Dominus Estate is located in the western hills of the Yountville AVA just south of Oakville. In the late 1830s, George Yount planted the first Napa Valley vineyards on this land.
In 1983, Dominus Estate was established by Christian Moueix, Robin Lail, and Marcia Smith. Lail and Smith are the daughters of John Daniel Jr and the great nieces of Gustave Niebaum. Moueix subsequently bought Lail and Smith’s shares of the company and is now the full owner. He has a simple winemaking philosophy: wine should be produced in the vineyard, not in the cellar.
Dominus only produces two wines. The flagship Dominus Estate is 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Cabernet Franc, 5% Merlot, and 3% Petit Verdot. This is one of Napa Valley’s great wines. It has a complex, spicy flavor profile and an extremely long finish.
The Dominus Napanook Vineyard is produced in a style that can be enjoyed immediately. Like the Dominus 2000 Estate, Napanook is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot. Napanook’s tannins are more subdued and it is a bit less age worthy.
In the vineyard,crop thinning and canopy management are among the most important to ensure that the grape clusters have enough room for sufficient light and air to reach them. They then go through the vineyard with a fine tooth comb, employing a technique called “nettoyage,” meaning they discard grape clusters that are not up to par. These practices along with the excellent winemaking techniques make Dominus Estate one of the premier wineries in Yountville.