Dominus   Dominus Estate

2008 Dominus Estate

By Dominus

The 2008 Dominus Estate from Dominus, Napa Valley, USA

One of the most intriguing releases of this venerable Californian house, the 2008 Dominus Estate exudes elegance and nuance, reflecting beautiful precision and grace. Harnessing the beneficial climatic fortunes of a cooler year in Napa, where the extended hang time created added complexity.


A Complex Portrait From a Balanced Vintage

This vintage stands as an embodiment of the purist expression from one of America's prominent Bordeaux-inspired estates. The generous rainfall prior to bloom set the vines on a healthy trajectory and cabernet-forward orchestration was decided upon for this enticing blend.

The 2008 Dominus Estate is imbued with plum, black cherry, and exotic spice notes that embrace its Merlot and Petit Verdot companions in a seamless dance. Driven by structured tannins, an underlying minerality lends a definitive backbone to its stately yet ever-evolving palate profile.


Nailing The Essence: Subdued Power, Unmistakable Elegance

Rich yet poised, this wine showcases what makes fine wines from USA uniquely desirable in the realm of wine investment. It harmonizes power with subtlety, pushing the chorale of dark fruit notes towards a crescendo whilst retaining an unmistakably cool command over its structure.

The true prowess of this 2008 Dominus Estate lies in its balance that crescendoes into an exhilarating finish leaving one longing for another encounter. Reflecting the beauty of its Napa Valley origin while embodying Dominus' continental finesse, tastefully portraying a continuity of style while celebrating the distinctiveness of its vintage.


Investing in Excellence

With an impressive life ahead due to stellar ageing potential, this note-worthy vintage warrants careful consideration for those keen on wine investment. Reflecting the admirable potential of Napa and the consistency of Dominus, it spots an interesting blend of profitability and pleasure for the discerning investor. This Domini-owned jewel illustrates the mutual flourishing of fine winemaking and savvy wine investing.

Current market price



Highest score


POP score


Scores and tasting notes


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. This estate, owned by Christian Moueix, includes the famed Napanook Vineyard that was the base of so many of the historic Inglenook Cabernet Sauvignons of the 1950s and 1960s. Interestingly, they have completely eliminated Merlot from the bottling. The 2007 Dominus is a 5,400-case blend of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. There are 4,200 cases of the 2008 Dominus which is composed of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. Lower yields resulted in a denser, more concentrated wine. The remarkable thing about these cuvees is that they smell like a hypothetical blend of a top Napa Cabernet Sauvignon and a serious Bordeaux, possibly a cross blend of a Pomerol and Pauillac. Both wines possess silky sweet tannins, which is the big difference between Dominus post-1990 and the first seven vintages, where the tannin content was relatively high. About 40% new oak is used in their upbringing. P.S. In a couple of years, readers should be on the look-out for a new estate wine from Christian Moueix. One mile north of the Napanook Vineyard, Moueix has purchased a 36-acre, already planted parcel known as the Schmidt Ranch. I tasted some of the 2009 barrel samples and this appears to be another promising venture with a completely different personality a more obviously Napa Valley/Cabernet Sauvignon, ripe style of wine than the more elegant, complex Dominus. I’m not sure what the name will be, but it will definitely not be called the Schmidt Ranch. Tel. (707) 944-8954; Fax (707) 944-0547

Robert Parker Jr - The Wine Advocate, 22 December 2010

Vintage performance