1991 Dominus Estate, Christian Moueix, Napa Valley, Magnum (1.5L) RP99/LP99

Dominus Estate - Christian Moueix's Napa Legacy

Napa Valley, with its rolling hills and fertile soil, has been a cradle for exceptional winemaking for centuries. At the heart of this viticultural treasure trove lies the Dominus Estate, a place of uncommon power and history. Owned by the visionary Christian Moueix, this historic ranch is not just a winery but a custodian of the land, practicing adaptive viticulture, sustainability, and meticulous winemaking to create wines of uncompromising quality.

A Legendary Man Behind The Legendary Wine

The Napanook vineyard, situated in a natural amphitheater at the foothills of the Mayacamas Mountains, has a history dating back to 1838 when George Yount planted Napa Valley's first vines. The vineyard's microclimate, fed by underground springs flowing through ancient riverbeds, provides ideal conditions for grape growing. Christian Moueix, with nearly five decades of winemaking experience, recognized the potential of this land and established Dominus Estate in 1983.

Christian Moueix's journey in winemaking began in Bordeaux, managing his family's chateaux, including the legendary Pétrus. His commitment to excellence led to innovative practices such as organic farming, frost control using helicopters, and crop-thinning, all aimed at producing the highest quality grapes. This commitment extends to Dominus Estate and Ulysses, where the focus is on expressing the unique terroirs of each vineyard.

A Deep Connection To The Land

One of the key factors contributing to the success of Dominus Estate is its exceptional terroir and love for the land. The 134-acre Napanook vineyard, with its gravelly clay loam soils, is home to Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot and features a diverse range of elevations, and microclimates. The commitment to adaptive viticulture is evident in practices such as precise canopy management, green harvest, and daily fruit tastings.

The Estate goes beyond organic and sustainable farming, holding certifications like Napa Green Land, Napa Green Winery, and Organic Certification. Engaged in environmental restoration and biodiversity efforts, the estate's ranch serves as a model of creek restoration in Napa Valley. Dry farming, a proactive practice, forms the foundation of their viticultural approach, promoting balanced vines with deep connections to the land.

Meticulous Winemaking

The Dominus winemaking philosophy is minimalist, allowing the purity, complexity, and character of the grapes to shine. Thorough manual hand sorting, optical sorting of berries, and gentle pump-overs contribute to the creation of estate-bottled wines. The commitment to excellence is reflected in the critical acclaim received by Dominus wines, with Robert Parker praising the estate as a harmonious blend of Napa Valley and Bordeaux.

Dominus – The Wines

RP99 for the 1991 "As for the 1991, 6,500 cases were produced of this potentially perfect wine. While this vintage of Dominus contains no Merlot in the blend, every time I taste it I am reminded of a great vintage of Petrus such as 1982, 1989 or 1990. Although different, the 1991 Dominus possesses extraordinary intensity, remarkable opulence, and amazing fruit extraction, all welded to a full-bodied structure. The wine's sensational purity and inner-core of depth must be tasted to be believed. The 1991 will be approachable young because of its sweet tannin, yet it exhibits the potential to last for 25 years. Perhaps 1994 will rival it, but for now, the 1991 is unquestionably the greatest Dominus, as well as a potential legend in the making." RP Jun 1995

RP99 for the 1994 “Christian Moueix and his talented winemaking team continue to rewrite the definition of a Napa Valley reference point wine. I have had a difficult time keeping the corks in my bottles of 1994 Dominus. The 1994 is a strikingly thick, compellingly rich wine with the texture of a great Pomerol, despite being made primarily from Cabernet Sauvignon. This seamless Dominus possesses no hard edges, as its acidity, tannin, and alcohol are beautifully meshed with copious quantities of ripe fruit. This wine offers early drinking, yet has the potential to last for 30+ years.” RP Dec. 1997

RP100 “The 2013 Dominus is, to my way of thinking, one of the most profound wines Christian Moueix has yet made in his rather brilliant winemaking history, both in France and in Napa Valley.” RP Oct. 2015

Dominus is as good as classic, age-worthy, Cabernet gets, and Robert Parker can attest. The estate has received nothing but top scores from Parker and other leading wine critics over the past four decades and this kind of recognition has not gone unnoticed. The acclaimed winemaker of Chateau Petrus, Jean Claude Berrouet, helped Christian Moueix in the estate's formative years. This partnership ensured that even Dominus' first releases were incredible, an almost unheard-of victory in winemaking. For both reasons, back vintage Dominus are some of the most sought-after bottles ever crafted by the estate.

An Essential Napa Wine

Christian Moueix's vision and commitment to the land ensure that Dominus wines not only stand the test of time but continue to set the standard for excellence in the world of fine wines. For those seeking a journey through the rich tapestry of Napa Valley's winemaking heritage, Dominus Estate is an essential destination.

Written by: Arabella Maislinger

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