Dominus, Napanook and Othello 2013

Dominus, Napanook and Othello 2013
The 2013 vintage in the Napa Valley is one that has produced profound, poised and classically structured wines that will no doubt prove to be something of a reference point in years to come. The season was exceptionally dry, though without any undue heat spikes, and while yields were generally low, sugars never overtook tannins in the ripening process. At Dominus, where an unwavering commitment to dry farming has imbued their vines with exceptional resistance to drought conditions this season could not have been more ideal, (except perhaps in quantity). Today we release three wines from the Dominus Property that fulfill all the potential of the vintage, and then push things even further up the qualitative scale. To our mind this is unquestionably the best range of wines to emerge from this stable.

Dominus is obviously the top billing here, and it goes without saying that it is a truly wonderful wine that also garners the magical three digit score from Mr Parker himself. But special mention also needs to go to Napanook and indeed Othello, the relative newcomer on the scene which is produced from the younger vines in the Napanook vineyard. The former is the product of the very same old vines at Dominus, produced from grapes taken from the warmer, afternoon-sun soaked Eastern facing sides of the vines, resulting in a generosity and approachability that Dominus itself will take a little longer to reach.

Othello meanwhile represents perhaps the best value of all. The smallest production of the three cuvees, it comes from the younger vines in the very same vineyard and sees 14 months in barrels. It is a blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc and represents all that we love about Dominus in an earlier drinking package. What really impressed us was the classicism of it. Refined Napa Cabernet notes mingle with minerals and a cool streak of dark chocolate and cherry – the package and charm is all Napa, but the winemaking feels traditionally old world as richness meets refreshment. Those looking for a glimpse of Dominus greatness should really consider a case or two of Othello 2013 for drinking now and over the next 10 years.


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