In the late 1960s, while attending the University of California at Davis, Christian Moueix fell in love with the Napa Valley and its wine. Son of Jean-Pierre Moueix, the famed wine merchant and producer from Libourne, France, Moueix returned home in 1970 to manage the family vineyards, including Chateaux Petrus. His love of Napa Valley lingered and in 1981, he discovered the historic Napanook Vineyard, a 124-acre site west of Yountville that had been the source of fruit for some of the finest Napa Valley wines of the 1940s and 1950s. In 1982, Moueix entered into a partnership to develop the vineyard and in 1985, became its sole owner. He chose the name "Dominus" or "Lord of the Estate" in Latin to underscore his longstanding commitment to stewardship of the land.
It is not uncommon for the Dominus Estate Cabernet-Blend to reach a near perfect score, in fact, it has garnered that perfect 100-point score six previous times (4 times from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, once from Antonio Galloni, and once from Jeb Dunnuck). Well, this recently-released 2018 vintage has also received the perfect 100-point score! This seventh time comes from esteemed critic Jeb Dunnuck, and he writes that "It's just gorgeously put together and a magical, flawless wine."
2018 truly is a magical vintage, but just like a vanishing act...this wine WILL disappear!
JEB DUNNUCK 100 POINTS - "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!"
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 99+ POINTS - "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+."
ANTONIO GALLONI 97 POINTS - "The 2018 Dominus is wild and exotic from the first taste. Lifted aromatics make a strong opening impression. There is something exuberant about the 2018 that is hard to describe. The 2018 is not a huge Dominus, nor is it massively structured, but the intensity of the flavors is remarkable just the same. Dark raspberry, spice, leather and cedar are some of the many notes that open over time."