This blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot (note that rarely is any Merlot utilized at the historic Napanook Estate in Yountville). The alcohol, by California standards, is a relatively modest 14.1%. Blending the best of French savoir faire with the brilliant fruit purity and ripeness of Napa Valley, Moueix has turned in another tour de force that seems far superior today than it did when it was first released. This is one of the vintage's greatest wines. Dense purple and youthful, with a glorious nose of earth, blackcurrants, sweet black cherries and incense, the oak is pushed way in the background, as it is in all of the Moueix wines, and the result is a wine of terroir, of great originality and authenticity. This full-bodied classic from Dominus can be drunk now, but really won't hit its prime for another 4-5 years and last at least another two decades or more. (RP)
Dark red-ruby. Knockout nose combines raspberry, plum, mocha, game, minerals and tobacco. Offers alluring Right Bank sweetness but also superb energy and definition; a lovely combination of Old World nuance and dark Napa Valley fruit. As suave and fine-grained as this wine is, it's also penetrating and gripping, stony and high-pitched. Finishes with terrific tannic spine and mineral reserve. This very youthful wine still has upside. (ST)
(a blend of 93% cabernet sauvignon, 4% cabernet franc and 3% petit verdot) Good full red-ruby. Highly complex nose melds black raspberry, minerals, milk chocolate, tobacco, licorice and brown spices. Wonderfully silky, sweet and broad; quite primary for a young Dominus vintage but with subtle earth tones adding nuance. This has plenty of high-quality tannins but the wine's buffering flesh gives it an impression of sweetness. One senses near-perfect ripeness here in the way the wine saturates the palate with flavor. Very suave and fine-grained wine that will almost certainly rank among the best half-dozen vintages of Dominus made to day. Incidentally, long-time winemaker Boris Champy has returned to his native France to make wine, and Ted Mostero, previously in charge of winemaking at Almaviva in Chile, is now in charge here. (ST) 94+
A quick glance at this wine may leave the impression that it is a bit too tough and tannic and not quite as rich in fruit as it could be, but a second and third look finds it unfolding and revealing ever more richness and depth. As it opens, it shows elements of dark cherries, loam, sweet cream and touch of pencil-box spice, and its layered flavors are rife with curranty fruit that powers past its considerable tannins. As in vintages past, this latest opus from Dominus is a wine meant for keeping, and eight to ten years of cellaring seems a minimum wait. *Two Stars*
More balanced than the overripe 2004, the ’05 Dominus is marked by dryness and firm tannins. It’s an obvious cellar candidate. Those tannins, along with unresolved acidity, give the wine a tough, almost rustic grittiness now. But there’s an enormous core of black currants, crushed blackberries, anise and cedar that’s deep and balanced. Should develop bottle complexity over many years, perhaps as long as 15. *Cellar Selection*
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