In the late 1960s, Christian Moueix of the famed Château Pétrus fell in love with the Napa Valley while attending the University of California at Davis. After his studies, he returned to Bordeaux to work in the family wineries there. However, his thoughts of Napa continued. After being exposed to the terrain, climate and grape quality in Napa, Christian longed to return and to have his own winery there. In 1981, he discovered the Napanook Estate and in 1982, he entered a partnership to develop the vineyard. The Dominus Estate began in 1982 as a partnership between Christian Moueix of Château Pétrus and Robin Lail and Marcia Smith, the daughters of John Daniels, Jr., and it was called the John Daniel Society. The estate is 124-acre vineyard located west of Yountville. In 1995, Christian Moueix became the sole owner. The first twelve vintages of the wine were made by Chris Phelps under the guidance of Pétrus winemaker, Jean-Claude Berrouet. David Ramey made the wine in 1996 and 1997. Then, Boris Champy, now of Maison Louis Latour, took over the winemaking from 1998 through 2007. Then, Tod Mostero took over and is the current winemaker at Dominus.
Christian Moueix is on a personal quest for perfection in winemaking and vineyard management. The goal of the team at Dominus is to capture the essence of the historic Napanook Estate vineyard. Christian and his team take a French approach in the vineyard using practices like dry farming and focusing their efforts on producing top quality fruit. Then, for the winemaking there is little intervention as Christian believes the wine is made in the vineyard. The result is the ripeness of Napa encased in elegance and restraint. Let’s see how Dominus has evolved over the years and why it has such a devoted following.
The following vintages of Dominus will be served:
1986, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2006, 2014, 2015