Dominus Wine Tasting with Virtual Guest Winemaker Tod Mostero

Thursday, November 5, 2020 - 07:30 PM

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“Someone said drink the water, but I will drink the wine / Someone said take a poor man, the rich don’t have a dime / Go fool yourself, if you will, I just haven’t got the time / I’ll give you back your water, and I will take the wine.”

Frank Sinatra
The Voice


We have been sheltering in place here at the Wine Bar every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night bringing our “Wine Drinking People” some of the best wines and a unique social distancing wine tasting experience.  We will not open for regular service at the Wine Bar until 2021 or maybe never as I am really starting to enjoy the new normal here at Wine Watch. 

For those of you that miss the Wine Bar we are offering a single table in the Wine Cave on any night that we are open for a unique culinary experience featuring any of your favorite Wine Bar menu items or anything that you would like us to bring in for your party.

We will take up to 15 people but will accept as few as 6 for a curated dinner by Chef Toni.  We must know in advance what food items you want so you will have to coordinate the menu with Toni ahead of time but she can put together any of your favorites from past Wine Bar menus or whatever you want if she has enough notice. The best thing about this table is the view of the wine, we have the largest selection of vintage wine in South Florida and everything is available at a retail price!!  You may want to bring a sweater it is 64 degrees in the wine cave.

The new normal for us has been brining in winemakers to introduce the wines through a zoom meeting where we bring them in live on our big screen TV.  So when our friends at Dominus Estate asked if we would like to have winemaker Tod Mostero here virtually for a vertical wine tasting of this top level Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon producer, I said perfect timing!  We just received a small collection of these wines going back to the 2007 vintage! 

Join us as we welcome one of Napa Valley’s top winemakers for a vertical tasting of Dominus Estate and chef Toni Lampasone will be making a special tasting menu to accompany the tasting wines.  The fee for this tasting which includes dinner is $250 + tax, for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail


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Dominus Wine Tasting
with Virtual Guest Winemaker Tod Mostero
Thursday, November 5, 2020
7:30 PM


2015 Dominus Napanook Cabernet Sauvignon Napa

2016 Dominus Napanook Cabernet Sauvignon Napa

2007 Dominus Proprietary Red Wine Napa

2008 Dominus Proprietary Red Wine Napa

2009 Dominus Proprietary Red Wine Napa

2012 Dominus Proprietary Red Wine Napa

2013 Dominus Proprietary Red Wine Napa

2016 Dominus Proprietary Red Wine Napa

2017 Dominus Proprietary Red Wine Napa



Selection of Cheese and Charcuterie

Grilled Prosciutto Wrapped Romaine Salad with Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette

Seared Tuna over Black Bean Puree with Sweet Roasted Red Pepper Relish

Bacon Fat Seared 45 Day Dry Aged Ribeye Sliced Rare with Cabernet Thyme Demi Glaze, Parmesan Flan and Roasted Root Vegetables

Dark Chocolate Creme Pot with Blackberry Gelee


The fee for this tasting which includes dinner is $250 + tax, for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail



A bit about Dominus Estate :

Dominus Estate is the single most interesting and the single most controversial new winery to arrive on the scene in the history of the modern era of California wine.  This assertion can be challenged perhaps only by OPUS I, the joint venture of Robert Mondavi and Baron Philippe de Rothschild.  When the first Opus I was released in 1983, it arrived with considerable fanfare.  The first case from the first barrel had been auctioned (without anyone having tasted it) for the highest auction price ever paid ($24,000) in the history of California wine.  However, critical reception to OPUS I was somewhat lukewarm; most felt that the initial releases were quite good, but not extraordinary.  Unlike Mr. Mondavi and Baron Philippe de Rothschild, the owners of Dominus Estate decided to give the critics a preview peek of their first wines. 

From the outset there was almost a universal chorus of praise from the nation's most influential wine authorities.  Robert Parker, editor of the prestigious The Wine Advocate, told his readers that the 1983 Dominus was not only a "great and profound wine" but also would "no doubt cause a rethinking of winemaking" in California.  Dominus hit the front page of The Wine Spectator in late June of 1987.  That same week bidding for Dominus at the Napa Valley wine auction reached a frenetic pace.  Three oversize bottles went for $13,500!  Finally, in late February of 1988, the winery decided the 1983 was still not ready and released the 1984 instead.  The great critical reviews, the very high release price, the historical legacy of the wine, the famous consulting winemaker, the connection to France's greatest wine estate, Chateau Petrus, and the delayed release of the first vintage with the succeeding vintage eventually being released first all combined to make Dominus the talk of the wine world in 1987 and 1988.  The origins of Dominus can be traced back to the 1880's, when the present vineyard, known as Napanook, was called the La Rue Vineyard and was known for top quality winegrapes.  In 1946 the La Rue Vineyard was purchased by John Daniel Jr., the grandnephew of Captain Gustave Niebaum, the founder of Inglenook Vineyards.  Daniel had taken over the management of Inglenook in 1933 and had been responsible for one of the great periods in Inglenook's history - the winery was especially noted for its great Cabernets during the Daniel era. Daniel renamed the La Rue Vineyard, Napanook; and the best of Napanook's grapes became a major factor in the legendary Inglenook Cask Cabernets of the fifties and sixties.  When John Daniel sold Inglenook in 1964, he retained the rights to Napanook.  He died in 1970, and management of Napanook was put in trust by a bank for the next decade. 

Taking a cue from the Baron de Rothschild, Christian Moueix, the owner of Bordeaux's most highly regarded (and most expensive) wine estate, Chateau Petrus in Pomerol, went to the Napa Valley in hopes of finding some great vineyard land and putting together his own joint Franco American winemaking operation.  Through Robert Mondavi, he was introduced to Robin Lail and Marcia Smith, the daughters of John Daniel.  A deal was struck to produce a wine from Napanook under Moueix's direction, and the John Daniel Society was formed to manage the estate.  The plans call eventually for a winery.  On site management of the property is done by Daniel Baron and Christopher Phelps, the winemaker.  Christian Moueix visits about five times a year to give direction and offer technical assistance.  The label, an artist rendering of Moueix, was done by one of the masters of American contemporary art, Larry Rivers.  The Napanook vineyard is planted south of the Yountville Mound, where there is a unique subclimate ideal for the slow ripening of the Bordeaux varieties.  Sixty-seven of the vineyard's 124 acres are planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot with vines ranging in age from seven to thirty years.  Selection of the best fruit from the oldest vines is saved for Dominus; the rest is sold under contract to another winery.  The 1983 and 1984 Dominus were both composed of about 75 % Cabernet Sauvignon with the balance being Cabernet Franc and Merlot.  No new barrels (they came from Petrus, Trotanoy, and Cheval Blanc) were used for the first vintage, but the 1984 saw 20% new oak.  These first wines met with mixed reviews after their release to the broad market.  Today, Moueix will admit that it took him several years to come to grips with the differences between the terroir in France and his new venture in Napa.  Robert Parker has raved about these wines since the very first vintage and has never rated one of Christian’s wines below (90) points. 

Today, Dominus is owned 100% by the Moueix family and the winery was completed in July of 1998.  The façade of the winery is unique and built for its functionality rather than aesthetic values.  The exterior is dark green basalt, held in place by galvanized wire baskets, this resembles a huge rock cage that completely covers the concrete winery.  This design will let air flow freely as well as providing dazzling visuals at night.  The rocks are not held together by mortar but rather stacked in cages, you can see the artificial light radiating out like a thousand stars in the night sky.

"Christian Moueix, Dominus’ owner, has purchased the 35-acre Swanson Vineyard, which is situated between the well-known California bistros, Brix and Mustard’s. I suspect that will result in a third label from Dominus. At present, the production from these large holdings in Yountville is approximately 10,000-12,000 cases, with the second wine, Napanook, representing 3,500-4,000 cases, depending on the vintage. It is ironic that Christian Moueix, the great Merlot specialist at his flagship chateaux in Pomerol, especially Petrus, prefers the other Bordeaux varietals at his Napa property. Interestingly, when I visit Dominus, they always open a fresh bottle and serve it alongside a bottle that has been decanted for 24 hours. On each occasion, the more complex, open wine is the one that has had 24 hours of aeration, something buyers of this wine should take into consideration. These are the two strongest back to back vintages for Dominus since 1990-1991 and 2001-2002."  Wine Advocate # 180, Dec 2008


All the Dominus Wines Available at Wine Watch:


Image result for 2015 Dominus Estate Napa


2017 Dominus Estate Proprietary Red Wine Napa
Price: $252.75             Your Price: $222.42

(97 Points) There was about 50% of a normal crop this year for the 2017 Dominus, due to strict selection. Grapes were harvested from September 21 to October 3 and the wine was bottled in June 2019. This year the blend is 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot, aged in 40% new French oak barrels. Very deep purple-black in color, it sashays nonchalantly out of the glass with graceful notions of potpourri, forest floor, crushed rocks, Ceylon tea and licorice with a core of black currant cordial, chocolate-covered cherries, mulberries and preserved plums plus a waft of garrigue. Full-bodied, the palate has a beautifully impactful, wonderfully quiet intensity of black and blue fruits with loads of floral and spicy sparks, framed by firm yet plush tannins, finishing with long-lasting earthy notes.            Robert Parker's Wine Advocate


2016 Dominus Estate Proprietary Red Wine Napa
Price: $330.00 Your Price: $290.40    Quantity in Stock: 6

(100 Points) A blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot and 8% Cabernet Franc aged in 40% new oak, the 2016 Proprietary Red Wine is deep purple-black in color and quite reticent at this youthful stage to begin, offering up subtle notions of potpourri, Indian spices, cigar box and iron ore over a core of crushed blackberries and black cherries with intermittent wafts of black and red currants, new leather and smoked meats. The palate is medium to full-bodied with a densely packed mid-palate and oodles of freshness framed by very ripe, finely grained tannins and laced with compelling earthy accents. It offers incredible vibrancy with tons of black and red fruit sparkle in the mid-palate leading to a provocative mineral element on the very long finish. If I could give more than 100 for this one, I would. To be released in May 2019. Wine Advocate


2013 Dominus Estate Proprietary Red Wine Napa
Price: $495.00 Sale Price: $395.00     Quantity in Stock: 3

(100 points) - "The 2013 Dominus is, to my way of thinking, one of the most profound wines Christian Moueix has yet made in his rather brilliant winemaking history, both in France and in Napa Valley. This wine, with very low yields of only 3,500 cases and a final blend of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot and 4% Cabernet Franc, offers up notes of cedar wood, forest floor, loamy soil and oodles of blackberry and blackcurrant fruit. Very opaque purple in color, super-pure and intense, this wine has low acidity, but ripe, noticeable tannins. This is a 30- to 40-year wine and a profound effort from this famous vineyard in Yountville. Drink it over the next 40+ years."...Wine Advocate


2012 Dominus Estate Proprietary Red Wine Napa
Price: $325.00 Sale Price: $245.00     Quantity in Stock: 8

(98 Points) The exuberance and drama in the stunning nose of the dense plum-colored 2012 Dominus offers up notes of Asian spice, ripe, black currants, kirsch, tobacco leaf and Christmas fruitcake. It is full-bodied and opulent, with no hard edges, a seamless integration of acidity, wood and tannin and a density and richness that are built to go on for 25-30 years.  Robert Parker's Wine Advocate


2009 Dominus Estate Proprietary Red Wine Napa
Price: $315.00 Sale Price: $252.00     Quantity in Stock: 6

(97 Points) The 2009 Dominus saw about 40% new oak compared to the 20% for Napanook. A seamless classic, it offers a symphony of red and black currants, Asian plum sauce, lavender, and underbrush. Sweet Christmas fruitcake characteristics emerge from this magnificent Dominus that finished at 14.5% natural alcohol (slightly higher than usual). The seamless integration of acidity, tannin, wood and alcohol, the brilliant length and overall compelling complexity and richness make it one of the great classics from this historic estate. It should drink well for 20-25 years.

Looking at the harvest dates for the 2009 through 2012 Napanook and Dominus reveals that none of these were early, very warm years, such as 2013 is promising to be in northern California. For example, in 2009 the harvest took place between October 5 and 12; 2010 between October 4 and 23; 2011 between October 15 and 24; and 2012 between October 9 and 21. Production has remained steady because the estate crop-thins as much as 50% of the harvest to ensure bunch regularity, even ripening and reasonable yields. The second wine, Napanook, tends to come in around 3,000 cases per year, and Dominus around 5,000 cases per year. I was joking with Christian Moueix when I visited the winery and I told him I am one of the geezers old enough to remember his first vintage of 1983, which was tasted at the Rombauer Cellars until he moved to what appears to be an old bank building in downtown St. Helena, after which they constructed a spectacular winery in Yountville that resembles an extension of their historic terroir. Another great vintage, the 2012s have slightly lower alcohols than the 2009s and 2010s, which surprised me given the exuberant nature of this vintage and its boisterous fruit and glycerin. I was shocked to realize that 2013 will mark over thirty vintages for Christian Moueix and Dominus, not to mention my visits each year. How time flies!  Wine Advocate #209, Oct 2013


2008 Dominus Estate Proprietary Red Wine Napa
Price: $350.00 Sale Price: $285.00     Quantity in Stock: 11

(99 points) Made in a more masculine style, the 2008 Dominus has all of that along with bigger body and more structure, fat, density and texture. Both are brilliant wines and they represent the finest back-to-back vintages for Dominus since 2001 and 2002 or 1990 and 1991. Both the 2007 and 2008 Dominus should drink well for 25-30 years. This estate, owned by Christian Moueix, includes the famed Napanook Vineyard that was the base of so many of the historic Inglenook Cabernet Sauvignons of the 1950s and 1960s. Interestingly, they have completely eliminated Merlot from the bottling. The 2007 Dominus is a 5,400-case blend of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. There are 4,200 cases of the 2008 Dominus which is composed of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. Lower yields resulted in a denser, more concentrated wine. The remarkable thing about these cuvees is that they smell like a hypothetical blend of a top Napa Cabernet Sauvignon and a serious Bordeaux, possibly a cross blend of a Pomerol and Pauillac. Both wines possess silky sweet tannins, which is the big difference between Dominus post-1990 and the first seven vintages, where the tannin content was relatively high. About 40% new oak is used in their upbringing. Wine Advocate # 192 Dec 2010


2007 Dominus Estate Proprietary Red Wine Napa
Price: $365.00 Sale Price: $295.00     Quantity in Stock: 11

(98 Points) The soon-to-be-released 2007 Dominus is a 5,400-case blend of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petit Verdot. It is ironic that Christian Moueix, the practitioner of utterly profound Merlot-based wines from St.-Emilion and Pomerol, eschews Merlot from his Napa vineyard, recognizing that it is Cabernet Sauvignon, and to a lesser extent Cabernet Franc, that hits the high notes in Napa. A prodigious example of Dominus, the 2007 represents a hypothetical blend of a Pomerol, Pauillac, and a Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep ruby/purple-colored with a sweet nose of incense, cedar wood, black currants, black cherries, licorice, and a subtle hint of roasted herbs, it is an expansive, savory, opulent wine with a full-bodied mouthfeel, silky tannins, and sensational concentration. A legend in the making, it should evolve for 25-30 years, possibly longer given the fact that his vintages from the early eighties are still going strong, and the wines today are better made given Moueix-s Napa experience and the estate winery he did not have 25 years ago.

Perhaps the finest vintage at Dominus since their historic 1994s and 1991s is 2007, although I am also a big fan of what they achieved in 2001, 2002, and 2006. Lastly, when I visit this winery they always open a fresh bottle and also have a bottle that has been decanted for an hour or two. The decanted bottles definitely reveal more aromatic complexity and breadth of flavor, so readers may wish to aerate the wines prior to service. Wine Advocate # 186, Dec 2009


2015 Dominus Napanook Cabernet Sauvignon Napa image



2016 Dominus Napanook Cabernet Sauvignon Napa
List Price: $79.50        Your Price: $69.96      Quantity in Stock: 5

(93 Points) Very deep purple-black in color, the 2016 Napanook Proprietary Red Wine is composed of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot and 7% Cabernet Franc aged in 20% new oak. A beautiful perfume of violets, aniseed, truffles and lavender is just starting to emerge over a core of warm cassis, blackberry preserves and ripe plum plus hints of cedar chest, chocolate box, rare beef and cardamom. The palate is medium to full-bodied and firmly textured with very ripe tannins, gradually revealing layers of black and blue fruits plus loads of earthy sparks, finishing with amazing freshness and depth.  Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

2015 Dominus Napanook Cabernet Sauvignon Napa
Price: $85.50    Your Price: $72.68     Quantity in Stock: 60

 (93 Points) Bottled in July 2017, Dominus’ more approachable, less tannic sister wine, Napanook, is a blend this year of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc. Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2015 Napanook Proprietary Red Wine is redolent of crème de cassis, potpourri, plum preserves and violets with hints of dark chocolate, menthol, licorice and charcoal. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is densely packed with black fruit preserves and earthy layers, supported by firm, ripe, fine-grained tannins and finishing with great length. Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

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