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Dominus Estate 1983

Bordeaux Red Blends from Yountville, Napa Valley, California
  • RP90
0% ABV
  • JS98
  • RP97
  • V96
  • WW100
  • RP100
  • JS100
  • RP98
  • JS98
  • V98
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Winemaker Notes

The 1983 Dominus Estate is the first vintage produced by the John Daniel Society made solely from grapes grown at their Napanook Vineyard in Yountville, California. When the 1983 growing season produced wines with slow-aging tannins, the partners broke with tradition and offered the 1984 vintage as their first release. After a year of additional bottle age, the 1983 Dominus Estate was released in February, 1989.

The wine is composed of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot. The 1983 growing season was quite warm, with a very hot September, resulting in extraordinary concentration of aroma, flavor and tannin.

The 1983 Dominus Estate has a dark ruby color, a complex nose and rich notions of cassis. The wine is full bodied with a deep tannic structure that will assure it many more years of life. Christian Moueix recommends decanting this wine before serving to allow it to develop its full potential.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Only 2,100 cases were produced of the debut vintage of Dominus. While very backward, full-bodied, and tannic, with an austere Bordeaux personality, the wine continues to exhibit considerable promise. The nose offers damp woodsy aromas intermingled with rich, jammy cassis, cedar, licorice, and even some oriental spice notes. Full-bodied with considerable tannin, this highly extracted, rich wine should prove to be extremely long-lived. It gives every sign of shedding its tannins and having the requisite extraction of fruit and concentration for future harmony. It is unquestionably among the finest 1983 California Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines.
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Dominus

Dominus

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Dominus, , California
Dominus
In the late 1960s, while attending the University of California at Davis, Christian Moueix fell in love with the Napa Valley and its wines. 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, La Fleur-Petrus, Trotanoy in Pomerol and Magdelaine in Saint Emilion.

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 1995, 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.

Horse Heaven Hills

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"Surely this is Horse Heaven!”

Its wide prairies and rolling expanses led an early pioneer to proclaim that the region looked like “horse heaven,” and as a result, the area was appropriately named. Horse Heaven Hills is in south central Washington state, geographically bound on its northern border by the Yakima River and in the south, by the larger Columbia River.

Its proximity to the Columbia River contributes to a variety of climactic factors that dramatically affect its grapes. In particular, an increase in wind from changes in pressure along the river, which flows from the cool and wet Pacific Ocean, inland to Washington’s hot and arid plains, creates 30% more wind than there would be otherwise. These winds moderate temperatures, which protect against mold and rot, reduce the risk of early and late season frosts, diminish canopy size and toughen grape skins.

The vineyards bordering the river are on steep, south-facing, well-exposed slopes, with well-drained, sandy-loam soils. But the soils of the appellation are diverse throughout, ranging from wind-blown sand and loess, Missoula Flood sediment, and rocky basalt. Horse Heaven Hills has an arid continental climate with elevations ranging from 200 to 1,800 feet.

The first vines of the appellation were planted in 1972 in an optimal spot now referred to as the Champoux Vineyard. Today it remains the source of some of Washington’s most desirable and expensive Cabernet Sauvignons. In fact, the appellation as a whole boasts many of Washington’s top scoring wines. Its primary grape varieties are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay and Riesling.

Riesling

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A regal variety of incredible purity and precision, Riesling possesses a remarkable ability to reflect the character of wherever it is grown while still maintaining easily identifiable typicity. This versatile grape can be just as enjoyable dry or sweet, young or old, still or sparkling, and can age longer than nearly any other white variety. Riesling is best known in Germany and Alsace, and is also of great importance in Austria. The variety has also been particularly successful in Australia’s Clare and Eden Valleys, New Zealand, Oregon, Washington, cooler regions of California, and the Finger Lakes in New York.

In the Glass

Riesling is low in alcohol, with high acidity, steely minerality, and stone fruit, spice, citrus, and floral notes. At its ripest it leans towards juicy peach and nectarine, and pineapple, while in cooler climes it is more redolent of meyer lemon, lime, and green apple. With age, Riesling can become truly revelatory, developing unique, complex aromatics, often with a hint of gasoline.

Perfect Pairings

Riesling is very versatile, enjoying the company of sweet-fleshed fish like sole, most Asian food, especially Thai and Vietnamese (bottlings with some residual sugar and low alcohol are the perfect companions for dishes with substantial spice), and freshly shucked oysters. Sweeter styles work well with fruit-based desserts.

Sommelier Secret

It can be difficult to discern the level of sweetness in a Riesling, and German labeling laws do not make things any easier. Look for the world “trocken” to indicate a dry wine, or “halbtrocken” or “feinherb” for off-dry. Some producers will include a helpful sweetness scale on the back label—happily, a growing trend.

ELVDOMINUS_1983 Item# 132319

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