Dominus   Dominus Napanook

2005 Dominus Napanook

By Dominus

2005 Dominus Napanook from Dominus, USA

The 2005 vintage stands as an intriguing testament to the crafting prowess and terroir finesse of the prestigious Dominus Estate. The immensely expressive 2005 Dominus Napanook from this Californian beauty is a compelling narrative of that year's climate conditions, a tantalising chronicle in every sip.


An All-American Affair

The heart and soul of the Napa Valley are encapsulated within this robust fine wine from USA, a labour of love paying homage to the region's distinctive characteristics. The Napanook vineyard's unique loamy soil and microclimate have played instrumental roles in nurturing the 2005 Dominus Napanook towards its pinnacle.

The dance between the audacious Cabernet Sauvignon and its gentler brethren – Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot – results in a symphony of flavours. A sublime testament to Dominus's ability to extract exceptional depth and elegance from their vines.


A Vintage Testing Time and Terroir

The 2005 vintage was a uniquely challenging year by Californian standards. Earlier rains followed by an uncommonly cool summer propelled the vines into prolonged ripening, resulting in concentrated clusters. It endowed the 2005 Dominus Napanook with extraordinary complexity and depth - a deep dive into the soul of Napa Valley.

On pouring, the first encounter is an opulent nose hinting towards blackcurrant, graphite, and anise, woven meticulously around a sturdy skeleton of tannins. On the palate unfolds a paradoxically graceful power - an interplay between muscular dark fruit flavours and savory notes. Finishing long and stately, it leaves behind a trail of rich tobacco and leather nuances - a true treat for discerning collectors and investors.


Remarkably Napanook, Unmistakably Dominus

In essence, the 2005 Dominus Napanook represents an investable fine wine that reaches into the heart of Napa Valley, illustrating the fruits of a challenging climate danced around an intricate terroir stage. One for the ages, it resonates with both immediate appeal and an assured potential for rewarding patience. As has been said in the world of fine wines - One hundred years of solitude later, the Dominus would still present its timeless glory.

Market price (SGD)



Highest score


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Scores and tasting notes


The dark ruby/purple-hued 2005 Napanook (76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Petit Verdot) reveals a big, spicy, tobacco, black currant, sweet cherry, new saddle leather, and loamy soil-scented bouquet. With attractive fruit, a soft, round, full-bodied mouthfeel, and beautiful complexity as well as balance, it is one of the most Bordeaux-like Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines made in Napa. This 2005 should drink easily for 10-12 years. Christian Moueix, Dominus’ owner, has purchased the 35-acre Swanson Vineyard, which is situated between the well-known California bistros, Brix and Mustard’s. I suspect that will result in a third label from Dominus. At present, the production from these large holdings in Yountville is approximately 10,000-12,000 cases, with the second wine, Napanook, representing 3,500-4,000 cases, depending on the vintage. It is ironic that Christian Moueix, the great Merlot specialist at his flagship chateaux in Pomerol, especially Petrus, prefers the other Bordeaux varietals at his Napa property. Interestingly, when I visit Dominus, they always open a fresh bottle and serve it alongside a bottle that has been decanted for 24 hours. On each occasion, the more complex, open wine is the one that has had 24 hours of aeration, something buyers of this wine should take into consideration. These are the two strongest back to back vintages for Dominus since 1990-1991 and 2001-2002. Tel. (707) 944-8954; Fax (707) 944-0547

Robert Parker Jr - The Wine Advocate, 21 December 2008

Vintage performance