Dominus Estate 2012 Front Label
Dominus Estate 2012 Front LabelDominus Estate 2012 Front Bottle ShotDominus Estate 2012 Back Bottle Shot

Dominus Estate 2012

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  • WE95
  • WW95
  • WS94
  • W&S94
750ML / 14.3% ABV
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4.6 28 Ratings
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4.6 28 Ratings
750ML / 14.3% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The Dominus 2012 exemplifies the finest qualities of Cabernet Sauvignon from an ideal vintage. The intriguing nose offers a depth of aromas including lavender, Asian spices and cedar. Soft, supple tannins buoy layers of dark earth and cocoa. The wine is racy yet refined with a long elegant finish.

Blend: 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
RP 98
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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.Rating: 98+
JS 98
James Suckling
Fabulous purity and clarity of fruit. Blackcurrants, blackberries and violets. Full body, big soft tannins and a chocolate, hazelnut and dark fruit character. Some hot stones. Fruit at the finish. Ripe and velvety finish. Better in 2020 but delicious to drink now. Wonderful Dominus.
WE 95
Wine Enthusiast
A magical blend of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc, this estate-crafted blend exudes elegance, etching out silos of herb, lavender, cedar and earth around savory-laced texture. A powerful concentration of dark chocolate appears on the lengthy finish, the wine sourced from dry-farmed, impeccably tended vines. Cellar through 2027. Editor's Choice.
WW 95
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
The 2012 Dominus Red—a blend of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Petit Verdot—is one of the winery's best efforts to date. Currently a brooding wine—displaying brooding black fruit, dust, and tar—this wine looks like a keeper and one that requires time in the bottle. (Tasted: October 10, 2016, San Francisco, CA)
WS 94
Wine Spectator
Deftly balanced, with an enticing mix of gravelly, loamy earth, dried berry, cedar and cigar box, all rich and extracted. Ends with raw, assertive tannins. Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2018 through 2030.
W&S 94
Wine & Spirits
If you’re used to riper styles of Napa Valley cabernet, give yourself time to adjust to the savory profile of one of the region’s oldest vineyard sites. Dominus sits on a rocky alluvial fan, a gentle benchland slope nestled into the western hills of Yountville. If, like some of their neighbors, Christian Moueix and Tod Mostero pushed the vines to extreme ripeness, you would find a sweeter wine in the glass. But they prefer to farm the vineyard so they can capture it at the moment when the grapes will sustain their distinctive flavors, yielding precision and detail in their tannins rather than the creamy smoothness that has come to define Napa Valley luxury wine. In fact, the 2012 vintage does provide a hint of sweetness in the end, red-fruited, bright and filled with youthful energy. That energy circulates through the wine in the fresh scent of bay and madrone, while the tannins gird the fruit for a long life ahead.
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Dominus

Dominus Estate

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Dominus Estate, California
Dominus Estate Dominus Estate in Yountville Winery Image

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.

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One of Napa Valley's most historic sub-appellations, Yountville spreads through some of the valley's ideal cooler sites and enjoys success with a handful of different and significant grape varieties.

Syrah competes strongly with Cabernet Sauvignon here for optimal vineyard real estate followed by Pinot noir, Pinot blanc and Sauvignon blanc.

This sub-AVA of Napa Valley is rich in the history that makes Napa Valley what it is today, and not just for red wines. Moët & Chandon entered the California winemaking business via Yountville in 1973 with the establishment Domaine Chandon. Their goal has always been to produce top quality méthode champenoise sparkling wines.

Christian Moueix, originally responsible for managing Chateau Petrus and La Fleur-Petrus in Pomerol, arrived in Yountville in the early 1980s. He formed a partnership with Rohin Lail and Marcia Smith, inheritors of Napanook vineyard from their father John Daniel of Inglenook in Rutherford. In 1995 Moueix became sole owner of Napanook and chose the name Dominus, which today produces some of Napa’s highest scoring, age-worthy 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 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.

Tasting Notes for Bordeaux Blends

Bordeaux Blends are dry, red wines and generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, black cherry plum, graphite, cedar and violet. 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.

Perfect Food Pairings for Bordeaux Blends

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 Secrets for Bordeaux Blends

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

SBG124396_2012 Item# 124396

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