Dominus Napa Valley Red 2018
|Region||United States, Napa Valley|
At Dominus Estate, the 2018 season started late and harvest from October 1-15 was 12 days later than our historical average. Seasonal rainfall was light (22” versus 31” annual average) and the beginning of summer remained consistently warm. In late summer, temperatures dropped below norms with morning fog in August and September. The fruit ripened slowly in the absence of heat spikes and harvest began with Cabernet Franc on October 1. A storm system which brought 1.2” of rain on October 2 and 3 inter- rupted picking. Hot and very dry weather returned on October 5 and harvest continued with Cabernet Sauvignon on October 9, followed by Petit Verdot. We picked 94% of our fruit between October 9 – 15. The grapes were full and ripe and the resulting wines are deep, complex and well-articulated.
The flagship 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon checks in as 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Petit Verdot brought up in 40% new French oak. With an essence of Cabernet like character in its darker currants, green tobacco, cedar, graphite, and floral aromas and flavors, this gorgeous wine is full-bodied and has bright yet integrated acidity, polished tannins, and a great, great finish. It's just gorgeously put together and a magical, flawless wine. It's going to take a decade to hit maturity but will evolve for 40-50 years in cold cellars. It is as good as it gets in classic, age-worthy Cabernet Sauvignon!
This is tightly packed, with sleek, pure, driven notes of cassis, plum reduction and blackberry puree allied to an iron spine, while subtle alder, juniper, sweet bay leaf and tobacco notes peek in throughout. Very fine-grained, but impressively sturdy in feel, with a long, lingering note of iron piercing the finish. For the cellar. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Best from 2024 through 2040.
The 2018 Dominus is wild and exotic from the first taste. Lifted aromatics make a strong opening impression. There is something exuberant about the 2018 that is hard to describe. The 2018 is not a huge Dominus, nor is it massively structured, but the intensity of the flavors is remarkable just the same. Dark raspberry, spice, leather and cedar are some of the many notes that open over time.