2018 Dominus Estate Dominus
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  • Nick's Import

2018 Dominus Estate Dominus

Napa Valley, California, UNITED STATES
$950. 00
$11400.00 Dozen
ABV: 14.5%
Closure: Cork

Bordeaux native Christian Moueix has long had an interest in Californian wine, having first sampled the wines during his time studying at the University of California, Davis, in the late 1960s. So while he returned to Bordeaux and worked with his father at their negociant operation (which today includes chateaus such as Trotanoy, La Fleur-Petrus and Hosanna in Pomerol and Belair-Monange in Saint-Emilion), Christian would regularly travel to California culminating in 1982 when he became a partner in the Napanook vineyard. This vineyard would become the foundation for Dominus Estate a year later. In 1995 Christian bought out his partners and became sole owner of the property.

Wine Spectator's #1 Wine of the Year, 2021

At Dominus Estate Christian instigated various farming techniques he had practiced in Bordeaux, and one of the critical early decisions was to practice dry farming with no irrigation. Given the prevalence of drought years to follow, this has been instrumental in ensuring vine roots on the property dig deep and are better prepared for lengthy spells without rain. 2018 was one such drought year, and this dry farming strategy paid off handsomely, allowing the vines to achieve a balance of ripeness and freshness that most struggled to achieve.

Other Reviews....
Very deep garnet-purple colored, the 2018 Dominus slowly emerges from the glass with profound notes of blackcurrant cordial, ripe black plums, boysenberries and Black Forest cake with hints of violets, star anise, cracked black pepper, raspberry leaves and pencil lead, plus a touch of garrigue. Medium to full-bodied, the palate delivers impactful black fruit layers, creating a beguiling sense of richness that is beautifully countered by invigorating freshness and great poise, framed by super ripe, plush tannins and beautiful tension, finishing on a lingering fragrant earth note and, finally, lots of mineral sparks. For all that it is at the moment, one cannot help but feel that this 2018 is holding something back. Give it a good five years in bottle, at least, and then get set for what I suspect will be a mind-blowing transformation over the next 30 years+. Drink 2026 - 2056.
99+ points
Lisa Perrotti-Brown - Wine Advocate (Feb 2021)

The 2018 Dominus has really shut down over the last year. I underestimated its imposing structure and density, both of which are on fully display today. The 2018 is a potent Dominus endowed with superb depth and tons of vertical explosive energy allied to a feeling of elegance that becomes increasingly apparent over time. Dark fruit, spice and a whole range of earthy, savory notes add layers of complexity. Superb. Drink 2028-2043.
98 points
Antonio Galloni - Vinous

This is incredible on the nose, offering hot stones, blackcurrants, iodine and wet earth. Full-bodied with a tight center palate, then it opens with a tannin structure that is weightless and spreads across the palate. Totally integrated on the palate. This is a magic-carpet wine. Really incredible. One of the reference points for the vintage. Drinkable now and please try a bottle, but it’s one for the cellar.
100 points
James Suckling

The flagship 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon checks in as 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Petit Verdot brought up in 40% new French oak. With an essence of Cabernet-like character in its darker currants, green tobacco, cedar, graphite, and floral aromas and flavors, this gorgeous wine is full-bodied and has bright yet integrated acidity, polished tannins, and a great, great finish. It’s just gorgeously put together and a magical, flawless wine. It's going to take a decade to hit maturity but will evolve for 40-50 years in cold cellars. It is as good as it gets in classic, age-worthy Cabernet Sauvignon! Drink 2031 - 2068.
100 points
Jeb Dunnuck

This is tightly packed, with sleek, pure, driven notes of cassis, plum reduction and blackberry puree allied to an iron spine, while subtle alder, juniper, sweet bay leaf and tobacco notes peek in throughout. Very fine-grained, but impressively sturdy in feel, with a long, lingering note of iron piercing the finish. For the cellar. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Best from 2024 through 2040.
97 points
James Molesworth - Wine Spectator