eRobertParker.com #221 Oct 2015 Robert M. Parker, Jr.Rated 98+ Drink: 2015 – 2045 (125) The exuberance and drama in the stunning nose of the dense plum-colored 2012 Dominus offers up notes of Asian spice, ripe, black currants, kirsch, tobacco leaf and Christmas fruitcake. It is full-bodied and opulent, with no hard edges, a seamless integration of acidity, wood and tannin and a density and richness that are built to go on for 25-30 years. Christian Moueix has probably had his two greatest back-to-back vintages to date with the 2012 and 2013. The 2012s, which are just being released, include the unbelievable Dominus, made of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc and coming in at 14.3% natural alcohol. I said last year that it reminded me somewhat of the 1991 and the 1994, which are both still very strong efforts and, while fully mature, showed no signs of decline if well-stored. Tel. (707) 944-8954; www.dominusestate.com Wine Advocate #209 Oct 2013 Robert M. Parker, Jr. Rated (98-100) Drink: 2013 – 2033 $160-$300 Another candidate that flirts with perfection is the 2012 Dominus. Composed of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc that came in at 14.3% natural alcohol, it could turn out to be as great as the 2010, but very different stylistically. The 2012 recalls the 1991 and 1994. Flamboyant aromas of fruitcake, Asian spices, black currants, kirsch and unsmoked cigar tobacco are followed by a wine that’s still an infant, but exhibits explosively rich fruit, lots of glycerin, a full-bodied mouthfeel and a pungent, penetrating intensity that goes on and on in the mouth. It has been seamlessly constructed and should age effortlessly for 20+ years. Looking at the harvest dates for the 2009 through 2012 Napanook and Dominus reveals that none of these were early, very warm years, such as 2013 is promising to be in northern California. For example, in 2009 the harvest took place between October 5 and 12; 2010 between October 4 and 23; 2011 between October 15 and 24; and 2012 between October 9 and 21. Production has remained steady because the estate crop-thins as much as 50% of the harvest to ensure bunch regularity, even ripening and reasonable yields. The second wine, Napanook, tends to come in around 3,000 cases per year, and Dominus around 5,000 cases per year. I was joking with Christian Moueix when I visited the winery and I told him I am one of the geezers old enough to remember his first vintage of 1983, which was tasted at the Rombauer Cellars until he moved to what appears to be an old bank building in downtown St. Helena, after which they constructed a spectacular winery in Yountville that resembles an extension of their historic terroir. Another great vintage, the 2012s have slightly lower alcohols than the 2009s and 2010s, which surprised me given the exuberant nature of this vintage and its boisterous fruit and glycerin. I was shocked to realize that 2013 will mark over thirty vintages for Christian Moueix and Dominus, not to mention my visits each year. How time flies!
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