By all accounts Napa Valley’s 2011 growing season was one of the more difficult in recent times. Humid weather and low diurnal swings, combined with a general lack of afternoon warmth from May to August forced estates such as Dominus to take seldom seen measures like stripping leaves on both sides of their vines. Additionally, the odd outbreak of rot after heavy rainfalls forced strict a very selection process come harvest time. The general sense is that only through extreme dedication (and very low yields) could you tease the best out of this most unusual year.
Fortunately, extreme dedication runs deep with Christian Moueix and his team and as such we are delighted to offer both 2011 Dominus and Napanook. If you bought the 2010 and need something to drink while that matures, the 2011 (which is 35% cheaper than the 2010) will fit the bill nicely. Both as it happens, were scored well by Antonio Galloni, whose notes are below.
Dominus 2011 – 94/100 Antonio Galloni
Savory herbs, menthol, smoke and licorice are some of the aromas that open up in the glass in the 2011 Dominus. This is a relatively immediate, expressive Dominus with plenty of near-term appeal. The style is open and succulent for the year, with lovely balance and poise. Crushed rose petals and dried herbs linger in the close. With time in the glass, the 2011 fleshes out nicely. In 2011 Dominus is 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot and 5% Cabernet Franc.
Napanook 2011 – 91/100 Antonio Galloni
The 2011 Napanook is deep, rich and intense for the year. Plums, mocha, spices, licorice all flesh out in an inviting wine to drink now and over the next few years. The 2011 has no hard edges or greenness, but the medium-bodied structure suggests it is best enjoyed sooner rather than later. The blend is 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot and 8% Cabernet Franc.