Last night eight happy souls sat down to eat too big a meal and enjoy a decent vertical of Dominus. Here are the results.
A great Aubert Chardonnay was served up top and I can't tell you a thing other than yum.
A blind wine was the red starter. Nano in his usual form is very deft at the aluminum wrap.
Blind: I sensed some cab franc, dustiness and faded fruits. Hints of cedar and graphite were tucked in there too. I figure it to be about 20 years old. Others said a 20 year old Beringer Private Reserve, which I thought a good guess. I said 1991 Mondavi Cab of sort.
Unveil showed it to be a 1997 Napanook. On theme for sure although uninspiring.
1984 Dominus Estate- Corked.
1987 Dominus Estate- fragrant and pretty with youth on its side. Wonderfully structured with black currant, plum and blackberries. This has evolved some nice secondaries of cedar, soy, cardamom and more. This is all about the elegance and I was glad to have experienced it. 93
1990 Dominus Estate- Lighter in color, I would have thought this to be slightly older than the 1987. It started out with decent moderate black fruits and hints of leather. As it sat, it became a bit disjointed. Not a bad drink, but not in the class of the 1987. 88
In this first flight we had unanimous agreement on the 1987 being WOTF.
1991 Dominus Estate- Although this started better than the 1990, it went down the same path within 10 minutes and within those 10 minutes the 1994 climbed the ladder. 89
It had decent fruit and structure. As all others, it was fully resolved. An interesting wine that would have done much better on a table alone. 89
1994 Dominus Estate (decanted 1 hour) - A slow starter, this had a slightly subdued profile of black fruits, cedar, graphite and cassis. As it sat it gained weight, structure and grace. It became deep and fragrant. Tannins still had some life in the and were of the nicely complicated type. It really did go from 0-60 in minutes. Long finish and just an all around pretty and finessful glass of wine, 94
1995 Dominus Estate (decanted 1 hour) - this started out strong and went slightly in the way the 1991 did. It had some nice plushness and a deft balance. It went just a bit flat, but alongside that 1994 even Dolly Parton would be flat. Decant texture and a light to medium weight. Again, probably should blame its younger sibling for its overall showing. 91
In this flight the 1994 had 6 first place votes and the 1995 had 2 votes
1997 Dominus Estate- corked
2001 Dominus Estate (decanted 4 hours early) - This had super black fruits with an intense mouth feel and precision not exhibited yet tonight. Some said riper. I said better ‘vignified’. It was pretty with blackcherries, black currant, cardamom, pomegranate and more. Deep and long, this had miles and miles to go. Perfectly balanced with complicated tannins, a hint of sweetness and cola. I have been following 2001 Napa Cabs for a few years now, and this one does not disappoint. I would seek this one out. Notice this is the first time I said so. 93
2005 Dominus Estate- Tight and unyielding. Once coaxed I got some black fruits showing. Tannins are huge! This truly needs a bunch of time, something I say about most 2005s I encounter. Interesting to see the juxtaposition this created with the older Dominus on the table. Not sure I would place it on a buy list. 90
Overall on the night, (or WOTN votes)
1987 had 4 votes (me as well)
1994 had 2 votes
2001 had 2 votes
1991 had 2 votes
2001 had 2 votes (me as well)
1994 had 2 votes
1987 and 1990 had 1 vote each
Going back to the Napanook at the end of the night, it's now become almost Burgundian, very much like a Gevry Wilt Chamberlain, Vieilles Vignes, 1er Crew, Upper Beaune I once had. But that's a story for another time. (It was my first hundred pointer) :)
An interesting night indeed.
Thanks to Nano for setting it up. Harry's on Hanover Square did a great job.