Opened, decanted and drank with a striip steak. Dark, with a reticient nose of dark fruit. The wine was tight and not forthcoming of Dominus' typical Napa/Bordeaux character. I tasted the remains of the bottle two days later and it had opened up beautifully and may have merited a score higher than the 92 I gave it. This tells me to wait a bit longer for the next bottle.
Poured into decanter, cleaned out original bottle and then refilled bottle to for dinner party. Slow Ox for 45 minutes. Wine was at it's best on my last half glass which was about 90 minutes sitting in open bottle. Well balanced, lots of terroir and very enjoyable. This vintage still has a lot of life left and I look forward to trying another bottle in a year, although I doubt there will be significant improvement.
This was deliscious out of the gate and had moderate improvement with more air. It has a lot of life left but would tend to drink up if you have some left (this was the last of 6 purchased in 2000 and stored well)
À l'ouverture, un nez chocolaté, avec de la menthe, un peu de poivron. L'air amènera un parfum d'épices variées, il développe une grande complexité.
La bouche est d'une beauté fougueuse bien domptée, avec une droiture bordelaise, une certaine austérité malgré son coté dodu, on croirait aisément un St-Julien de millésime bien mûr.
Il a le magnifique équilibre d'un Cabernet à parfaite maturité, c'est concentré mais sans aucun excès, avec des notes typiquement bordelaises (!) de cèdre et de tabac, qui s'étirent en une très belle finale d'une grande complexité, d'une longueur exceptionnelle. Un vin très abouti, d'un style austère qui ne plait pas outre-mesure à Lucie qui le trouve sévère à son palais Bourguignon. J'adore. 95 pts
Il a beau avoir près de 20 ans, il est à son meilleur après un bon 2 heures de carafe....
Down to our final trio of wines for the evening. Coincidentally, this last bracket of wines were all New-World. This was the first Bord-like wine of the evening, and a good one always evoke a sense of "comfort"/"satisfaction" in a setting without any Bords... :) And this Dominus was indeed a good one at that! Decanted for more than 2-hrs, the nose was throwing out secondary flavours, chocolate, leather. Elegant and silky on the palate, with red->black fruit profile, cigar-box and a good length too! Nice!
This wine has evolved nicely over the years. I always felt that the 96 vintage needed some time ( in comparison to vintages like 94 and 97) and this wine is a great example of how patience is rewarded. I think you can hold it but why wait?
This was a beautiful bottle. Popped and let sit 45 minutes. Wonderful well-behaved fruit forward accompanied by toasty spice and supple tannins. Seamless and well integrated, flavors were layered and long lasting on the palate, with hints of fruit, chocolate and more as the finish wore on. This wine is ready now and probably could cellar for 2 more years.
Fabulous pure Cabernet fruity nose. An impressively structured wine. However, after a couple of hours sternness gives way to hedonism. Very Cabernet, very high quality fruit, it needs a foil to deliver a tad more complexity perhaps? But fabulously good, has a nice inter-temporal quality...nicely tightly austere on opening, and opens beautifully.
I do not have much experience with Dominus, and therefore, do not have a good reference point for how this should typically show. Age was very apparent by it's brick color with a haziness-like quality to it. Complex secondary aromas of leather, cigar box, cedar and tar with cassis. Much of the same on the palette. Finish was medium long with more leather, cigar box and dried herbs. We drank over two hours. A solid good wine but did not inspire me to want more. My pops, who is a napa/bordeaux guy, really enjoyed it.
great raspberry and cocoa on nose and palate. best alone and fruit forward. compared in tasting of Dunn Howell mt '96 and Phelps Insignia '96. most accessible alone but others more complex and balanced with meal
Decanted 15 minutes and served at cellar temperature. This was really nice, with plenty of dark, blue fruit and supporting structure still in place. Mature, but plenty of life to it, and good with and without food. I would drink now so as not to miss the fruit, but this has aged well. A-
Wow, the previous poster was pre-reading my mind, because I rated this 95 points and originally I thought this could be a Pauilllac from about 1996-2001. This wine is mature and ready to pop out of the gate. Great balance, both fresh and evolved. At beautiful stage right now. Drink with great pleasure now and over the next few years. Classic!
From a bottle purchased on release, this wine had a red/purple center and light red rims with some orange. At first the nose was aggressive with its coffee and blackberry notes. As it aired, it became more integrated and fruit oriented. The medium+ I intensity nose featured black cherries, blackberries, coffee, and soil.
In the mouth, this wine was somewhat tannic at first and then became quite round. After a few hours the tannins firmed up again. They were noteworthy but ripe and round. While the wine has a nice soft texture in the mouth, there was a bit of aggressiveness in the flavors that I might best describe as a bit of over-ripeness combined with a some burnt coffee grounds.
This wine is certainly Bordeaux-like. I can see how the supple texture and contrasting aggressive flavors could lead to the wide dispersion of scores on this board. Overall, I am concerned the fruit issues noted above will not resolve. Thus, while this wine will easily hold for 15+ years, it is not clear to me that patience will be rewarded. It is worth noting that this is the first bottle I have tasted.
- Garnet color and aromas of cedar and licorice anise. It's balanced and has flavours of black currant, cherry and mushroom with a medium/full body. Smooth texture with a long finish - Brick red colored with a brown edge, the wine is showing some of it's age. The nose says "old world", with cedar and sandalwood joining the saddle leather in an earthy perfume. Supple texture, rich flavors of black fruits and plenty of leather, mushroom and other earth notes. Tannins are soft but the wine still has great presence and a long finish. Very good stuff!
Decanted, but poured the first glass straight from the bottle, and it was stellar right from the start.
Couldn't have had a better showing. It's clearly an aged Cali Cab, but this was a pristine bottle so it didn't seemed tired or past its prime. Quite the opposite, in fact: it was fresh, lively and at its absolute peak.
A plush nose that gets inside your head like tendrils of liquid smoke: blueberries, dried cranberries, pencil shavings, eucalyptus, and cigar box.
The mouth feel is pure velvet. I could roll it on my tongue all night. Lush and compelling with plenty of intrigue. Blue and black fruit that's sometimes tart and sometimes sweet - even in the same mouthful. Some tertiary floral/rose petal notes, cedar, leather, a bit of menthol, a little mocha, and lots of mouth-quenching acidity. Ultra-smooth tannins. Some spice box on the long, lingering finish.
The 1996 is a good vintage, but other 90s Domini are supposed to be much better, so I didn't expect it to show as well as it did. Maybe it comes down to the perfect bottle condition, but it was a flawless showing of this wine. Stunning.
A Ledbury Lunch (The Ledbury, London): Dense and rounded on the nose with a lactic character that blows off after a while (I see I noted the same character on a bottle in autumn 2011). Dense and plush. This has a slightly sensual and fun side to it whilst undoubtably being a serious wine, but there's just a little frisson of something naughty (previously noted as the demure side of sexy). Long, quite rich. A lovely counterpoint to the denser and slightly more serious Montebello. ****1/2
American Belle 2nd Edition (Switzerland): Tasted blind: Clear intensive garnet in color. Nose of cherries but the alcohol shines through. Overall it is a good but not great Dominus. I am disturbed by the tartiness, the hard tannins and the lack of complexity. To drink now as I would expect waiting will not make the 1996 Dominus any better...
Clos du Stavanger monthly wine club - bring a bottle tasting - August 2013 (Stavanger): Classic, textbook westside Bordeaux on the nose. Lots of pencil sharpener and cigar box notes, with a very deep, velvety black currant fruit. Velvet is the key word here. Fantastic nose that is now at a perfect place. The palate is also great, with lots of fruit and a fresh acidity. Mature tannins. With increased temperature, some alcohol is evident in the finish. Still, a very classy wine.
This is no doubt a Dominus, though I was mistaken that this is ready to drink. Behind the earthy notes on the nose and palette, there's a concentration that was wanting to break out over the course of the 3 hour meal. It never quite got there, but reminded me of a number of Cali BDX blends that I've drunk 2-3 years prematurely. Let this one sit until 2016 and I think you'll be blessed with more complexity and further developed flavors. Fun to drink and superb with a lamb dinner, but wish I would've waited.
From a 6L bottle. Decanted for about 1-2 hours. Classic aged cabernet/bordeaux color of purple, red and brown. Brickish color meniscus with clear edges. Big nose of cassis, cherry, leather, earth and smoke - much like a right bank bordeaux with some age. Super-velvety texture that is smooth, soft and somewhat unctous. Full-bodied with ripe, rich, deep fruit flavors and nice complexity. Lingering, fruity finish. This is a very sensual wine with the cabernet franc component showing up loud and clear. Not a lot of structure, this wine is mostly about all the lush texture, richness and depth. A beautiful wine to drink.
Rick's 50th birthday notes and my 10,000th post!; 11/24/2012-11/27/2012 (Chateau Rick): man oh man I love me some dominus. Compared to the 96 Opus which was at the top of the hill looking down, this Dominus still seems to be fresh and young. There is such a deep focused black fruit on the palate with mint and leather layered into the fruit. The texture is cool and fresh and the finish goes on for quite awhile as the brooding structure holds everything in place. Great wine.
Cork was very tight. Color was slightly brown to orange around the edges, but no tawny smells or tastes. Substantial sediment. Decanted for 5 hours before initial tasting. Soft tannins, but still somewhat closed even after 5 hours, but opened up more after another 2. Nice fruit flavors on the front end, red raspberries and field flowers. Hints of dry leather. Light ruby red in color. Disappointingly short finish. Not really the depth and intensity I'd expect from Dominus. Nearing end of life, so drink up. Re-tasted after 24 hours, no significant improvement. Disappointing.
Decanted and allowed to breathe for 30 minutes. Dark and youthful fading to orange. This looks like a six year old wine.
Nose: Baked blueberry and blackbery pie, made with brandy and baking spices.
Taste: This is really a superb wine and much more expressive on the palate than the nose. Initially blue and black fruit, not fruits where you taste them individually but rather blended together as one. Then it becomes more complex through the mid palate with a little tar, earth and tree bark. The complexity is due to the wonderful structure which does not detract or hide anything in any way but rather provides precision and form to this spherical wine. The fruit is propped up by the structure like a beautiful flower bouquet as it sits atop it's fluted crystal vase. The wine actually gets bigger on the finish due to this amazing glycerin dew drop of dark fruit which appears at the end of your tongue a few seconds after you thought you were finished.
Overall: A wonderful wine still holding at it's apogee. I would suggest no decant though because a little of the magic was lost in the second hour.
Very classy and stylish, a perfect ringer in a Bordeaux tasting, 1996 Dominus is filled with truffle, tobacco, blackberries, cedar wood and forest floor aromas. This subtle, Cabernet Sauvignon is drinking perfectly today.
Inaugural Great Steak-Off (Clarksville, Maryland): Very harmonious, subtle and controlled impression. Black fruits, a hint of violet and earth. Medium concentration, silky palate and integrated tannins. Very well made subtle wine with nice balance but not exciting especially compare to the 92 Phillip Togni.
HDH auction tasting at Tru (Chicago, IL): Inky purple. Charred leather, deep red fruit, and a very ripe but Bordelais nose. On the palate, great balance between the secondary characteristics and fresh but dark red fruit. Lovely, unresolved tannins. Youthful, with lots of balance A smoky and leathery finish. Very well made.
The wine is the most Bordeaux-like Amereican wine I have ever tasted and is a beautiful wine with many years left. Dark and deeply textured, with a nose of tobacco and pencil lead with some floral element, violets maybe. Beautifully integrated with black fruit, a little black cherry, flavors. Lingering finish with fine tannins. Early development of tertiary flavors.
Bought upon release and stored since then in fairly cold conditions, approximately 50 degrees. Still a fabulous wine that's maturing and getting better as it rounds out. Packed with red fruit, spice and black currant. A nice nose of cedar and some leather. The tannins have smoothened out and the wine is very balanced right now. There's still plenty of life left, but it's really enjoyable to drink right now. WOTN amongst a small group of Bordeaux blends, tasted blind.
Bill's Monthly Lunch - December 2011 (Vancouver, BC): Tasted blind – medium to deep red. This at first had that vitamin casing smell but thankfully it blew off leaving notes of sweet dark red fruits, tobacco and plums. This nose was Bordeaux-ish, but not quite. In the mouth this is quite silky with red fruits, firm tannins and good acidity. Very-well balanced. Once it was revealed as ’96 Dominus it became clear as this ’96 typically isn’t as claret-like as other vintages of Dominus can be (’91 and ’94 come to mind). This ’96 is drinking well but I think it should improve with another few years in the cellar. Very good. 89+
Dominus Seminar with Christian Moueix (Binny's Lincoln Park): Not showing too much age in terms of color. Touches of brick brown. Nose is musty with cinnamon, wet forest, twigs and lots of leather doused in wet dog and moth balls. Briary dark cherries, mossy pine trees and classic Napa green bell peppers. A complex profile to say the least. More age showing in the nose than the palate. Accents of stewed peppers and sun dried tomato with green olive tapanade are dominant flavors. Some elegant English toffee too. Full of supple qualities. I'd say drink now. Has another 5-7 holding strong.
Dominus: An Evening With Christian Moueix (Binnys Lincoln Park): Color is garnet and showing some brownness at the rim. The nose shows wonderful development here but still offers plenty of packed fruit! Figs, herbs, dried fruit notes, plenty of brown sugar and some black currant. Also plenty of exotic perfume. A tiny hint of dried orange peel too? Good concentration (but not like the 08 and 06), and showing plenty of life. Good balancing acidity. Long finish. Quite delicious and with plenty of port-like tertiary flavors.
we had a bottle 2 years ago and it was incredible. this time it was completely blah - absolutely nothing going on. it wasn't skunked, but there was simply nothing there, even with airing. i think it was either a bad bottle (although it didn't have that skunked flavor) or this wine has hit a massively steep downhill past its prime. we drank it with steak / grilled veggies and with another bottle of '03 bordeaux. the $20 bordeaux blew this one out of the water!
Interesting, as my last note was all Bordeaux, but this was much more California out of the bottle - great nose, showing lots of fruit and plenty of it on the palate as well. But with some time, it shut a bit and became more austere and Bordeaux like. It was gone in an hour, so can't tell what would have happened with more time...A-
Usually one of the best '96 Napa Bordeaux blends. Yes very Bordeaux like, but it has seen better days. Fading from earlier bottles. Still subtle nose of cassis, minerals, and leather tones. Want to keep sticking your nose in the glass as it opens. Needs an hour+. Soft and elegant in the mouth. Short finish.
quite deeply colored, rim showing hints of browning... aromatically lacking a bit of punch (smells great in the decanter whatever that means) but definitely showing plenty of tertiary notes of saddley earthy notes, some dark fruits and baking spice... wish there was more delineation of aromas here... on the palate the wine has moderate acidity, a sweetish midpalate for cab, and very well integrated, ripe, resolved tannins, moderate etoh. Quality wise this wine ticks a lot of boxes for me but doesn't excite... very good balance, good length, good intensity of flavor, good complexity. Definitely finesse in that sweet palate feel, nice texture being both fleshy and firm, good expression of place. This wine seems to be at its peak and while I would have to say it is "outstanding," I was disappointed and the wine had me wondering if napa cabs really improve that much with age past 7 or so years...
GPL vertical with '96 Pauillacs (Scenic Loop Cafe, San Antonio, TX)): RINGER Served double blind to the group. Double decanted for about an hr until it became aromatic, then returned to bottle about 2hrs before drinking. Interesting with everyone assuming it was bdx, no one questioned it, though the sweeter more concentrated fruit made “placing” it a region in bdx quite interesting. Nose of mature notes with leather, cedar box, pipe tobacco, and dried fruits. Palate was silky smooth, round and mouthcoating, with fine tannins in the back end. Strong leather and mocha elements carry through on a medium length finish that adds cedar. After a few hours a minty note on the palate came out. Similar to my last bottle, good wine, though not a great Dominus.
Opened and decanted. Needed air. Some bricking on the edges. Nose was limited at open but emerged with an hour+ of air. Flavors were shallow but deepened with time as did complexity and length of finish. Distant second to Cain Five from same year (1996), which we rated 97 pts, for WOTN.
Sourced from my boy Walt, stored properly since release. 2 hour slow ox. Nose was initaly closed, but evolving, although not overly expressive. some funk, iodine, peppermint And a lot of chalk. On the palate- licorice, and dried fruits. A tad sweet, but not distracting. Lots of black olive, some dill, minerals, cocoa, and coffee. Slight heat on the tail end, that did seem to blow off. 90-91
Evening of (mostly) French (Vancouver, BC): Decanted for 1 hour. Tons of cigar leaf on the nose, as well as black licorice, stewed plum, cherry, barnyard, and lots of spice. Tobacco dominates the nose, with lots of dark plum, cherry, leather, currant, earth, and black pepper. Long dry finish, ending with some spice notes. Tons of tannin and acidity, yet very balanced. I'd disagree with some of the other reviews below, while this probably won't get any better with more bottle time, it's still in it's peak drinking window and isn't falling apart any time soon. Very good.
Drank this in a vertical with the '97 Dominus and you would never believe they are from the same producer. The '96 was super ripe on the nose with lots of dark fruit. The finish was lacking and had none of the earthy characteristics that I would expect from a bordeaux style wine. It was pleasant to drink and very balanced but was lacking the QPR.
This wine is certainly less plush and luxurious than I recall from 5 years ago. Nonetheless, it was a very enjoyable wine with a terrific bouquet of black fruits, licorice and tar. Medium bodied with a terrific depth of flavor, this wine was a picture of balance and restraint. This was my last bottle, and I had originally thought of not opening it for another 5 years, but am glad I did so last night.
Consumed at Red Run CC on 12-17-10 - brought to the dinner by Gary and Sharon Roncelli Needs to be decanted for a couple of hours to blow off the dust. This wine is ready to drink now - not sure how much longer it will hold its quality.
From 3 Liter. Young and closed, with an oaky nose that includes plenty of black currant, cassis, tobacco, and earth notes. In the mouth, refined and balanced, with good concentration, but also some rough edges that still need time to integrate. Plush fruit, mixed with tobacco and earthy notes, along with oaky spice notes. Strong acidity and a sharp tannic finish. More time for a format this large. A-
2010 Simple Wine Dinner Series No.8 - US Theme (Sage @ Mohamed Sultan Rd): Alcohol : 14.1% Though it might not be fair to compare with the Caymus normal cuvee, but the nose is head and shoulder above the Caymus, deep, expressive, highly complex nose with perfume creme de cassis, plum, cigar box, smoke, spices. As usual of a Dominus, super ripe profile but always maintained just before the top with good freshness. Intensely mid palate with layer of fig, blackcurrant, mineral with secondary nuances of smoky dried herb, spices and leather along with underlying acidity provide firm, polished backbone. The tannins is really fine and silky and the precise juicy long finish is excellent. Good depth and complexity, but there was heat present at the very end that distract a bit of the overall drinking pleasure. Still have some upside potential and should be able to continue evolve for another 5yrs. Buy - No.
Not sure what is going on with this wine but it is very weird. It might just be super closed, tight and in need of hours of air but its still not showing much. Some cedar, black fruits and spice on the nose. Color looks ok, not a noticeable about of bricking in the glass. Dark fruits, oak and some road tar on the palate, not too expensive or expressive.
A gorgeous wine, although still a little closed. It took this wine a few hours in the decanter for it to show its stuff - it had to be coaxed. After some time, though, the wine emerged as deep, structured and with great fruit. With a little more time, I think the strong tannins will integrate that little bit more, and the wine will be in perfect balance. A lovely drink. Try again in a year's time.
As good as it gets in my humble opinion. Tanins have laid down nicely, leaving wonderful fruit. All the usual black dark fruits associated with CS. Supple, lush and altogether an excellent drinking experience. Had this with friends, all wine lovers and it received raves and Wine of the Night designation.
Stunning nose - dense plummy almost liquer nose. Dark, rich and ripe with brilliant high tones. Bordeaux-like toasted oak way in the background - almost completely subsumed by the fruit. In the mouth, fabulous ripeness - elevated acid at first (which calmed down with air) and a huge tannic structure. Cassis and vice like grip finish in a complete manner. There is not a hint of brett in this wine (unlike the 94). This wine has bottle age character but needs another 5 - 10 years to further soften and integrate. It is not yet complete as some edges still poke out - but this is real wine - it will make old bones. An interesting amalgamation of Napa and Bordeaux styles. Miles ahead ahead of Mouton 2001 and Leoville Poyferre 2006 tasted last week.
It is hard to tell with this wine what is really going on. It just seems really shut down and reduced at this point. Not sure what to think of it but even after a few hours of air it gives up some bdx qualities. I think this will be a great wine in another 5+ years so I will hold onto my remaining bottles.
Roy Hersh Offline - Dominus and Shafer HSS (Vancouver, BC): Darkest wine yet. Not getting much from the nose...just some typical cab sauv menthol and sweet dark fruits. Almost one dimensional. On the palate much of the same. This is big and structured and delicious but could be one of a thousand cabs from Napa. Doesn’t grab your attention like the ’91 or ’94. Very tasty. A very good wine but not at the same level as the last two Dominus wines. Going back to this wine about an hour later and it started to give up more on the nose. Perhaps in 5+ years this will warrant a better score. Very good. 89+
Really tight at first giving noting but road tar, perfume and oak. After nearly two hours of air it fleshes out a bit with melted licorice. spices, kirsch and black fruits. Really wound up and tight on the palate with spicy oak and tons of stuffing. Tannins show no sign of resolve, drink now with tons of air or a few years.
Rhone Rangers tasting (Vinens verden, Odense): Dark red color with an orange hue. Interesting nose with notes of blackcurrant, sundried tomatoes and heavy flower perfume. On the palate there is a good blackcurrant and cherry fruit with great juicy and sweetness to it. On the midpalate and finish the fruit is joined by notes of licorice, marzipan and milk chocolate. Great length, super intensity and acidity balance. Velvety finish makes it drink perfectly. Only negative point, if at all negative, is that it lacks character and becomes a bit too uncomplicated for my taste.
Good, but a little disappointing, did not have the richness I was looking for. Still good rich fruit and balance, nice structure and well integrated. Perhaps still a bit young as the lack of richness may have been it being closed.
Dominus Masterclass with Edouard Moueix (St. Regis Hotel, Singapore): Completely excellent. Often neglected amongst the great 1991 and 1994 Dominus wines, this was showing incredibly well on the day. Edouard Moueix even said that he preferred this particular bottle to the usually better 1994. I personally thought the 1994 was more immediately pleasing, but this was every bit as good. Deep, deep nose, slightly more recessed than the aromatically exuberant 1994. At first, just loamy earth, plums, cassis, but with time, it opened up into cream of mushroom notes, coffee, rich cassis, berries, stewed cherries and kirsch. Very nice, though not quite the dead ringer for Bordeaux the older vintage was. The palate was lacked some of the stunning purity and elegance of the 1994, but was still oozing class and elegance in its own right, with a bit of dirty in it. Sexy and alluring, it had rich, concentrated notes of cassis and darker fruits wrapped in a beautiful velvety structure. It had a beautiful focus, with power in its fruit pulling away into a long finish with hints smoke, warm stewed cherries, meat and fresh acidity. Mindblowingly delicious - and will probably get even better with some time.
Dark red currant and plum with damp earth/leaves and tobacco notes. Great on the palate; ripe fruit, full bodied with a long finish. Very fine tannins on the backend with great acidity throughout. Better than the last bottle I had of this.
Decanted 30 minutes. Took a good hour to really get the aromatics going. Red currant and plum, wet tobacco, some cedar, and underbrush notes. Somewhat leaner palate, but still had very nice sweet red fruits. Nice mineral notes and some very good acidity on the finish. Still a bit tannic, but showing very nice right now with plenty of air.
Deep red. Lots of red fruit and coffee, hint of whiskey. Sweet entry. I thought California right away. Less claret like then Dominus usually is. Previous notes of mine are similar. I'll hold my bottle a year or two more for certain.
A dream California cab drunk at its peak. Lovely elegance to the subtle Napa fruit with flavors of black currants and cassis. Just a gorgeous, Bordeaux-like texture that has an aged creaminess to it. Finishes luxuriously complex with perfectly supple tannins. Not over-ripe at all and simply delicious.
Dark red with a hint of bricking around the edges. A nose like a good Bordeaux: cassis, plum, earth and cedar. Sweet fruit, with a hint of cinnamon on the aftertaste, and very smooth on the palate, a little soft even. It seemed a bit prematurely aged, although the fruit was sweet and not sour. A very nice, mature bottle of wine with dinner.
Perfect cork condition. Popped and poured and consumed over 4-5hrs. Mild bricking around the edges on an otherwise ruby wine. Nose was shy, very bright and fresh, with cassis and a little cranberry, oak, leather, and forest(in the fall). Palate was quite acidic, medium bodied, with nearly integrated tannin. Mostly red fruits, a little vanilla, and some mocha and earth coming out over time in the glass. Finish was medium in length and complexity, lengthening out some with some air and addend some hints of tar and leather. Overall, a pleasant drinking wine that is certainly well made, but didn't have much of a "wow" factor. Was surprised by the high acidity, but went well with food. Very little evolution in the glass over 4-5hrs. Overshadowed by the '94 Ridge and a little disappointing.
Enjoyed this bottle at the end of a 4 bottle night...1991 Dominus, 1994 Dominus, and 2000 Hosanna. It was the 4th best bottle but still very strong showing. Hard to compete with the older Dominus and younger Hosanna. Not as complex as those other bottles but great nonetheless. Still has some more years to age.
Medium clear red. Really niced aged Cabernet Sauvignon notes, dust, cassis, cedar and a bit of coffee. Very elegant in the mouth without even a hint of sweetness. Long dry finish. This wine does not say New World to me in any way. A style that is rarely appreciated in Napa wines, at least not by most. The one thing that was a bit dissapointing was the nose never really changed over the couple of hours we drank the wine.
nose: real nice and dark with a bit of a rustic bent to it with tones of cedar, black berries, black currants, dark red cherries, bits of herbs and some nice spice tones. Excellent depth with good layering right now
taste: extremely well balanced with a real rich and dark medium/full feel with good supporting tannins. Well defined and rich tones of cedar, spices, black currants, dark red fruits and dark red cherries all work well together
overall: Starting to really come around. Almost a teenager, this still needs some time to really emerge. There is a real class to the wine that is starting to show and its a lot of fun. This may get better, but it can certainly be drunk now as well
Dominus Vertical Tasting (Binny's South Loop - Chicago, IL): Rusty ruby color. Nose of cherry, raspberry pie, cinnamon and other freshly baked berry goods. Palate shows more lively cherries with a soft cinnamon and butterscotch characteristic. Lighter bodeid but still very complex and lengthly. Delicate showing excellent finesse.
A dark garnet color but starting to brick around the rim, this is mature and complex showing gorgeous notes of tobacco leaf, black cherry, cedar, and grilled fennel. Light and delicate on the plate, this shows exquisite depth of flavor with notes of redcurrant and dried herbs. Bordeaux-like in feel, this doesn't have a ton of texture or tannic structure left, which makes me think its time to drink up. Three more bottles in the restaurant's cellar.
at opening: my cellar is really too cold to just drink right away. I decanted this but tried it minutes after opening, really good stuff. Subdued with the temparature around 55 degrees, but still delicious. After coming to temperature and giving it an hour, it is a stellar wine. Delicious, deep and still young.
1996 Cal Cab Dinner (Bonsoiree Cafe): Hugely aromatic nose with a Bordeaux personality has minerals, currants, herbs and tobacco. Palate is medium-to-full bodied with rich fruit made complex with bold minerals, spice and herb notes. Great balance and length - similar to the Abreu in style and complexity.
Had this 1996 vintage after sharing a magnum and a 750ml of the 1999 Dominus. I will not provide a score due to the lateness in the evening of the tasting.
This wine was a notch ahead of the '99. It opened much sooner and had a less dry taste. The extra three years have given the tannins time to find a good balance. The wine had a long and balanced finish. Not overwhelming with fruit, but when you searched for it, you found it easily. If scored, 93-94.
Maria's Birthday '07; 11/3/2007-11/4/2007 (Rosen House): Decanted x1 hour. Color dark almost purple, nose not intense but started with olive and developed faint woodsy and floral accent. Palate very good became outstanding paired with the lamb. Still has fruit balanced by structure and tannins.
This is a big hitter for Dominus! Everything that makes a great wine is there. I think that it still has some room to grow though. Drink now or hold for 2-3 more years. I am keeping 6 btls for 2010 just to see.
Big surprise, as I really didn't expect much from this. Decanted 4-5 hrs. Good ruby color, maybe a bit cloudy. Showed a little age at the edge. Incredably sexy nose of highly extracted dark fruit, licorice, new french oak. Stunningly complex, full mid-palate with bordeaux-like flovor profile. Very powerful but not a fruit bomb. Finish that lasts well over a minute. About as good as California Cabernet gets. No big hurry to drink the other two but this is a great wine now with a little air!
Dominus Vertical Dinner (onesixtyblue): Full round red color. Full aroma of spicy red/black fruit and a hint of acidity. Full black fruit ripe coffee on the palate. Very nice, and will continue to improve with time.
DOMINUS VERTICAL DINNER (160 Blue - Chicago, IL): Gorgeous aromas of black currant, cedar, tobacco are singing on the nose. Gritty tannins provide texture on the palate. Dark currants fill the mouth and feature a minty accent. Herbs and underbrush add complexity. Powerful with a long finish. (4+15+18+9=96).
Very nice nose of spice box, cigar, earth and dried herbs. On the palate, black cherries and cassis were noted with earthy tones well intermixed and balanced. Finished a little tannic, which was nice and means this one still has a lot of time left. Although not as profound or concentrated as the 1991, this is still a very nice Dominus that can be enjoyed now or cellared for at least another 5 years.
This was my best experience yet with this wine. Tanins have integrated well while the fruit is still vibrant. Long, lingering finish really made this enjoyable. Only one left and will probably wait at least another couple of years before finishing it off.
Bordeaux 94/95 @ Peter V. (Netherlands): Attractive, sultry sweetness in this wine, clearly NOT a Bdx. Sexy, round and easy to drink. Fine grained, well integrated tannines. Forestfruit, canned cherries, vanilla essence, coconut cream, butterscotch. Wonderful wine. 17.5-18/20
Drank this wine (blind) in a great Bordeaux line-up. It was quite light carmine/blood-red in colour compared to the other wines. Still a little backward. Woody, fruity, berries, a little sweetness. A-typical to the rest and not very impressive. But nevertheless an excellent wine.
Smooth baby. Tannins completely integrated and dark red cherry on the palate. You could easily mistake this for a Bordeaux. Drinking well right now and probably has a few more years of life left at least. Definitely not a powerhouse though.
Drank one of these a couple of months ago and was very disappointing. Very little nose or flavor. Was not sure if wine was on its way up or down. This bottle was better, but still disappointing. Much stronger nose and flavor, but lacked structure. I now assume (hope) still too young???, I hope because I have one more 750 and a mag. Will wait a year or more to pull next cork.
Best wine of the night. Not as big as it drank two years ago, but it was as soft and smooth as any wine I have ever had. Although the tannins had subsided, the dark fruits and luscious chocolate and vanilla notes were still there. Dominus is one of the few Napa winemakers whose wines actually hold up 10 years later and age nicely.
Young Dominus Vertical: Wine tasting. Black cherry on nose, still completely vibrant and mostly primary. Dark and powerful fruit on palate with lots of structure that I'd consider simultaneously powerful and elegant. This should easily hold at this level for 15 years.
Drank from magnum (not decanted) at Gibson's with steak...Big rich typical Dominus with all the full body and rich chocolates that I love so much from this producer...Big and beefy, but not as complex and layered as some of the better vintages have proven to be...Still all in all delicious wine
Dinner at Cafe Ponte with Jeff, Jory and Jere. WOW! Did this knock me out! Such ripe sweetness, such power and finesse, such silk and grip. Plum, smoke, chocolate, etc. etc. Very well balanced and lots of layers of structure. My only reason for not scoring it higher was that the finish was a little short and there was a slightly bitter after taste. This wine will last 10 more years easy. Drink one now and save the rest.
Dark ruby/black colour. Aromas of black fruit, tobacco, black cherry, and cassis. Medium-full bodied with black plums, black cherry, and loam. Well integrated tannins. Moderate-long finish, ~40s with black fruits. Drinking at its peak now, but will hold in the cellar for some time.