1997 Dominus Estate Proprietary Red 6.0 L

Year: 1997
Appellation: Napa Valley
Country: USA-California
Wine Spectator: 93
Wine Advocate: 94
Vinous Media: 92
Wine Enthusiast: 93
Red Wine
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"A wine of substance and depth. Dark, rich and polished, with complex notes of earthy, meaty currant, anise, spice, cedar and leather, fanning out on the finish. Young and concentrated. Better than previously reviewed. Best from 2002 through 2012. 8,500 cases made." (WS)

"The 1997 Dominus, a blend of 86.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Cabernet Franc, and 4.5% Merlot, is showing fabulously well. With 14.1% alcohol and a pH that would make many New World oenologists shudder (about 3.95), this wine is a fleshy, silky-textured, opulent wine with a gorgeous nose of roasted herbs, coffee, jammy black cherry and plum-like fruit.

Asian spice, licorice, and blackberry and cherry notes with tobacco spice all add to this complex, very involved, yet gorgeously symmetrical Dominus. The wine is medium to full-bodied, very concentrated, and silky-textured. It is gorgeous to drink now, but should age easily for 10-15 years. " (WA)

"Deep ruby-red color. Perfumed aromas of black cherry, cassis, graphite, shoe polish and Cuban cigar tobacco. Lush, sweet and very deep, with powerful, spicy black cherry and cassis flavors. Remarkably expressive for a wine so young. Big but shapely, with enough acidity to frame the fruit. Even tannins coat the entire palate. This will be seamless." (IWC)

"Deep berry, cinnamon, briar and mint aromas. Firm, even backwards, it is trim and elegant, yet solid. Black fruit and bitter-chocolate flavors abound. The finish is especially tight, with dry tannins and complex mineral and earth elements. Huge but refined, the quintessential iron fist in a velvet glove; it needs time. — W.E. (11/1/2000)" (WE)

Winery Notes:
The 1997 Vintage has a deep ruby color and aromas of very ripe black currant, spices and mineral overtones. It exhibits power and elegance and finishes with substantial but silky rich tannins. A luscious and dense wine, it is delicious to drink now with a great aging potential.

The 1997 blend includes 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Merlot. The balance between the three varietals was excellent and no Petit Verdot was added to the blend. As with all Dominus wines, we recommend decanting this wine prior to serving to allow it to develop its full potential.

Vintage Summary:
Substantial rains fell in December and January and were followed by a very dry spring. As the dry weather continued, the bloom started very early in mid-April and was relatively short. This would later make for uniformity of ripeness. By summer it was evident that the harvest would be large and that severe crop thinning was necessary. The favorable weather continued during the summer, which helped the maturation and improved the flavors of the Cabernets and Merlots. At the time of the harvest, the grapes were perfectly matured with refined tannins and a high concentration of flavors.