Dominus   Dominus Napanook

2011 Dominus Napanook

By Dominus

The 2011 Dominus Napanook from Dominus, USA

The 2011 vintage takes centre stage in the pantheon of fabulous vintages granted to us by the esteemed vineyards of Dominus. This passionate dance of down-to-earth rusticity and cool climate refinement is a gorgeous exemplar of fine wines from USA. The Napanook, the second wine from Dominus, has garnered attention over the years. But it is indeed in 2011 where it starts to truly shine through with its wilderness spirit.


A Touch of Mother Nature

In 2011, climatic conditions rendered a rather challenging environment for the vines. A season characterized by cooler temperatures and higher humidity, it stands as a testament to the graft, tenacity, and skill of Dominus winemakers that such an intriguing wine was born.

With a palate defined by exuberant black fruits and unwavering minerality, one might say this wine indulges the senses much like a moody symphony – startling in its intensity one moment, quietly contemplative the next. Keynotes of ripe blackcurrants, cinnamon, and leather imbibe their character into every sip.


Potential that Savvy Investors can’t resist

Fine wine connoisseurs will stand up and take note at this point: The 2011 Dominus Napanook truly exhibits profound wine investment potential. Its ability to delight now while promising even greater pleasure as it matures makes it a prized asset in any investment portfolio.

Entrancing in its complexity yet divinely drinkable today, the 2011 Napanook manages to capture the very best of its vintage. Sublime depth and expressive energy are coupled with remarkable persistence on the finish-a certain sign of substantial aging potential.


2011 Dominus Napanook: A Vision of Pricelessness

The 2011 Napanook from Dominus painted an intriguing portrait of this challenging vintage, with its alluring depths and flexibility. This wine reveals a multidimensional capacity that no merely good vintage could, and most importantly, it's an enticingly sound investment in the world of fine wines.

This year showed us how various factors can attest to a wine's individualism and discrepancy, emphasising the significance of understanding the vintage. The 2011 Dominus Napanook is one such enchanting bottle speaking volumes about its year of origin and charismatic terroir.

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Scores and tasting notes


The 2011 Napanook, from a challenging vintage, is a blend of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot and 8% Cabernet Franc. It reveals lots of weedy underbrush and herbal characteristics along with pomegranate, sweet cherry and sassafras notes. It also possesses an attractive earthy/autumnal vegetative character, but finishes narrowly with light tannin. Consume it during its first 8-10 years of life. 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