Dominus Napanook 2015 Napa Valley
Bottled in July 2017, Dominus’ more approachable, less tannic sister wine, Dominus Napanook 2015 is a blend this year of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc.
Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2015 Napanook Proprietary Red Wine is redolent of crème de cassis, potpourri, plum preserves and violets with hints of dark chocolate, menthol, licorice and charcoal.
Medium to full-bodied, the palate is densely packed with black fruit preserves and earthy layers, supported by firm, ripe, fine-grained tannins and finishing with great length.
Christian Moueix began our tasting of the 2015 vintage with a big smile. “We loved the vintage from the beginning,” he commented simply. Dominus winemaker Tod Mostero explained why 2015 was special: “We had a lot of winter rain—15 inches in December 2014.
But then we had a very dry spring—just two inches in March and April. This equated to less vegetative growth, because when you have very little rain in spring, the vegetative growth tends to be limited. This means you need less water in the summer, since the vines prepare themselves for a dry growing season.
Because we dry farm, the roots grow deeper and access water that normally wouldn’t be available. We had a similar profile in 2013. The 2015 temperatures were higher than normal but not excessive. Yields were about the same as 2013—smaller than average.
The grapes were small. We experienced an early budburst, flowering and harvest, with harvest starting on September 2nd and finished by September 30th.
The Dominus Napanook 2015 is dark, plush, and inviting, all of which make it an excellent choice for drinking now and over the next decade or so. Super-ripe black cherry, plum, spice, and licorice notes are all pushed forward in a decidedly lush, open-knit Napanook that will be ready to go pretty much upon release.