not be a flabby, dead-fruit, high pH, low TA wine…”
Dominus 2013 gets 100 Points from Robert Parker
Rating: 100 Pts.
The 2013 Dominus is, to my way of thinking, one of the most profound wines Christian Moueix has yet made in his rather brilliant winemaking history, both in France and in Napa Valley. This wine, with very low yields of only 3,500 cases and a final blend of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot and 4% Cabernet Franc, offers up notes of cedar wood, forest floor, loamy soil and oodles of blackberry and blackcurrant fruit. Very opaque purple in color, super-pure and intense, this wine has low acidity, but ripe, noticeable tannins. This is a 30- to 40-year wine and a profound effort from this famous vineyard in Yountville. Drink it over the next 40+ years.
Christian Moueix has probably had his two greatest back-to-back vintages to date with the 2012 and 2013. The 2012s, which are just being released, include the unbelievable Dominus, made of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc and coming in at 14.3% natural alcohol. I said last year that it reminded me somewhat of the 1991 and the 1994, which are both still very strong efforts and, while fully mature, showed no signs of decline if well-stored.
Dominus 2013 gets a 100 pt. score from Antonio Galloni on Vinous
James Suckling names Napanook one of the top wines to buy in Thailand
Dominus Estate Unveils New Napanook Label for 2012
Dominus Estate announces that with the release of Napanook 2012 the brand will don a new label design.
Since 1996, Christian Moueix and his team have been crafting Napanook, an estate-bottled wine from the iconic Napanook Vineyard in Yountville. First planted in 1838 by George Yount, this estate has been well-respected over generations for its deep, complex and elegant fruit….
Read the Full Press Release Below
Laurie Daniels Re-evaluates Napa’s 2011 Cabs
“The 2011 Dominus and Napanook (the second label of Dominus) also are from low-elevation vineyards. They were some of the best 2011s I tasted last year, and they’re still available. The 2011 Napanook ($59) offers classic cab flavors of black fruit and black olive, tinged with an herbal note and finishing with polished tannins. The 2011 Dominus ($149) has more weight and concentration, but the Napanook is a much better buy.”
James Suckling Names Dominus 2012 in his Top 10 Napa Valley wines
An exciting Dominus, with clarity of fruit and soil on the nose and palate. Lots of blackcurrant, blackberry, violet and stone. Full body with big, soft tannins and chocolate, hazelnut and dark fruit character. Try in 2020.
Decanter – Interview with Christian Moueix
“The man whose name has been synonymous with Petrus for more than 40 years has, in fact, has not worked at the estate since 2011. But that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been busy. Andrew Jefford meets him to talk about his properties, his obsession with drainage, and handing over the reins…”
Download the full article below.
Article found in March 2015 Decanter Magazine
Antonio Galloni on New Releases from Napa Valley
“A good bellwether for the overall quality of the 2013s can be seen with the entry-level or second wines. For example, the 2013 Napanook from Dominus is huge, powerful and a very serious wine for its level and price point. Although still in barrel, the 2013 Napanook could turn out to be a better and more complex wine than many top 2012s.”
The entire article is available as a PDF below or with a subscription to Vinous (use the link below)
Antonio Galloni on tasting the 2013 lots..
“I was fortunate this year to stop by Dominus before the blends had been assembled, so I had the opportunity to taste the 2013s variety by variety with Christian Moueix and Winemaker Tod Mostero. The harvest took place between September 9 and 26, quite early by Dominus standards. Like many Napa Valley winemakers, Mostero identifies the lack of late-season heat spikes as one of the signatures of the year. Mouiex is one of the most outspoken critics of irrigation in Napa Valley, a position that by definition places extreme importance on the age of vineyards. That is evident in two Cabernet Francs in this tasting. The first, from vines planted in 1994, is terrific, while the second, from vines planted in 2010 is much more bombastic and less finessed. Both Petit Verdots are insanely beautiful. Of course Petit Verdot is a blender, but one has to wonder what happens with the leftover juice after the blends for Dominus and Napanook are created.
The four Cabernet Sauvignons are all distinctive. Block 7 A/B boasts exotic aromatics and a feminine, sleek personality. Block 24N is much more explosive, but it is Block 6N, where the oldest vines on the property are planted, that is the most impressive. Here the sensation of tannin is totally covered by the pure depth and resonance of the fruit. There is a lot to look forward to at Dominus.”
James Suckling names Dominus 2010 as one of the top 10 2010’s in Napa Valley
Read Jame’s full report here.
James Molesworth reviews Dominus 2001, 2004, 2010 and 2012
“Dominus Estate’s terroir shines through in a tasting of the 2012, ’10, ’04 and ’01 vintages”
Read the full article here.
Director of Winemaking, Tod Mostero discusses the 2010 and 2011 vintage with James Suckling
Watch the video here.
DOMINUS named by Liv-Ex as one of five leading wines in the “Rest of the World” category
Liv-Ex, a price index for the fine wine market worldwide, now includes DOMINUS.
Dominus was recently named as one of the Liv-Ex’s five leading wines outside Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, the Rhone, and Italy.
Over the last two years, Dominus 2005 rose 48.8% in value and Dominus 2006 registered a 41.8% increase.
Read more about Live-ex’s new multi-region index here.
Business Traveller’s Cellars in Sky Awards Silver Medal to Napanook 2007
British Airways received the Silver Medal in the Best First Class Red section of the Business Traveller Cellars in the Sky Awards last night for their listing of Napanook 2007. This means that of all the red wines served in First Class on 28 airlines Napanook was considered the second best.
The annual awards, which recognise the best business and first class wines served by airlines world-wide, were presented at Trinity House in London by Charles Metcalfe, co-chairman of the International Wine Challenge. 28 airlines entered the competition and blind tastings took place in London in December, with four judges independently scoring the wines.
The judges were:
Charles Metcalfe, co-chairman of the International Wine Challenge
Peter McCombie, Master of Wine and top restaurant wine consultant
Robert Joseph, author and wine critic
Richard Bampfield, Master of Wine and wine consultant
Napanook 2007 was served on the inaugural A380 route from London to LAX.
British Airways also won a Bronze Medal in the Best First Class Cellar award category (Napanook 2007 is classed as one of the wines in this cellar).
Christian Navarro recommends Dominus 2010 as one of the top 100 wines for the holidays.
In a discussion with Brett Anderson, editor in chief of the Robb Report, Christian Navarro of Wally’s discusses his favorite wines for the holidays and showcases Dominus 2010.
Watch the video here.
DOMINUS 2010 RECEIVES 100 POINTS FROM ROBERT PARKER
Use the link below to read full article with reviews online with a subscription to erobertparker.com
PDF available for non-subscribers.
Food & Wine – Ray Isle, Robert Parker – February 2013
In an interview with Food & Wine’s Ray Isle, Robert Parker names Dominus one of his “World-Class California Wineries.”
The Wine Advocate – Robert Parker – June 2012
“Even better than I predicted seven years ago, this 4,500-case blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc and the rest Petit Verdot and Merlot has blossomed beautifully, revealing even greater intensity and potential than I predicted. A flawless, seamless integration of tannin, wood, alcohol and acidity is found in this dense, plum/purple-colored Dominus, along with copious notes of sweet black currants interwoven with kirsch, forest floor, unsmoked cigar tobacco, new saddle leather and forest floor. Full-bodied with velvety tannins, stunning elegance and a 45-second finish, this sensational 2002 rivals two of the all-time great wines made at Dominus, 1991 and 1994.”
The Wine Advocate – Antonio Galloni – December 2012
“The 2009 Dominus flows from the glass with layers of highly expressive fruit. The wine possesses stunning richness, power and depth. Dark red fruit, tobacco, flowers and spices are woven into a seamless, beautifully articulated finish. Elegance and intensity are in perfect harmony here. This is a thrilling wine from Dominus.”
“The 2009 Napanook is simply glorious. Sweek dark cherries, mint, tobacco, wild flowers and licorice all jump from the glass. The 2009 is a juicy, extroverted Napanook that impresses for its sheer pleasure and total harmony. Layers of fruit continue to build onto the huge, creamy finish.”
NAPA VALLEY’S BEST ‘SUPER SECONDS’?
There is no way to ignore it; prices for Napa Valley’s top wines are high. Screaming Eagle is $850 a bottle, a 13% increase, the 2009 Harlan Estate is $750 a bottle, a whopping increase of 50% over the 2008. Napa Valley’s top estates now face the same problem as Bordeaux; the wines have become too expensive for restaurant wine lists. A $500 bottle at the standard 2.5x restaurant markup is, well, you can do the math. That is not a business with a sustainable future, at least not in this country and in this generation. At the same time, producers know they have to have a presence on restaurant wine lists, hence the explosion over the last few years of wines that retail in the $80-90 price range and that can therefore be sold in restaurants in the $250 price range, still a lot of money, but doable. The best of these wines, which I call Napa Valley ‘Super-Seconds’ are in fact, super. In top vintages, the best second-wines from top wineries are better than the vast amount of main labels. These are my favorite ‘Super-Seconds.’ All but two retail for less than $100.
Napa Valley’s Best ‘Super-Seconds’
Blankiet Prince of Hearts
Bryant DB 4
Harlan Estate The Maiden
Screaming Eagle Second Flight
Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar – Stephen Tanzer – May 2012
The 2010 and 2009 Dominus Estate wines are quite different from each other, but probably less so than the original raw materials would have suggested. According to winemaker Tod Mostero, production in 2010 was extremely low owing to a very severe selection, with the quantity of flagship wine the lowest to date, and less than half that of 2009. “We had sharp heat spikes on August 24, September 2 and September 28, followed by three hot days from October 12 through 14,” said Mostero, “and we practically lost our cabernet franc. The cabernet sauvignon grapes didn’t really soften until the end. The 2010s are tannic and deeply colored, and for the flagship wine we selected out some of the more muscular lots. A lot of fruit that normally goes into Dominus went into our Napanook wine instead.” The estate’s 2009 is a much more spherical wine in comparison, noted Mostero. “It offers lovely balance and nuance, and no one element stands out today.”
Good medium ruby-red. Cool, rather shy aromas of dark berries, licorice and pepper, with nuances of white fruits. Supple and spicy, with an herbal quality to the flavors of dark berries, spices and mint. Nicely fine-grained in the mouth but in a cool style. The slightly drying finish shows a good kick of tannins and calls for at least a couple years of patience.
Good ruby-red color, more saturated than the Napanook. Knockout floral lift to the aromas of black raspberry, blueberry, blond tobacco, almond and mint. Suave, savory and extremely precise, with penetrating flavors of dark berries, licorice, minerals and cocoa powder. The petit verdot component acts as an amplifier of aromas and flavors, notes winemaker Tod Mostero, “like a good seasoning.” Medicinal in a Bordeaux way. The finishes shows outstanding length, noteworthy juiciness, and firm, noble tannins. A great vintage for Dominus.
Good deep ruby-red. Spicy aromas of blackberry, fresh herbs, licorice pastille and black pepper. Juicy, spicy and fine-grained, with excellent density to the youthfully medicinal, slightly musclebound black fruit, menthol and licorice flavors. Powerful, primary, chocolatey and full, finishing with serious tannins.
Good deep ruby-red. High-pitched aromas of black plum, blackberry, spices, licorice and menthol. Juicy, spicy and quite firm, but considerably more pliant than the Napanook, with dark berry and spice flavors lifted by a captivating floral element. Wonderfully seamless wine with broad, silky tannins and impressive chocolatey length. This wine was made from the vintage’s most refined lots, noted winemaker Mostero, adding that the challenge in 2010 was to avoid rusticity of tannins.
To access the full article with a subscription go here: http://www.wineaccess.com/expert/tanzer/article.html?content_id=94321
Wine Enthusiast – Steve Heimoff – September 2012
“Elegantly smooth in the mouth, like silk and velvet—this has rich, forward blackberry, black currant and oak flavors. It feels dramatic and complex, a white-tablecloth Cabernet for pairing with fine meats and cheeses.”
JamesSuckling.com – James Suckling – October 2012
“Balanced and soft with lovely savory fruit with raspberries and currants. Long and caressing. This is so drinkable. Gorgeous wine.”
“Stunning nose of lavender and flowers. Currants and raspberries. Subtle and intriguing. Full and dense but wonderfully balanced with firm and silky tannins and a persistent finish. Dusty texture. A wine so balanced that you want to drink it already.”
“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.”
“This is very precise and focused with red fruits with polished and round tannins. …beautiful and delicious.”
Wine Spectator – James Laube – October 2012
“Delightfully harmonious given its intensity, with complex aromas of savory herbs, flowers, ripe and dried currant and berry, crushed rock and cedar flavors. Well-proportioned, focused and persistent. Very youthful and vibrant. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Best from 2014 through 2030. 6,000 cases made. “
San Francisco Chronicle – Jon Bonné – December 4, 2011
“Top 100 Wines 2011: Cheers to Thinking Small”
Dominus has raised the price on its Napanook this year, and maybe that’s fair, considering that what had been the Yountville estate’s second label is soaring in quality, enough to be considered on its own stellar merits. Impressively fine in its structure, with dark mineral, burnt sage and cassia accents to the savory, rich cassis fruit. There’s a maturity to the style of the ’08, a sign that it has grown up to be an impressive value as one of Napa’s top wines.”
The Wine Advocate – Antonio Galloni – December 2011
“The 2009 Napanook is rich, powerful and seductive. This is a more radiant, brighter style than the 2008. There is considerable fleshiness as the wine opens up in the glass. The 2009 is a very sexy Napanook endowed with tons of personality and sheer class. Despite its generous fruit, there is more than enough underlying structure to allow the wine to drink well for a number of years.”
The Wine Advocate – Robert Parker – June 2011
“A brilliant showing for Christian Moueix’s well-known Napanook Vineyard, the 2001 Dominus is a blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 10% Petit Verdot. A classic in the making, this is a flawless, seamless example of elegant, complex Napa Cabernet Sauvignon that possesses a Bordeaux-like personality. This gorgeous, sexy, opulent, dense ruby/purple-colored wine reveals sweet caramel, mocha, creme de cassis and kirsch notes intermixed with a hint of espresso roast as well as underbrush. Ripe, long and full-bodied with well-integrated tannin, acidity, alcohol and wood, this prodigious 2001 is drinkable now and over the next 25+ years given this estate’s longevity track record. A virtually perfect wine, it is one of the most complex 2001s at present.”
Winespectator.com – James Laube – July 21, 2011
“James Laube’s Blog”
Wine Spectator senior editor James Laube is excited by the 2008 Dominus.
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Wine Enthusiast – Steve Heimoff – November 2011
“Another fine Dominus, dry, well-structured and ageworthy… rich enough to drink now, and should develop over the next six years. Rewards for the depth of blackberries, cassis, blueberries and cedar, wrapped into plush tannins.”
“With grapes from Yountville, this Bordeaux blend, which is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon, has a very fine structure. It’s firm in tannins and acidity, with a bracing minerality. The flavors are already quite advanced, suggesting jammy cherries, blackberries and cassis. Drink now for sheer deliciousness, after decanting.”
Wine Spectator – James Laube – November 15, 2011
“Very Bordeaux-like in its makeup and structure, this firm wine has good acidity and tight tannins, offering complex loamy earth, vivid dried currant and berry, with anise and mineral sprinkled in. This is my favorite young Dominus of late.”
Wine & Spirits – Joshua Greene – December 2011
“A short crop of concentrated berries produced this grand vintage of Dominus, one that will need long aging to show its best. Decant it if you open the bottle now, allowing the initial cabernet franc scent of green herbs to integrate–Josiah Baldivino of Michael Mina in San Francisco described it as ‘adding a fine detail, like a pocket square in a suit.'” Air brings out the full stature of the wine, its black cherry richness, violet scents and silken texture. For provençal lamb.”
JamesSuckling.com – James Suckling – June 15, 2011
“A balanced and pretty wine with blueberry and minerals. Medium to full-bodied, with fine tannins and a delicious finish. Dried flowers, milk chocolate and spices. No need to wait for this; it’s ready.”
JamesSuckling.com – James Suckling – February 15, 2011
“Lots of forest berries and flowers in the nose. On the palate, it is thick and very rich, with big plummy fruit and a light raisin aftertaste. Chewy, round, and very generous on the palate.”
“The sweet berry and iodine character on the nose is fascinating. Intense aromas of stone and fruit. Full bodied, with chewy yet polished tannins. This is long and stylish, powerful…”
The Wine Advocate – Robert Parker – December 2010
“Made in a more masculine style, the 2008 Dominus has all of that along with bigger body and more structure, fat, density and texture. Both are brilliant wines and they represent the finest back-to-back vintages for Dominus since 2001 and 2002 or 1990 and 1991. Both the 2007 and 2008 Dominus should drink well for 25-30 years…”
“The 2007 Dominus, the quintessential model of haute couture, is pure elegance exhibiting a seamless integration of wood, tannin, alcohol and acidity as well as a complex bouquet of cedar, new saddle leather, sweet kirsch, black currant and plum fruit and a notion of licorice. Both the 2007 and 2008 Dominus should drink well for 25-30 years.”
“The 2008 Napanook…may be one of the greatest Napanooks made. It is a deeper, richer, more intense wine with full body, an endearing texture and a long, pure finish. These two are ‘take your pick’ vintages, but wine enthusiasts would probably be remiss in not having both 2007 and 2008 in their cellars.”
“…the 2007 continues to show wonderful elegance, sweet finesse and ripe Napa Valley fruit.”
San Francisco Chronicle – Jon Bonné – March 21, 2010
“Highlights of blue fruits, kirsch olive, dried leaves and dusty stones are all packed into a wine that shows a tremendous energy, length and elegance even before its release, with higher acids and fine, slightly knotted tannins. It is likely to be among Dominus’ finest releases.”
“A ripe, silken profile that makes it immediately friendly – with a pure Cabernet nose accented by tobacco, bay leaf and red fruit high tones. It’s already engaging, without a hint of austerity. A second label like this leaves plenty of mainliners in the dust.”
San Francisco Chronicle – December 05, 2010
“Top 100 Wines 2010”
A stupendous vintage for this Yountville property, packed from first scent with a dark, loamy presence and yet perfectly bright and transparent in its flavors of kirsch, olive, dark stones, blue fruit. There’s remarkable density, and fine tannins and a persistence to the taste signals potential to evolve for at least a couple of decades.
To see entire article
International Wine Cellar – Stephen Tanzer – May 01, 2010
“Thoroughly integrated acidity and enticing inner-mouth floral lift… Very suave and complex, finishing with noteworthy rising length and very sweet, fine-grained tannins. This beauty has the balance for a long and graceful life in bottle. ”
“Some serious tannins kick in on the minerally finish.”
“Suave on entry… with an edge of acidity to the black raspberry, redcurrant and mocha flavors. Slightly dry tannins. There’s solid density here…”
Saveur – November 2010
“A lovely Napa cabernet with Bordeaux echoes, moderately tannic but not harsh.”
QRW – Richard Elia – November 2010
“The 2007 is young and very much in line with the style and excellence of the 2006; both are pure and lush and voluptuous…”
“The 2001 is a five-star wine and one of our favorites. The wine still has considerable youth, but the rich flavors of mocha and chocolate, of deep blackberry, spice, and anise are seductive in the extreme.
Wine Enthusiast – Steve Heimoff – December 01, 2010
#16 in the Top 100 Cellar Selections — “Easily the greatest Dominus in memory… Lacks for nothing in complexity and sheer deliciousness. Tantalizes with blackberry tart, cherry, carob bean and a Pinot Noiresque cola-rhubarb richness that retreats behind rich tannins and an earthiness suggesting sweet blond tobacco and dried sage.”
The Wine Advocate – Robert Parker – December 2009
“…the 2008 Napanook is equally seductive. It offers soft, round, silky tannins as well as abundant red and black currant notes intermixed with hints of kirsch, spice box, and unsmoked, high class cigar tobacco.”
“A prodigious example of Dominus, the 2007 represents a hypothetical blend of a Pomerol, Pauillac, and a Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep ruby/purple-colored with a sweet nose of incense, cedar wood, black currants, black cherries, licorice, and a subtle hint of roasted herbs, it is an expansive, savory, opulent wine with a full-bodied mouthfeel, silky tannins, and sensational concentration. A legend in the making…”
“The 2007 Napanook…exhibits the Bordeaux style that proprietor Christian Moueix has fashioned from this legendary vineyard in Yountville. Its deep plum/ruby color is accompanied by sweet aromas of cedar, black currants, cherries, spice box, and earth. Lush, fleshy, elegant, and pure, it should drink nicely for 15+ years.”
“…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.”
San Francisco Chronicle – Jon Bonné – December 07, 2009
A Top 100 Wine of 20 “…an extraordinary, fresh Dominus…This Yountville property keeps producing strong, lean wines with amazing life in them. Coiled, with racy graphite and underbrush accents, it’s full of lively cassis and blackberry, a hint of iron and a brooding tannic structure.”
Wine & Spirits – Joshua Greene – October 2009
The Year’s Best Cabernet “Youthfully floral and tight, this vintage of Dominus is a big wine that holds all of its weight behind a powerful structure. And it’s the power of that structure that is front and center…Stay with it and the wine’s earthiness begins to meld with the blueberry and chocolate richness.”
“The 2006 Napanook…is transparent, its beauty easy to see. It may, in fact, be the best vintage of Napanook we’ve tasted on release–all black currents and peppercorn spice, lifted, savory, dark and intense.”
Wine Enthusiast – Steve Heimoff – December 01, 2009
Cellar Selection “Right now it shows blackberry, black currant, cedar and baker’s chocolate flavors. Will slowly open and reach maturity after 2011, and could easily develop for far longer.”
“…[I]t’s the best release since 2003. Dry and well-structured, it offers complex flavors of black current and sweet grill oak.”
International Wine Cellar – Stephen Tanzer – May 2009
“Sweet, suave and perfumed in the mouth but a bit youthfully tight today, and showing less flesh and fullness than the velvety 2006. But the wine’s smooth tannins arrive late, allowing the fruit to build slowly and the wine’s perfume to linger subtly.”
“Broad and lush in the mouth, conveying a fuller, weightier impression than the 2006 but at least as much energy. Finishes with big but sweet tannins and excellent length.”
“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.”
“Deep red-ruby. Raspberry, mocha, tobacco, brown spices, menthol and herbs on the lively and inviting nose. Supple on entry … with flavors of red fruits, smoke, flowers and earth along with some slightly edgy acidity.”
Decanter – Margaret Rand – April 2008
“Man of the Year 2008”
Christian Moueix likes to keep a low profile. The trouble is, he’s at the helm of the very high-profile Chateau Petrus. Margaret Rand meets Pomerol’s man of the soil whose modesty, attention to detail and intellectual rigour make him a worthy Decanter Man of the Year.
The Wine Advocate – Robert Parker – December 2008
“The 2006 Napanook…is made in a riper, more California style than usual, displaying more exuberant, up-front notes of kirsch, black currants, and plums. Deep and full-bodied with low acidity, sweet tannin, and a fleshy, succulent personality, it tastes like a classic Napa Cabernet.”
New York Times – Eric Asimov – August 19, 2008
“In Napa, Some Wineries Choose the Old Route”
“…The 2006 is…complex, structured and, yes, deliciously austere.”
“The Dominus 2005 is dry and elegant…”
San Francisco Chronicle – Jon Bonné – December 07, 2008
Top 100 Wines of 200 “Christian Moueix’s project showed off this banner year with a more reserved style. Radiant Cabernet aromas of tobacco and a lifted graphite tone mix with dusty plum. The palate is still wound up and young, but brightness and potential course through this highly structured wine. The wine’s still in its infancy, but it’s wonderful evidence that this Napa-Bordeaux alliance very much remains on its mission and is as good as ever.”
Recommended Selected as a terrific value under $40
San Francisco Chronicle – Lynne Char Bennett – November 14, 2008
3 stars (Excellent)
“The project from Chateau Petrus owner Christian Moueix yielded a more subdued, nuanced profile in this banner vintage. Radiant Cabernet aromas of tobacco and a lifted graphite tone mix with dusty plum, very much in a Bordeaux left bank mode. The palate is still wound up and young – and the structure is profound – but brightness and potential course through, hinting at more than a decade of improvement if you age it.”
2.5 stars (Excellent)
“Christian Moueix intends for this wine – the just-released 10th vintage made from Napanook Vineyard grapes – to be enjoyed in the near term. High-toned chamomile, black raspberry, cedar, toasted sesame seed, slight brioche and mint chocolate aromas. Medium-bodied palate with bright huckleberry and dark plum skin on the lengthy finish; slightly firm tannins.”
Food & Wine Magazine – Richard Nalley – September 05, 2008
American Wine Award “The Napa Valley property of Christian Moueix (of Bordeaux’s legendary Château Pétrus) produced an Old World–style Cab blend with a density and power that should reward years of cellaring.”
Restaurant Wine – January 2008
“Fleshy and very ripely flavored, this is a generous wine, with rich fruitiness (blackberry, blackberry jam, black currant), evident new oak (vanilla, toast, cedar), and a long, mildly tannic finish. Fine quality — best release yet from Dominus.”
The Wine Advocate – Robert Parker – December 2007
“The wine is slightly more fruit-forward than the 2005, but has a dark ruby/purple color and a beautiful nose of licorice, cedar, and espresso roast along with black currant and cherry notes. The wine is medium to full-bodied, has slightly more elevated and noticeable tannin than the 2005 (at least at this stage), builds a nicely textured mouthfeel as it sits on the palate, and has impressive length.”
“An elegant wine with notes of sweet cherries intertwined with coffee bean, cedar, subtle underbrush, and blacker fruits, the oak is clearly in the background of this wine, which is medium to full-bodied, with silky tannins, and should drink nicely for 10-12+ years.”
“The 2005 Dominus…has come of age, and is one of the strongest efforts they’ve made. It is possibly the best Dominus since the 2001, and perhaps even the 1997 or 1991. A beautiful, sweet nose of roasted coffee interwoven with kirsch, black currant, cedar, and spice box emerges from this deep ruby/purple-colored wine. The wine has fabulous intensity, a layered, opulent, full-bodied mouthfeel, well-integrated acidity, and a stunningly long finish. The layering of this wine as it builds incrementally on the palate is something to behold. An outstanding, sexy, ageworthy Dominus, it will benefit from 2-3 years of cellaring, and last for at least 25 or 30 years.”
“The 2005 Napanook…has turned out to be a beauty. Four thousand cases of this wine were made, and it exhibits wonderful cedar, spice box, roasted herb, and sweet black cherry and cassis notes in a medium to full-bodied style with sweet tannin, impressive texture, and silky, long, lush finish. It should drink well for 10-15 years.”
Bloomberg Businessweek – Robert Parker – April 23, 2007
Executive Life-Parker On Wine
“Napa Wine, Bordeaux Character”
Robert Parker writes: ” I can’t think of anyone other than Christian Moueix who could claim to produce one of the greatest wines in France and one of the best in the U.S.”
“The deep, saturated purple-colored 2002 boasts an extraordinary perfume of roasted coffee intermixed with black currants, cherries, cocoa, cedar, cigar smoke, and new saddle leather. A classic, full-bodied palate possesses great structure, tremendous depth, loads of tannin, and a multilayered, concentrated, yet elegant finish. It needs three to five years of bottle aging and should last for 25 years.”
“The impeccably made 2001…boasts a dense plum/purple color in addition to a fragrant perfume of cocoa, cedar, coffee, roasted herbs, and black fruits. Rich and medium- to full-bodied, with sweet but noticeable tannin, a layered mid-palate, and a long finish, it will require three to four years of cellaring. It should last for two decades.”
“The elegant, dark plum/purple/garnet-colored 2004 exhibits a big, sweet perfume with cedar, mocha, black cherry liqueur, and black currant notes. It is medium- to full-bodied with silky tannin as well as a luscious mouthfeel and finish. This wine should be more accessible in its youth than many of its predecessors but ought to last for two decades.”
“A big, sweet nose of roasted coffee, Provençal herbs, black currants, cherry jam, plums, allspice, and forest floor is followed by a spicy, rich, full-bodied, fragrant, intense wine. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2025.”
Press Democrat – Tasting Room – August 01, 2007
“A rich cab with brambly fruit flavors. Notes of blackberry, black plum and tobacco.”
San Francisco Chronicle – Lynne Char Bennett – November 02, 2007
“This year’s offering from Christian Moueix’s Napanook Vineyard is one of the few wines to earn our four-star rating. … Remarkable deep dark fruit, sweetly spiced blackberry compote, anise, dried oregano and minty cedar draw you in, but it’s the equally complex, ever-evolving palate that commands attention. Dense fruit, warm spice and minerally tannins give hints of this wine’s future. Decant the wine if enjoying it in its youth.”
San Francisco Chronicle – December 02, 2007
One of the Top 100 Wines “Christian Moueix still says he is learning to make great wine in Napa Valley, but after 21 years Dominus has more than found its stride. This is powerful, ageless Cabernet – a classic Bordeaux-like nose of currant, ropy licorice, cigar box, dried herbs and ripe blackberry lead to a lifted, well-defined palate. A graphite hint gives some edge to the long, silky finish, and the broad structure hints at its long life ahead.”
International Wine Cellar – Stephen Tanzer – May 2007
“Saturated ruby-red. Vibrant, complex nose melds blackberry, cherry, violet, mocha, cocoa powder, game and tobacco. Rich, fat and large-scaled for a young Dominus, but with its sweetness buffered by excellent inner-mouth energy. This boasts terrific lift for a wine of its volume. Red and darker berry flavors are lifted by a minty topnote. Finishes with noble tannins and a whiplash of fruit….Incidentally, Christian Moueix and his team rank this wine with the 2001 as the best vintages of recent years.”
“(recently pumped to tank and not yet fined) Good full ruby-red. Primary aromas of cherry, plum, raspberry, currant, tar, menthol and tobacco leaf. At once sweet and tangy, with menthol and mint notes lifting the juicy red berry flavors. This has an almost exotic spicy/floral quality and plenty of inner-palate energy. Finishes with firm, ripe tannins.”
“Deep red-ruby. Deep but reticent aromas of dark raspberry, cocoa powder, hot rocks and minerals, with notes of menthol and wintermint. Very firmly built…an almost Saint-Estephe-like menthol austerity.”
“Red-ruby. Sexy aromas of redcurrant, gravel, minerals and flowers; the perfume reminded me of nebbiolo! Juicy, nicely delineated flavors of raspberry, redcurrant, flowers, mint and a whiff of meat. A rather elegant, complex wine with good lift.”
The Wine Advocate – Robert Parker – December 2006
“…the 2005 Dominus exhibits a deep ruby/purple hue as well as a classic bouquet of fresh herbs, spice box, cedar, and black currants. Possessing more austere tannin and a tighter framework than the 2004, Moueix believes it is a more elegant and lighter version of the 2001. It will need 3-4 years of bottle age, and should easily keep for two decades.”
“The dark ruby/garnet-tinged 2005 Napanook reveals medium body, austere tannin, and a noticeable weedy character. It should drink well for 10 years.”
“The elegant, dark plum/purple/garnet-colored 2004 Dominus exhibits a big, sweet, cedary, roasted herb, mocha, black cherry liqueur, black currant, and earth-scented perfume. Medium to full-bodied with silky tannin as well as a luscious mouthfeel and finish, it should be more accessible in its youth than many of its predecessors, but easily last for two decades.”
“A strong effort, it offers a beautiful seductive nose of dried herbs, damp earth, sweet cherries, cedar, and spice box. Opulent, round, sexy, and delicious. It should be consumed during its first decade of life.”
Wine & Spirits – October 2006
“Christian Moueix’s Napanook vineyard has pedigree, and so does the wine. Moueix’s 20th—anniversary vintage, this emphasizes distinction and restraint, the deep black fruit scent and milder tobacco sweetness balancing the savor of fine tannins. It takes several days for the tannins to release the dark cherry flavors more completely. For the collector’s cellar.”
“Christian Moueix’s Napanook vineyard has pedigree, and so does the wine. Moueix’s 20th—anniversary vintage, this emphasizes distinction and restraint, the deep black fruit scent and milder tobacco sweetness balancing the savor of fine tannins. It takes several days for the tannins to release the dark cherry flavors more completely. For the collector’s cellar.”
Dan Berger’s Vintage Experiences – January 05, 2006
“Fairly closed at first, but with an hour of air shows cherry, pepper, and tea notes, with hints of cumin and tar. One of the best Dominus wines ever made, with better tannin structure than in the past and a wine that seems built for the future.”
San Francisco Chronicle – JON BONNÉ- December 15, 2006
3 Stars, Recommended
“Christian Moueix, head of Bordeaux’s famed Chateau Petrus, used this bottling to celebrate 20 years of his wine from the Napanook vineyard. Dominus’ relatively modest Bordeaux-like flavor profile, using just 40 percent new wood, tends to polarize Napa Cab lovers. This is a classic example, with 7 percent Cabernet Franc and 5 percent Petit Verdot blended in. Great counterpoint here: Wood notes of cedar and dried herbs balance out raspberry and currant highlights. Fresh, enticing aromas keep drawing your nose back to the glass. It’s quite young, with a slightly wobbly finish.”
San Francisco Chronicle – Linda Murphy – February 3, 2005
“The Moueix Files”
“When Bordeaux’s “Mr. Merlot” arrived in Napa Valley in 1981, he said it would him take 20 years to make great wine from the famed Napanook Vineyard in Yountville. Christian Moueix is a man of his word…”
The Wine Advocate – Robert Parker – December 2005
“The 2003 Dominus has turned out even better than I thought from barrel. There are 4,800 cases of this 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Petit Verdot blend. A big, sweet nose of roasted coffee, Provencal herbs, black currants, cherry jam, plums, allspice, and forest floor is followed by a spicy, rich, full-bodied, fragrant, intense wine. The tannins are sweet, but noticeable in this beautifully complex, strikingly aromatic 2003. It has much more similarity to a great Bordeaux than anything from Napa Valley. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2025.”
“The second wine (3,100 cases), the 2003 Napanook, is a blend of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Petit Verdot and Malbec. It offers a dark plum/garnet color as well as an evolved but intriguing nose of cedar, spice box, high quality cigar smoke, sweet currants, incense, red cherries, plums, and black currants. Complex with excellent concentration, beautiful balance, and sweet tannin, it can be drunk now or cellared for another 10-15 years.”
“The deep, saturated purple-colored 2002 boasts an extraordinary perfume of roasted coffee intermixed with black currants, cherries, cocoa, cedar, cigar smoke, and new saddle leather. A classic, full-bodied palate possesses great structure, tremendous depth, loads of tannin, and a multilayered, concentrated yet elegant finish. It is difficult to predict when this beauty will plateau in terms of maturity. My best guess is it needs 3-5 years of bottle age, and should last for 25 years.”
Wine & Spirits – December 2005
The Super Cabernet “This wine combines staying power with tremendous elegance. The complex red fruit scents and satin pleasure of the texture make it well worth opening a bottle now. Age will add to the earthy complexity.”