The 2005 Dominus continues to strut its stuff, tasting like a Napa hybrid blend of a St.-Emilion and Pomerol. Its dark ruby/purple-tinged color is followed by notions of cedarwood, spice box, roasted herbs, sweet black cherry and cassis fruit, licorice, and truffles. Full-bodied with excellent fruit intensity, complex aromatics, supple tannins, and a long finish, this 7,000-case blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petit
Verdot should drink well for two decades or more. Christian Moueix, Dominus' owner, has purchased the 35-acre Swanson Vineyard, which is situated between the well-known California bistros, Brix and Mustard's. I suspect that will result in a third label from Dominus. At present, the production from these large holdings in Yountville is approximately 10,000-12,000 cases, with the second wine, Napanook, representing 3,500-4,000 cases, depending on the vintage. It is ironic that Christian Moueix, the great Merlot specialist at his flagship chateaux in Pomerol, especially Petrus, prefers the other Bordeaux varietals at his Napa property. Interestingly, when I visit Dominus, they always open a fresh bottle and serve it alongside a bottle that has been decanted for 24 hours. On each occasion, the more complex, open wine is the one that has had 24 hours of aeration, something buyers of this wine should take into consideration. These are the two strongest back to back vintages for Dominus since 1990-1991 and 2001-2002.