Drank night after disappointing 96 Harlan (my birthday weekend, so why hold back). This was noticeably better; more balanced, more fruit and complexity and just better taste. Probably at a plateau, but don't see this dropping off any time soon.
I was rather disappointed in this wine, perhaps because my expectations were so high. The wine showed a little brick, but not as much as its age. The legs were long and had a nice texture. On the nose were hints of chocolate, herbs, and berries (black and red). On the palate, the wine was slightly bland, but still had hints of chocolate, cola, blackberry and cherry. The oak was well-integrated with the remaining fruit, as well as the tannins and acidity. Everything integrated nicely, and I have no complaints, per se, I just expected more. I was definitely not wowed by this wine, and for the money, I would have expected it to hold up better. If you have any in your cellar, I would drink now, as I believe it is in it's decline, and the window is closing.
HDH holiday tasting (Chicago, IL): I maintain that Dominus is one of the greatest Napa estates. Although this bottle strikes me as on the riper and blacker side of the Dominus wines, this bottle still has great restraint, and shows lots of black fruit, coupled with coarse dusty tannins. The power here is driven by the concentrated fruit extract, but handled very gracefully thanks to the fresh acidity. There was an interesting black pepper note on this that I found slightly out of place.
Verticale Dominus: Un nez étrange, de cuir, peu expressif, avec un petit coté animal, viandeux. La bouche est assez puissante, sévère, austère, mentholée, clairement américaine, avec une finale un peu chaude. C'est bien mais ça manque de charme, ce qui m'a fait penser à 1995.. 91+
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