Dominus Napa Valley Red 2005
|Region||California, Napa Valley|
Medium to deep garnet-purple colour. Vibrant scents of warm blackcurrants, plums, mocha, vanilla, cloves and nutmeg with a whiff of smoked meat. On the palate this vintage provides the characteristic high level of acidity matched by firm fine tannins and a lot of rich, concentrated fruit yielding a more opulent style. Very long finish with lots of spice.
International Wine Cellar
($129; a blend of 93% cabernet sauvignon, 4% cabernet franc and 3% petit verdot) Good full red-ruby. Highly complex nose melds black raspberry, minerals, milk chocolate, tobacco, licorice and brown spices. Wonderfully silky, sweet and broad; quite primary for a young Dominus vintage but with subtle earth tones adding nuance. This has plenty of high-quality tannins but the wine's buffering flesh gives it an impression of sweetness. One senses near-perfect ripeness here in the way the wine saturates the palate with flavor. Very suave and fine-grained wine that will almost certainly rank among the best half-dozen vintages of Dominus made to day. Incidentally, long-time winemaker Boris Champy has returned to his native France to make wine, and Ted Mostero, previously in charge of winemaking at Almaviva in Chile, is now in charge here.
More balanced than the overripe 2004, the '05 Dominus is marked by dryness and firm tannins. It's an obvious cellar candidate. Those tannins, along with unresolved acidity, give the wine a tough, almost rustic grittiness now. But there's an enormous core of black currants, crushed blackberries, anise and cedar that's deep and balanced. Should develop bottle complexity over many years, perhaps as long as 15.
Starts out rich, supple and polished before gaining tannic traction, letting the earthy clay, loamy currant and dried herb and sage notes show in a complex, focused fashion. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2012.