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The 2018 vintage from Napa’s Dominus trio is a must – a year in which all three wines have excelled.

Christian Moueix

In the late 1960s, while studying at the University of California at Davis, Christian Moueix (pictured left) fell in love with the Napa Valley and its wines.

In 1981, he discovered the historic Napanook Vineyard, a 42 hectare estate in Yountville which provided fruit for some of the finest Napa wines of the 1940s and 1950s.

In 1982, Moueix entered into a partnership to develop the vineyard and, in 1995, became its sole owner. Dominus, ‘Master’ in Latin, has fulfilled its name!



    THE 2018 VINTAGE

    The 2018 season started late at Dominus, with budbreak on 2nd April and flowering peaking on 23rd May. Seasonal rainfall was light (56cm versus 79cm annual average), whilst early summer was consistently warm. In late summer, temperatures dropped below the norm, with morning fog in August and September. The fruit ripened slowly, without heat spikes.

    Harvest, from 1st - 15th October, was 12 days behind average. Having started with the Cabernet Franc, the team paused for a storm which brought 3cm of rain on 2nd and 3rd October.

    Hot and very dry weather returned on 5th October, allowing harvest to continue with the Cabernet Sauvignon on 9th October, followed by the Petit Verdot. 94% of the fruit was between 9th and 15th October. The grapes were full and ripe, feeding into the ease and expressiveness of the finished wines.

    OTHELLO 2018

    91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot and 4% Cabernet Franc. Bright ruby colour. Inky cassis and wild raspberry aromas, with bitter chocolate and peppery spice. The palate’s dense blackcurrant fruit is lifted by fresh acidity and framed by supple tannins, cedary spice lingering on the finish. Lithe and drinkable, exactly as intended. 14 months in French oak barrels. 14.5% abv.

    Corney & Barrow Score 17.5
    Recommended drinking from 2021–2025


    NAPANOOK 2018

    90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot. Exotic, spiced aromas, of nutmeg and incense, with cassis and blackberry. The palate has a core of sweet red berry fruit around which unwind seams of violet and black cherry. Very fine, gently grippy tannins exert themselves on the finish. A wine of harmony and poise, with ample ageing potential. 20% new French oak. 14.5% abv.

    Corney & Barrow Score 17.5 -18
    Recommended drinking from 2023–2030


    DOMINUS 2018

    89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. Archetypal Cabernet aromas of blackcurrant and cedar, with ripe raspberry beneath, all tightly coiled. The palate is coolly focused, with layers of inky cassis, violets and wild strawberry, encased within fine, polished tannins. The finish is vivacious and driving, yet so refined. 40% new French oak. 14.5% abv.

    Corney & Barrow Score 18
    Recommended drinking from 2026–2040+



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