Dominus Napanook 2008 Christian Moueix
|Condition||From Original Wooden Case|
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.
Winespectator / James Suckling (91)
JS: A balanced and pretty wine with blueberry and minerals. Medium to full-bodied, with fine tannins and a delicious finish. Dried flowers, milk chocolate and spices.