Dominus, Napanook | 2020
Napanook has always been one of my favorite Napa Valley wines, an impressive 125-acre estate founded by Bordeaux savant, Christian Moueix in 1981. Often referred to as the “second wine” of Dominus, I view Napanook as a distinct wine, made from specific blocks, carefully chosen for their vibrant, ready-to-drink fruit. It was here, nestled in the foothills of the Mayacamas Mountains, that George Yount planted Napa Valley’s first vines in 1838. It’s a magical terroir: on the surface, gravelly and loamy soils extend into volcanic ones and lead to a treasure of ancient riverbeds, which encourage the vines to dig deep in search of water. 100% dry-farmed (no irrigation), there’s an uncanny sense of place in the glass, that delicious grit of warm rock and cold stone that signals the very best of Napa Valley.
The 2020 Napanook is a blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon with 7% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. Picked before the Glass Fire, grapes were obsessively sorted to ensure top quality, resulting in a production of just 1,600 cases. Aged in 20% new oak, the wine is powered by exuberant fruit, reds and blacks, with an underbelly of cacao, evergreen, gun flint, and sweet gravels. With firm yet flexible tannin, you can absolutely enjoy this now or cellar it for ten years. First released in 1996, the 2020 marks the 25th vintage of Napanook, once a little second wine that is now, very first.~Allegra A
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