LCBO Vintages Release
Enjoying a temperate climate, Dominus’s Napanook vineyard is rooted in well-drained volcanic clay-loam that is well-suited for Cabernet Sauvignon in particular and Bordeaux varietals in general. The land was first planted in 1838 by George Yount (who gave the nearby town of Yountville its name). Since then, the property has had several esteemed owners, including John Daniel, the owner of Inglenook, who included the grapes from the Napanook vineyard to his Inglenook blend. Christian Moueix began farming the land in 1982. It’s a special spot. Warm, dry summers are tempered by cooling breezes from the San Pablo Bay. The mid-valley location affords moderate temperatures, even through cold, wet winters.
Today, the vineyard is dry-farmed. Instead of running irrigation lines, the old vines’ deep root systems reach natural water sources and extract minerals from the soil. Fruit is harvested by hand in small baskets to preserve the integrity of the fruit. The sunny side of the vines is harvested a few days earlier than the shady side to attain perfect, consistent maturity. The attention to detail is immense. The reward is wine with complex flavour that is deeply connected to the soil.
First released in 1996, the 2013 Napanook brings together 92% Cabernet, 5% Petit Verdot, and 3% Cabernet Franc, carefully balanced for lively fruit and bold character. It is youthful and exuberant, produced with Dominus’s skillful, minimal intervention approach, but meant to be enjoyed when a more casual wine is called for. It charges ahead with power, energy, and tension, displaying notes of violet, cocoa, and deep red fruit that linger on a velvety finish. You can expect Napanook to age well for over a decade.
“Fabulous nose of mushrooms, like porcini, with black truffle that turns to citrus fruits such as orange and tangerine. Some vine bark. Full-bodied yet wonderfully firm and formed with refined and polished tannins. Super definition. Drink in 2018, but wonderful to experience.”
97 points, JamesSuckling.com, Jan 2016
“Just as magnificent from bottle as it was in barrel, the 2013 Napanook is dense, powerful and brooding, with searing intensity and extraordinary balance. Lavender, plums, violets, licorice and smoke are some of the signatures, but the 2013 exudes finesse, power and intensity. Bracing and searing, the 2013 is going to require quite a bit of patience. If anything, this is an insane level of quality for the second selection. The 2013 could turn out to be a thirty-year wine. It is every bit that magnificent, especially if given some aeration.”
95 points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, Oct 2015
“There are 2,000 cases of the 2013 Napanook Proprietary Red Wine, a blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc. This wine reflects the much higher quality that’s emerging with the second wine of Dominus, which has really become almost its own entity. Loads of loamy soil notes, grilled herbs, meat, blackcurrants, sweet kirsch and licorice are all present in this medium to full-bodied, lush, sexy wine, even in 2013. It is interesting how much more evolved and forward the 2013 Napanook is compared to the 2013 Dominus. This wine can be drunk over the next 12-15 years. In any event, both merit considerable attention from subscribers. 2015-2030.”
93 points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, Oct 2015