2018 Dominus Napanook
2018 Dominus Napanook Napa Valley, California, United States
Napanook is made solely from grapes grown at the historic Napanook Vineyard in Yountville, Napa Valley.
The wine is blended from blocks in the vineyard that were carefully selected for their lively fruit, soft tannins
and early maturing characteristics.
Enjoying a temperate climate, the vineyard’s volcanic, well draining soils are specifically suited to growing
Cabernet Sauvignon and the other Bordeaux varietals which compose the Dominus Estate wines. The soil is
gravelly and clay loam. Meticulous efforts are made throughout the seasons to produce grapes of the
highest quality for Dominus Estate wines.
During the winter season, precise cane pruning ensures ideal cluster spacing for optimal fruit ripening. Dry
farming relies on a deep root system to take advantage of natural water sources from rain and underground
supplies. Cluster thinning optimizes quality through yield regulation.
Rinsing the grapes 10 to 15 days before harvest removes dust and enhances the purity of the fruit. Handpicking with small french shears instead of harvest knives minimizes bruising and vine damage. Small harvest
baskets preserve the integrity of the clusters as they are transported to the winery. The sunny side of the
vines is picked a few days before the shady side respecting perfect maturity.
Minimal intervention and restraint throughout the process of grape berry selection, fermentation and aging
preserve the character of the fruit. The resulting wines convey the very personality of the vineyard. Dominus
winemaking includes separate lot-by-lot fermentation. Cluster sorting by hand is complemented by an
optical berry sorting system. Gentle pumping-over extracts aromas, color and tannins. Vertical wine press at
low pressure delicately releases components from the skin. Racking barrel to barrel in 100% french oak
removes sediment and assures clarification of the wine during aging.
The 2018 Napanook is a wine with tension and compelling aromas of petrichor, iron, earth and dark tobacco
punctuated with notes of marjoram and candied orange peel. The finish is firm, vibrant with finely grippy
At Dominus Estate, the 2018 season started late and harvest from October 1-15 was 12 days later than our
historical average. Seasonal rainfall was light (22” versus 31” annual average) and the beginning of summer
remained consistently warm. In late summer, temperatures dropped below norms with morning fog in
August and September. The fruit ripened slowly in the absence of heat spikes and harvest began with
Cabernet Franc on October 1. A storm system which brought 1.2” of rain on October 2 and 3 interrupted
picking. Hot and very dry weather returned on October 5 and harvest continued with Cabernet Sauvignon on
October 9, followed by Petit Verdot. We picked 94% of our fruit between October 9 – 15. The grapes were
full and ripe and the resulting wines are deep, complex and well-articulated.