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Flat front label of wine
Flat front label of wine

Dominus Estate 2002

Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
  • RP99
  • W&S94
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

"The 2002 Dominus gets my nod as the greatest example of this cuvee since the 1991 and 1994." There are 4,500 cases of this 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot, and 3% Merlot blend fashioned from minuscule yields ranging from 1.8 to 2.8 tons of fruit per acre. The deep, saturated purple-colored 2002 boasts an extraordinary perfume of roasted coffee intermixed with black currants, cherries, cocoa, cedar, cigar smoke, and new saddle leather. A classic, full-bodied palate possesses great structure, tremendous depth, loads of tannin, and a multilayered, concentrated yet elegant finish. It is difficult to predict when this beauty will plateau in terms of maturity. My best guess is it needs 3-5 years of bottle age, and should last for 25 years.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 99
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
This 2002 was virtually perfect when I tasted it in early May. Even better than I predicted seven years ago, this 4,500-case blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc and the rest Petit Verdot and Merlot has blossomed beautifully, revealing even greater intensity and potential than I predicted. A flawless, seamless integration of tannin, wood, alcohol and acidity is found in this dense, plum/purple-colored Dominus, along with copious notes of sweet black currants interwoven with kirsch, forest floor, unsmoked cigar tobacco, new saddle leather and forest floor. Full-bodied with velvety tannins, stunning elegance and a 45-second finish, this sensational 2002 rivals two of the all-time great wines made at Dominus, 1991 and 1994. It is hard to believe that proprietor Christian Moueix’s Dominus Estate has already celebrated its 25th anniversary and is moving toward 30 years with the 2012-2013 vintages. The 2002 will drink well for another 20 years.
W&S 94
Wine & Spirits
A great vintage of Dominus, this wine combines staying power with tremendous elegance on release. Christian Moueix has farmed John Daniel's classic vineyard since 1983; he now works with Boris Champy to make this wine. If you can procure a case, the complex red fruit scents and satin pleasure of the texture make it well worth opening a bottle now. Plan to drink most of it between 2010 and 2014, when the earthy tannins will have fully matured, adding more complexity to that voluptuous texture. Then save a few bottles to see whether this or the '01 will age best.
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Dominus

Dominus Estate

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Dominus Estate, Napa Valley, California
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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.

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism, the Napa Valley is the AVA that brought worldwide recognition to California winemaking. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two are St.-Helena and the valley's newest AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap District, and Mt. Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

SSR84197_2002 Item# 84197