Dominus   Dominus Napanook

2008 Dominus Napanook

By Dominus

2008 Dominus Napanook by Dominus, Napa Valley

The 2008 vintage of Napanook from Dominus wine estate is a distinctive representation of what a well-achieved balance between elegance and power can offer to the fine wine enthusiasts. The unique climatic conditions of the year in Napa Valley have blessed this vintage with an unabridged depth, as remarkable as the tale it narrates.


Nature's Choice - 2008's Grandeur

The 2008 vintage was marked by uniquely cooler-than-average summer temperatures followed by an Indian summer that created exceptional conditions for the Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc to reach elegant maturity. This dramatic turn of events in the weather showcased the terroir's resilience and the resultant vintage’s excellence in exploiting its unique expression.

There is an understated confidence in the 2008 Napanook from Dominus, a blend of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Petit Verdot, and 3% Cabernet Franc. The wine offers an artful panorama of black cherry, truffles, and tobacco notes which impressively unfurl into a long-lasting harmonious finish.


A Symphony in a Bottle – The 2008 dominus napanook

This wine elucidates what makes the universe of fine wines from USA a spectrum of infinite surprises. His wonderous orchestration integrates restraint with indulgence where each component steps center-stage at its own pace. An impeccable match for contemplative cellaring, this wine certainly stands as one of the select few that maintains stellar investment value.


Investment Potential and Conclusion

Drawing from my extensive experience as a wine critic on both sides of the pond, I can say with conviction, the 2008 Dominus Napanook truly justifies its standing as a compelling choice for fine wine investment from the USA. It delivers now and will continue to deliver for a good many years to come. This wine, with its excellent balance and depth, represents an incredible opportunity particularly for enthusiasts looking for a credible cornerstone within the New World offerings.

The distinguished 2008 Dominus Napanook is more than just a wine, it is a testament to an exceptional vintage year and the seasoned craftsmanship of Dominus Estate. If Shakespeare was a wine, he would have surely written sonnets about this remarkable vintage.

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Scores and tasting notes


The 2008 Napanook (84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Cabernet Franc and the rest Petit Verdot) 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. 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