DOMINUS ESTATE Othello 2018
DOMINUS ESTATE Othello 2018, Produced from the historic Napanook vineyard in Yountville, California, Othello is a wine that expresses the singularity of its exceptional terroir and is accessible and enjoyable in its youth. A Bordeaux blend, the wine is forthcoming with lovely aromas of red fruit, round, silky tannins and an abounding brightness. It was at the famed Napanook vineyard that Christian Moueix established Dominus Estate in 1983. An historical site, it was the source of fruit for some of the finest Napa Valley wines in the 1940’s and 1950’s. Notably, the vineyard’s history can be traced back to Napa Valley’s beginnings, when in 1838 George Yount, for whom the town of Yountville was named, first planted grapevines there. Today, the vineyard produces three wines: Dominus, its flagship, Napanook, and Othello.
A model for its sustainable farming practices, the Napanook vineyard has been hailed for its dry-farming, which shuns watering the vines, thus spurring them to draw deeply on the land’s unique geology. Meticulous viticultural and winemaking practices are undertaken with the objective of producing wines that are pure, balanced and complex. Minimal intervention and restraint throughout the process of grape berry selection, fermentation and aging preserve the character of the fruit. The resulting wines are an expression of this unique vineyard.
Dominus Estate is a wine producer based in Napa Valley, making one of the region’s so-called cult Cabernets. The owner, Christian Moueix, has had ownership – at least in part – since 1982, and ran the estate concurrently with his family wine business in Bordeaux until 2008.
The estate is based around the Napanook vineyard, which is notable for being one of the first sites planted to grapes in the Napa Valley. George Yount, who gives his name to the Yountville appellation, set up a vineyard here in 1838 and, since then, the 50-hectare (124-acre) site has been owned by all manner of Napa stalwarts. Moueix went into partnership in 1982 with Robin Lail and Marcia Smith, the daughters of Inglenook’s John Daniel Jr, and, in 1995, took over as the sole owner. Since then, a second vineyard has been added to the Dominus portfolio, this time in Oakville.
The Napanook vineyard sits on the edge of the Mayacamas Mountains, rising slightly into the hills. It is dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, although there are plantings of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. This is reflected in Dominus Estate’s flagship red, which is predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon with some Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc – although the exact proportions depend on the vintage. Dominus Estate also makes an entry-level red wine, Othello, and a mid-level Cabernet, Napanook.