Dominus Estate "Napanook" Cabernet Sauvignon 2020 (Napa Valley, California) - [DM 96] [JS 95] [WA 92] [WS 92] [JD 91] [VM 90]

Dominus Estate "Napanook" Cabernet Sauvignon 2020
(Napa Valley, California) - [DM 96] [JS 95] [WA 92] [WS 92] [JD 91] [VM 90]

Regular price $114.00 Sale price $84.97 Save $29.03

DM96 JS95 WA92 WS92 JD91 VM90
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About the Wine:
The historic Napanook Vineyard, a 124-acre site west of Yountville, was planted in 1838. This vineyard was the source of fruit for some of the finest Napa Valley wines. Estate-bottled in the spirit of the Bordeaux châteaux, Dominus Estate is dry-farmed to allow natural stress and good concentration of fruit. Grape clusters are crop-thinned to allow sun and air to pass in between, helping to achieve full maturation and soften the tannins. Only 20% to 40% new French oak barrels are used in order to limit the extraction of oak notes. To express the unique terroir, the classic Bordeaux grape varietals of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot are planted with different root stocks best suited for the varying soil composition of gravel, heavy clay and loam.

Harvest Notes:

The 2020 vintage was characterized by a dry winter and spring, with a total of 17” of rain (July 2019 to June 2020, historical average: 31”). February was warm and sunny with no rain (historical average is 6.6”) and soils started to dry. The rains in March were insufficient (1.8” compared to an historical average of 4.8”) to replenish the vine soil water reserves.
With limited soil water reserves and warm temperatures in the spring vines had limited shoot growth. Summer temperatures were constantly warm allowing a fast and homogeneous ripening. On August 13th, the growing season quickly took a turn with a series of two extreme heat waves. Selection was critical to remove berries impacted by the heat. In the night of August 16th to 17th, about 11,000 lightning strikes across northern California were recorded and sparked the LNU Lightning Complex fires. Until mid-September, there were several days with particularly dense smoke. Testing and microfermentations ensured that berries remained unaffected by smoke taint.
Harvest was completed before grapes could be affected by the Glass Fire which started on September 27th.

Varietals: 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot

New Oak: 20%

Ratings & Reviews

96 Points - Decanter Magazine:
"With a towering structure and solid composition, the Napanook delivers ripe red berries, gooseberry, and black cherry fruit. The aromatics possess a quiet intensity, which builds with good momentum on the palate, finding a broad and expansive medium to full-bodied palate with elegant strands of granular-textured tannins. Nicely delineated red cherry and blackberry fruits are infused with spicebush notes, an aromatic shrub brush surrounding the property, which layers in a distinct citrusy nuance. Quite compact upon opening, and decanting for at least half an hour is recommended—a solid effort in a challenging year." - Jonathan Cristaldi (Sep 2023)

95 Points - James Suckling:
"Aromas of currants, blackberries, fresh mushrooms and flowers. Medium-bodied with compacted fruit and integrated, fine tannins. Ripe fruit with reserve. Attractive and alluring. Excellent structure. 88% cabernet sauvignon, 7% cabernet franc and 5% petit verdot. Give it at least five years to open and soften, but very attractive now.” (Feb 2023)

92 Points - Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate:
"A blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot, the fruit for the 2020 Napanook (like the 2020 Dominus) was picked prior to the start of the Glass Fire on September 27. Scents of redcurrrants and cherries lead the way, bolstered by notes of dark chocolate and mocha. It’s medium to full-bodied and silky in feel, despite a touch of warmth on the palate, while the long finish picks up a hint of red capsicum and a touch of coarseness.”  – Joe Czerwinski (Jun 2023)

92 Points - Wine Spectator:
"This has a lot packed in, with juicy, bramble-fueled blackberry and black cherry compote notes, licorice root, alder and cedar accents and light violet, hibiscus and sanguine hints that peek in on the slightly old-school finish. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot." - JM (Nov 2023)

91 Points - Jeb Dunnuck: 
"From a drought year marked by drastic wildfires, the 2020 Napanook certainly does well, with an upfront, supple, charming style in its red and black fruits, leather, dried herbs, and loamy earth-like aromatics and flavors. It's nicely balanced, medium to full-bodied, has fine tannins, and a good finish." (Dec 2023)

90 Points - Vinous Media:
"The 2020 Napanool is terrific. Bold, juicy and quite expressive, the 2020 has good energy and fruit pushed forward. Dusty, chocolate tannins wrap it all together. The balance here is commendable for the year." - Antonio Galloni (Dec 2023)