Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Dominus Estate, Dominus - Napanook Vineyard 1992

Dominus is an estate with a very interesting history. Founded in 1982 by Christian Mouiex of Pomerol, Robert Mondavi and Robin Lail daughter of John Daniel Jnr the late owner of Inglenook estate. When John Daniel died, the estate was sold off, the only part remaining being the Napanook vineyards which the daughters had kept. (Interestingly enough, the remainder of the estate has since been bought by Francis Ford Copolla whom consequently named it Niebaum-Copolla in honour of Gustav Niebaum, Lail's great grandfather who founded Inglenook in 1879). Lail has since sold her share of Dominus and now has her own winery, Lail Vineyard.

Dominus produces two wines, their top cuvee, the Estate Red and their "second" wine Napanook. Now I love the Napanook, it has such a vibrant nose of raspberry jam on hot toast, it was quite a good seller at Gleneagles. Until I came here though I had never tried the Estate red. Oddly enough it is easy to tell its "related" to Napanook, there is quite a strong aroma of raspberry, along with big red berry fruits. This has more backbone to it, theres a stronger element of oak influence - cedar, tobacco and leather saddles, but the fruit rules the roost. This is a true bordeaux blend - 53% Cabernet Sauv, 22% Merlot, 22% Cab Franc, and 3% Petit Verdot, spending nearly a year and a half in French oak, about a quarter of which was new oak.

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