Region: Napa Valley
The vineyards of Dominus Estate have connections to the original history of the Napa Valley as they date back to the mid 1850’s, or even earlier, when it was first cultivated. At the time, it was known as the Napanook vineyard.
In the late 1960s, while attending the University of California at Davis, Christian Moueix fell in love with the Napa Valley and its wines. Son of Jean-Pierre Moueix, the famed wine merchant and producer from Libourne, France, Moueix returned home in 1970 to manage the family vineyards, including Chateaux Petrus, La Fleur-Petrus, Trotanoy in Pomerol and Magdelaine in St. Emilion.
His love of Napa Valley lingered and in 1981, he discovered the historic Napanook vineyard, a 124-acre site west of Yountville that had been the source of fruit for some of the finest Napa Valley wines of the 1940s and 1950s.
In 1982, Moueix entered into a partnership with Robin Lail and Marcia Smith, the daughters of John Daniels who owned the vineyard. In 1995, he became the sole owner of the estate and chose the name Dominus, or “Lord of the Estate” in Latin to underscore his longstanding commitment to stewardship of the land.
One of the most respected wine producers in the world, Christian Moueix is on a personal quest for perfection in grape growing and winemaking. It is a journey that began in Bordeaux and continues today at Dominus Estate.
98 James Suckling
"Loads of dark tobacco aromas with blackcurrants and black olives. Boysenberries, too. Full to medium body, ultra-fine tannins and lots of flavors of smoke, dried roasted chillis, black truffles, mushrooms and fruit. Bright acidity on the finish. Sexy and subtle austerity. Alluring. Very approachable now but better in 2021."
97 Robert Parker - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
"The 2014s, where the production of Napanook was only 2,200 cases and Dominus slightly more than the 2015 at 4,000 cases, was another early harvest, although somewhat later than 2015. The 2014 Dominus, which is 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc and 7% Petit Verdot really struts its stuff. Moueix’s belief in dry farming seems to be paying off with stronger and stronger vintages, each successive year, and the 2014 is a sexy, opulent, layered, multidimensional wine with notes of red and blackcurrant, cedar wood, tobacco leaf , spice box and licorice. The color is a dense plum/ruby/purple, much like the Napanook. This is a beauty that is already drinking gorgeously – as most 2014s are – and will continue to evolve for 25 or so years.
Christian Moueix’s Dominus Estate continues to be one of California’s leaders in producing gorgeously elegant, complex and long-lived wines by practicing minimal intervention and restraint throughout the process of grape berry selection, fermentation and aging thus preserving the character of the fruit.