Easily the greatest Dominus in memory. Comes down on the drier, lower alcohol and less ripe side than many Cabs in its league, yet lacks for nothing in complexity and sheer deliciousness. Tantalizes with blackberry tart, cherry, carob bean and a Pinot Noir-esque cola-rhubarb richness that retreats behind rich tannins and an earthiness suggesting sweet blond tobacco…
As good as the 2001 Napanook is, this wine is more intense. The fruit is lusher, the oak newer, the control more complete, but the kicker is the tannins. They’re powerful and dusty, and conceal the flamboyance, for now. Needs time; hold until 2010 and beyond.
Unless you knew that this was Dominus and had tasted older vintages, you might not be impressed. In its youth the wine is tannic and dry and linear. However, it is Dominus and it does need cellaring. Right now it shows blackberry, black currant, cedar and baker’s chocolate flavors. Will slowly open and reach maturity after 2011, and could easily develop for far longer.
Deep berry, cinnamon, briar and mint aromas. Firm, even backwards, it is trim and elegant, yet solid. Black fruit and bitter-chocolate flavors abound. The finish is especially tight, with dry tannins and complex mineral and earth elements. Huge but refined, the quintessential iron fist in a velvet glove; it needs time.
More balanced than the overripe 2004, the ’05 Dominus is marked by dryness and firm tannins. It’s an obvious cellar candidate. Those tannins, along with unresolved acidity, give the wine a tough, almost rustic grittiness now. But there’s an enormous core of black currants, crushed blackberries, anise and cedar that’s deep and balanced. Should develop bottle…
Another fine Dominus, dry, well-structured and ageworthy. Lacks the flashiness of the dramatic 2007, but is still ripe and rich enough to drink now, and should develop over the next six years. Rewards for the depth of blackberries, cassis, blueberries and cedar, wrapped into plush tannins.
It’s tempting to think of Napanook as a second wine of Dominus, but this Cabernet-based Bordeaux blend has been trying to stand on its own. It doesn’t always succeed, but the ’06 represents a step forward, and is the best release since 2003. Dry and well-structured, it offers complex flavors of black currants and sweet grilled oak. Good now and beyond 2012.
Very dry, and young in its fresh tannins and acids framing ripe, grapy currant flavors, mocha, vanilla and sweet dill. Very fine and balanced, with a powerful finish. Beautiful now, but should develop through this decade.