Dominus Estate 2020 (Napa Valley, California) - [DM 99] [JS 98] [TWI 96] [WA 95] [JD 95] [WS 95] [VM 93]
Dominus Estate 2020 (Napa Valley, California) - [DM 99] [JS 98] [TWI 96] [WA 95] [JD 95] [WS 95] [VM 93]

Dominus Estate 2020
(Napa Valley, California) - [DM 99] [JS 98] [TWI 96] [WA 95] [JD 95] [WS 95] [VM 93]


Regular price $410.00 Sale price $319.97 Save $90.03
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DM99 JS98 TWI96 WA95 JD95 WS95 VM93
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About the Winery:
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.

Winemaking

Enjoying a temperate climate, the vineyard’s volcanic, well draining soils are specifically suited to growing Cabernet Sauvignon and the other Bordeaux varietals which compose the Dominus Estate wines. The soil is gravelly and clay loam. Meticulous efforts are made throughout the seasons to produce grapes of the highest quality for Dominus Estate wines.

During the winter season, precise cane pruning ensures ideal cluster spacing for optimal fruit ripening. Dry farming relies on a deep root system to take advantage of natural water sources from rain and underground supplies. Cluster thinning optimizes quality through yield regulation.

Rinsing the grapes 10 to 15 days before harvest removes dust and enhances the purity of the fruit. Handpicking with small French shears instead of harvest knives minimizes bruising and vine damage. Small harvest baskets preserve the integrity of the clusters as they are transported to the winery. The sunny side of the vines is picked a few days before the shady side respecting perfect maturity.

Minimal intervention and restraint throughout the process of grape berry selection, fermentation and aging preserve the character of the fruit. The resulting wines convey the very personality of the vineyard. Dominus winemaking includes separate lot-by-lot fermentation. Cluster sorting by hand is complemented by an optical berry sorting system. Gentle pumping-over extracts aromas, color and tannins. Vertical wine press at low pressure delicately releases components from the skin. Racking barrel to barrel in 100% French oak removes sediment and assures clarification of the wine during aging.

Varietals: 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc

New Oak: 40%

Ratings & Reviews

99 Points - Decanter Magazine:
"With a good decant, the compact, quiet bouquet of this 2020 Dominus begins to show off, exhibiting perfumed aromatics of dark-toned berry fruit, blood orange, and cocoa nibs. It boasts impressive staying power with a real depth of concentration of fruit. Long strands of velvety tannins are interwoven around pure and symphonic black-toned fruit, while bright and present acidity provides the kind of lift that makes the wine seem almost featherweight. A beautiful red florality envelops the finish. Winemaker Tod Mostero said that hours before the Glass Fire on 27 September, they had just brought in the last of their grapes. It's a good thing, too, because it's a splendid wine and deserves to share the spotlight with the best wines of the vintage. Aged 16-18 months in 40% new French oak." - Jonathan Cristaldi (Sep 2023)

98 Points - James Suckling:
“Aromas of blackcurrants, black cherries, hints of graphite, wet earth, and lavender. Sandalwood. Full-bodied with an impressive and refined structure that runs deep and vertical in the wine. Chewy. Hints of chocolate and hazelnut at the end. Needs five or six years to soften.” (Feb 2023)

96 Points - The Wine Independent:
“A blend of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc, the 2020 Dominus has a deep garnet-purple color. It rolls out of the glass with expressive notes of baked blackberries, preserved plums, and kirsch, with suggestions of Indian spices, sandalwood, potpourri, and black truffles, plus a ferrous hint. The full-bodied palate delivers a firm, grainy texture with just enough freshness to support the generous fruit, finishing long and oh-so-spicy. Yum!” – Lisa Perrotti-Brown

95 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate:
“An excellent wine, even if not a great Dominus, the 2020 Dominus delivers waves of dark fruit – think predominantly cassis. A blend of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc, it’s full-bodied and richly textured, perhaps a bit warm and open-knit because of the summer’s heat, but with a long, velvety finish attractively tinged with mocha and dark chocolate.” – Joe Czerwinski (Jun 2023)

95 Points - Jeb Dunnuck:
"I'd put the 2020 Dominus up with the best in the vintage, and Tod commented that he actually liked the 2020 more than the 2019. I wouldn't go that far, but there's no denying this is a beautiful wine loaded with darker currants, cassis, graphite, and chalky minerality. It's medium to full-bodied, has a dense, inward, concentrated style, fine-grained tannins, and a solid mid-palate of both power and finesse. It should benefit from 4-6 years of bottle age and have two decades of overall longevity." (Dec 2023)

95 Points - Wine Spectator:
"This throws off dense kirsch and linzer torte aromas and flavors, along with a mix of smoldering tobacco, leather, warm paving stone and licorice root hints that provide a brooding edge on the back end. Surprisingly backward (for the vintage) and impressively done. Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2026 through 2040. From California." - J (Nov 2023)

93 Points - Vinous Media:
"The 2020 Dominus is one of the wines of the vintage in this crazy year marked by drought and fires. There's plenty of upfront richness and fruit, but the mid-palate and finish taper off faster than they would in a higher-quality vintage. Here, too, the balance is notable, even if there is no escaping the reality that the 2020 in a relatively small-scaled Dominus." - Antonio Galloni (Dec 2023)