Dominus   Dominus Napanook

2003 Dominus Napanook

By Dominus

2003 Dominus Napanook by Dominus, Napa Valley

Our fine wine journey takes a spirited detour to the magnificent sun-drenched slopes of the Napa Valley. The hero of today's narrative is none other than the redoubtable 2003 Dominus Napanook from Dominus — a remarkable testament to the winemaking prowess of Christian Moueix and the exceptional character of a phenomenal vintage.


A vintage of extraordinary resilience

The climatic conditions leading to the 2003 harvest were notably challenging, with the entire west coast grappling with the infamous heatwave that made many vintages from that year particularly distinctive. However, the 2003 Dominus Napanook managed to transcend climate extremes, showcasing a galvanizing expression that sets it apart among fine wines from USA.

The exceptional terroir of their Napanook vineyards befitted this stoic resilience by providing a cool microclimate and enabling an elegant varietal expression despite adverse weather.


An expression of moody complexity

Unveiling its unflinching depth and complexity, the 2003 Dominus Napanook marries robust tannins with an ecstatic orchestra of blackcurrant, ripe plum, sweet cedarwood and a hint of savoury slate. The wine unfolds leisurely on the palate, its profound intensity balanced out by restrained oak and a stately finish that lingers enticingly.


A sound choice for serious wine investors

Critical acclaim and limited availability render the 2003 Dominus Napanook a compelling proposition for discerning collectors and investors. Its robust structure makes this wine capable of further aging, suggesting promising returns. Just as Dominus has proved to be one of America's premier Bordeaux-style producers, this particular vintage illustrates the winery's ability to create wines of immense character in the face of challenging conditions.

Ultimately, the 2003 Dominus Napanook is a testament to terroir and tenacity − an inimitable portrait of Napa Valley brilliance amidst adversity, making it a sterling addition to any fine wine portfolio.

Market price (SGD)



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Scores and tasting notes


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 most European-styled of all the Napa Valley Bordeaux blends, Dominus is owned by Petrus winemaker Christian Moueix, who works from one of region’s most historic vineyards, the renowned Napanook site from which many of the famed Inglenook wines of the fifties and sixties were produced. Interestingly, I tasted both decanted and recently opened bottles of each of these wines, and the additional aeration unquestionably revealed more nuances and character. I wouldn’t be surprised if 5-10 hours of decanting resulted in significant improvement for these young wines. P.S. When I asked Christian Moueix to briefly summarize the last three Dominus vintages, he called 2001 “classic and elegant,” 2002 “exuberant and rich in more of a California style,” and 2003 “extremely aromatic and supple.” (Release date Summer 2006) Tel. (707) 944-8954; Fax (707) 944-0547

Robert Parker Jr - The Wine Advocate, 25 December 2005

Vintage performance