Made in a more masculine style, the 2008 Dominus has all of that along with bigger body and more structure, fat, density and texture. Both are brilliant wines and they represent the finest back-to-back vintages for Dominus since 2001 and 2002 or 1990 and 1991. Both the 2007 and 2008 Dominus should drink well for 25-30 years. (RP)
This is very pure fruit for Dominus. This will be interesting to see how it develops in the future. 2008 was a very small crop. Very perfumed and beautiful, with currants, flowers, and notes of mint. Full-bodied, with round velvety tannins that lead up to a chocolate and ripe berry finish. This is showing great fruit, and a great finish. Structurally this is like a 2005 La Mission. Best after 2014.
Very Bordeaux-like in its makeup and structure, this firm wine offers good acidity and tight tannins, delivering complex flavors of loamy earth, vivid dried currant and berry, with anise and mineral notes sprinkled in. My favorite young Dominus of late. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2022. (JL)
A short crop of concentrated berries produced this grand vintage of Dominus, one that will need long aging to show its best. Decant it if you open the bottle now, allowing the initial cabernet franc scent of green herbs to integrate—Josiah Baldivino of Michael Mina in San Francisco described it as “adding a fine detail, like a pocket square in a suit.” Air brings out the full stature of the wine, its black cherry richness, violet scents and silken texture. For provençal lamb.
Another fine Dominus, dry, well-structured and ageworthy. Lacks the flashiness of the dramatic 2007, but is still ripe and rich enough to drink now, and should develop over the next six years. Rewards for the depth of blackberries, cassis, blueberries and cedar, wrapped into plush tannins.
(14.1% alcohol): Bright, saturated ruby. Tight, restrained nose hints at blackberry, cassis, plum, mocha, tobacco, licorice and menthol. Dense but quite dry and backward, offering noteworthy breadth and mineral lift but a bit lacking in give and still youthfully subdued. In a rather uncompromising, even medicinal style, with licorice and herb notes leavening the wine's riper plum and mocha flavors. One of the more backward '08s I tasted this year, hiding its sweetness today. More gripping than it appeared to be in the year following bottling but in need of more cellar time to expand. (ST) 91+
Now 30 years old, this venture is a Californian classic. But the real success is how Christian Moueix, proprietor of Pétrus, so fine-tuned his approach with Cabernet while turning his back on Merlot. The 2008 is 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot. While oak may be Napa’s mainstay, Dominus sees just 40% new barrels, leaving its fate more to a relentless focus on sorting and the Napanook vineyard’s sublime soils. A sweet floral edge enlivens creamy blackberry, sandalwood and gravelly mineral, with wellrobed tannins that only appear at the finish. For all the flesh, this has long-lived savoury nuance. 19.5/20 points. (JB)
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