Dominus   Dominus Estate

2010 Dominus Estate

By Dominus

2010 Dominus Estate by Dominus, Napa Valley

Delving into the iconic 2010 Dominus Estate from Dominus, a titan amongst its Napa Valley peers, is an enlightening voyage of sensory discovery. Crafted in the hands of legendary winemaker Christian Moueix, this bold selection from the esteemed fine wines from USA communicates a lyrical story of the influences of the season that sculpted it.


Learning to dance in the rain

The 2010 vintage was characterized by unusual weather changes that served as nature's way of testing the resilience of both vine and vintner. Chilled spring temperatures were followed by almost idyllic summer conditions, only to then grapple with late season rain. And yet, experience triumphed over adversity, with Dominus responding to the challenge by crafting an astonishingly complex wine of remarkable balance.

At its heart resides an enrapturing blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (89%), Cabernet Franc (7%), and Petit Verdot (4%). The dominance of Cabernet Sauvignon underlines its potency and brings forth a structured backbone, tempered gracefully by Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot’s grace notes.


Dignified resilience, a winning recipe

The result is Dominus's 2010 rendition in a glass - a testament to Moueix's vinous expertise and determination to coax the finer expressions from this challening vintage. It spills forth a mesmerizing fan-dance of blackcurrant and dark plum fruit characters deftly interwoven with subtle hues of spice and tobacco hints, embodying perfect measure between ripe fruit characters and poised structure.

As those well-versed in investing know, value isn’t just about initial appeal; it lies significantly in potential longevity. Here too, the 2010 Dominus Estate shines as vividly as its crimson sheen. With a capacity to age gracefully for another two decades, this is a blend that effortlessly marries immediate gratification with an assuring promise of future evolution.

To summarize, the 2010 Dominus Estate from Dominus is akin to a beautifully choreographed ballet of aromas and flavours. It encapsulates the beauty of Napa Valley's resilience in a given season, personifying why investing in quality time-honored vineyards continues to be a dynamic pursuit.

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Scores and tasting notes


Composed of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petit Verdot, the stunning, full-bodied 2010 Dominus boasts an exceptional perfume of hoisin sauce, licorice, underbrush, forest floor, plums, black currants and jammy cherries intertwined with hints of cedar, baking spices and oak. Full-bodied and voluptuously textured, the 2010 is on a slightly faster evolutionary track than the 2009 (somewhat of an anomaly for these two vintages). This exquisite as well as prodigious 2010 can be drunk young, but it should age effortlessly for 20-25 years. Bravo! Looking at the harvest dates for the 2009 through 2012 Napanook and Dominus reveals that none of these were early, very warm years, such as 2013 is promising to be in northern California. For example, in 2009 the harvest took place between October 5 and 12; 2010 between October 4 and 23; 2011 between October 15 and 24; and 2012 between October 9 and 21. Production has remained steady because the estate crop-thins as much as 50% of the harvest to ensure bunch regularity, even ripening and reasonable yields. The second wine, Napanook, tends to come in around 3,000 cases per year, and Dominus around 5,000 cases per year. I was joking with Christian Moueix when I visited the winery and I told him I am one of the geezers old enough to remember his first vintage of 1983, which was tasted at the Rombauer Cellars until he moved to what appears to be an old bank building in downtown St. Helena, after which they constructed a spectacular winery in Yountville that resembles an extension of their historic terroir. Another great vintage, the 2012s have slightly lower alcohols than the 2009s and 2010s, which surprised me given the exuberant nature of this vintage and its boisterous fruit and glycerin. I was shocked to realize that 2013 will mark over thirty vintages for Christian Moueix and Dominus, not to mention my visits each year. How time flies! Tel. (707) 944-8954

Robert Parker Jr - The Wine Advocate, 30 October 2013

Vintage performance