2016 Dominus Estate Proprietary Red

Year: 2016
Appellation: Napa Valley
Country: USA-California
Wine Spectator: 95
Wine Advocate: 100
Vinous Media: 97
James Suckling: 98
Jeb Dunnuck: 98+
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.5%
Price :
$249.95
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"This marries a range of old-school savory, tobacco, chestnut and bay leaf notes with a dense and muscular core of dark currant and blackberry fruit, all backed by a loam-swaddled finish. Long and dense, but defined, with the fruit steadily emerging to win out in the end. Patience is required. Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2023 through 2040. 5,500 cases made. -JM" (WS)

"A blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot and 8% Cabernet Franc aged in 40% new oak, the 2016 Proprietary Red Wine is deep purple-black in color and quite reticent at this youthful stage to begin, offering up subtle notions of potpourri, Indian spices, cigar box and iron ore over a core of crushed blackberries and black cherries with intermittent wafts of black and red currants, new leather and smoked meats. The palate is medium to full-bodied with a densely packed mid-palate and oodles of freshness framed by very ripe, finely grained tannins and laced with compelling earthy accents. It offers incredible vibrancy with tons of black and red fruit sparkle in the mid-palate leading to a provocative mineral element on the very long finish. If I could give more than 100 for this one, I would. To be released in May 2019." (WA)

"The 2016 Dominus is a dark, somber wine. I don't quite see the explosive energy of the 2013 or 2010, not the seductiveness of the 2012, but the 2016 has a distinct charm that is all its own. Quite frankly, I can't remember a young Dominus with this combination of fruit density, freshness and polished tannins. A huge center of fruit emerge with time in the glass in a big, large-scaled Dominus that should provide readers with a long drinking window of pure pleasure once some of the baby fat wears off." (VM)

"The opulence of fresh flowers and dark fruit is so impressive. There’s so much going on, from flowers to currants. The palate is full and powerful, but what impresses most are the ripe tannins and the amazing poise at the finish. Tightens down at the end. A blend of 84 per cent cabernet sauvignon, eight per cent petit verdot and eight per cent cabernet franc. Drink in 2021." (JS)

"Another possible legend in the making is the 2016 Dominus, a classic blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot and the rest Cabernet Franc brought up in 40% new French oak. Pure, pristine notes of charcoal, cold fireplace, smoke tobacco, and both blue and black fruits all flow to a full-bodied 2016 that has incredible elegance and finesse, yet also depth and density. It’s more backward and reserved than the 2015 and needs 4-5 years of cellaring. It will unquestionably live for 25-30 years." (JD)

Winery Notes:
Dominus Estate is the Napa Valley property of Bordeaux producer Christian Moueix. The wine, Dominus and Napanook, are both estate bottled from the historic Napanook Vineyard. Located at the foothills of the Mayacamas, the vineyard was planted in 1838 and continues to evolve under the stewardship of Christian Moueix. The estate's Bordeaux varietals benefit from the Yountville microclimate where temperatures are moderated by cool breezes from the San Pablo Bay. The resulting wines are each uniquely refined expressions of this special terroir.

Winemaking:
Enjoying a temperate climate, the vineyard's volcanic, well draining soils are specifically suited to growing Cabernet Sauvignon and the other Bordeaux varietals which compose the Dominus Estate wines. The soil is gravelly and clay loam. Meticulous efforts are made throughout the seasons to produce grapes of the highest quality for Dominus Estate wines. During the winter season, precise cane pruning ensures ideal cluster spacing for optimal fruit ripening. Dry farming relies on a deep root system to take advantage of natural water sources from rain and underground supplies. The french plough removes invasive weeds and encourages deep root growth. Cluster thinning optimizes quality through yield regulation. Strategic trellising ensures perfect canopy management. Frequent grape sampling provides invaluable data for determining optimal ripeness. Rinsing the grapes 10 to 15 days before harvest removes dust and enhances the purity of the fruit. Hand-picking with small french shears instead of harvest knives minimizes bruising and vine damage. Small harvest baskets preserve the integrity of the clusters as they are transported to the winery. The sunny side of the vines is picked a few days before the shady side respecting perfect maturity. Dominus Estate wines are made with an objective of purity, balance and complexity. Minimal intervention and restraint throughout the process of grape berry selection, fermentation and aging preserve the character of the fruit. The resulting wines convey the very personality of the vineyard. Dominus winemaking includes separate lot-by-lot fermentation. Cluster sorting by hand is complemented by an optical berry sorting system. Gentle pumping-over extracts aromas, color and tannins. Vertical wine press at low pressure delicately releases components from the skin. Racking barrel to barrel in 100% french oak removes sediment and assures clarification of the wine during aging.

Serving:
We recommend decanting the wine prior to serving to allow it to develop its full potential. This is especially important when serving young Dominus wines.