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Christian Moueix and his talented winemaking team continue to rewrite the definition of a Napa Valley reference point wine. I have had a difficult time keeping the corks in my bottles of 1994 Dominus. Eight-thousand cases were produced from a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Cabernet Franc, 12% Merlot, and 4% Petit Verdot. In this vintage, 174 days passed between bud break and the harvest, a remarkable period of time for any wine region in the world. The 1994 is a strikingly thick, compellingly rich wine with the texture of a great Pomerol, despite being made primarily from Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine exhibits a dense purple color, and an incredibly fragrant nose of jammy black fruits, spice, smoke, and loamy, truffle-like scents. In the mouth, it is full-bodied, with thrilling levels of extract and richness, but no sense of heaviness or harshness. This seamless Dominus possesses no hard edges, as its acidity, tannin, and alcohol are beautifully meshed with copious quantities of ripe fruit. This wine offers early drinking, yet has the potential to last for 30+ years.
"When I first looked at this soil thirty years ago with my friend Daniel Baron, I thought it was the best soil I had seen in California. I had such a special feeling for the soil and location. It had a sense of history, something very rare in California."
- Christian Moueix, Proprietor
In the late 1960’s, while attending the University of California at Davis, Christian Moueix fell in love with the Napa Valley and its wines. Son of Jean-Pierre Moueix, the famed wine merchant and producer from Libourne, France, Moueix returned home in 1970 to manage the family vineyards, including Chateaux Petrus, La Fleur-Petrus, Trotanoy in Pomerol and Magdelaine in Saint Emilion.
His love of Napa Valley lingered and, in 1981, he discovered the historic NapaNook Vineyard, a 124-acre site west of Yountville that had been the source of fruit for some of the finest Napa Valley wines of the 1940’s and 1950’s. In 1982, Mouix entered into a partnership to develop the vineyard and, in 1995, became its sole owner. He chose the name ‘Dominus’ or ‘Lord of the Estate’ in Latin to underscore his longstanding commitment to stewardship of the land.
One of the most respected wine producers in the world, Christian Moueix is on a personal quest for perfection in grapegrowing and winemaking. It is a journey that began in Bordeaux and continues today at Dominus Estate, where he has instilled his philosophy and inspired his team to share his values. To walk the vineyard with Christian is to witness a commitment to the land, a strong sense of purpose and the modest soul of a man of the vines.
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