Complexing touches of dusty earth, pepper and nicely fit oak are comfortably tied to a good dose of clean, clearly defined curranty fruit in the nose of this fairly fleshy young Cabernet, and, while quite rich, the wine is never beholden to ripeness and is at once both weighty and exceptionally well-balanced. It is built along claret-like lines, but is rife with generous fruit, and its relative lack of bluster should not be taken as a sign that it somehow lacks the potential for age. Let it sit for three of four years, and do not be surprised if it improves for twice as long.
Good ruby-red. Rich, smoky, expressive aromas of plum, currant, licorice, tobacco, game and leather. Suave and lush in the mouth, with explosive flavors of currant and graphite. Quite suave and pliant, offering excellent balance and full, broad, well-buffered tannins. This is just over 14% alcohol. The non-decanted version showed aromas of plum, redcurrant, mocha and nutty oak, and hints of tobacco leaf and licorice in the mouth. Though it was tighter and more firmly tannic, it also showed considerable early complexity. This distinctly claret-like vintage may well merit an even higher score with six to eight years of bottle aging. (ST) 92+
Christian Moueix's Napanook vineyard has pedigree, and so does the wine. Moueix's 20th-anniversary vintage, this emphasizes distinction and restraint, the deep black-fruited scent and milder tobacco sweetness balancing the savor of fine tannins. It takes several days for the tannins to release the dark cherry flavors more completely. For the collector's cellar.
The 2003 Dominus is a blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot (14.1% alcohol). Remarkably, it is the 20th vintage for Christian Moueix. Always a Bordeaux-inspired wine with restraint yet substance as well as a textured richness, the 2003 exhibits a deep plum/ruby/purple color, a creamy, opulent texture, no hard edges, and a wonderful sweetness of foresty, black currant and cherry fruit mixed with underbrush and hints of Chinese black tea. Well-proportioned and full-bodied, yet never over-stated or out of balance, this is another beauty from Moueix. Drink it over the next 15+ years. (RP)
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