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Dominus Napa Valley Red 2005
Dominus 2005 is dark red, almost deep crimson in color. The nose is dense and compact, filled with dark berries, blond tobacco, black cherries and cacao. The entry is both powerful and supple, spherical in quality. Perfectly ripe, the enveloped tannins are firm, round and elegant. Black fruit and licorice linger throughout the evolution in mouth, well-balanced and harmonious. A superb vintage.
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($129; a blend of 93% cabernet sauvignon, 4% cabernet franc and 3% petit verdot) Good full red-ruby. Highly complex nose melds black raspberry, minerals, milk chocolate, tobacco, licorice and brown spices. Wonderfully silky, sweet and broad; quite primary for a young Dominus vintage but with subtle earth tones adding nuance. This has plenty of high-quality tannins but the wine's buffering flesh gives it an impression of sweetness. One senses near-perfect ripeness here in the way the wine saturates the palate with flavor. Very suave and fine-grained wine that will almost certainly rank among the best half-dozen vintages of Dominus made to day. Incidentally, long-time winemaker Boris Champy has returned to his native France to make wine, and Ted Mostero, previously in charge of winemaking at Almaviva in Chile, is now in charge here.Score: 94+. —Stephen Tanzer, May 2008.
Medium to deep garnet-purple colour. Vibrant scents of warm blackcurrants, plums, mocha, vanilla, cloves and nutmeg with a whiff of smoked meat. On the palate this vintage provides the characteristic high level of acidity matched by firm fine tannins and a lot of rich, concentrated fruit yielding a more opulent style. Very long finish with lots of spice.Score: 94. —Robert Parker, May 2010.
More balanced than the overripe 2004, the '05 Dominus is marked by dryness and firm tannins. It's an obvious cellar candidate. Those tannins, along with unresolved acidity, give the wine a tough, almost rustic grittiness now. But there's an enormous core of black currants, crushed blackberries, anise and cedar that's deep and balanced. Should develop bottle complexity over many years, perhaps as long as 15.Score: 92. —Steve Heimoff, November 01, 2008.
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I rate wines using the 100-points scale. I have used this point system for close to 25 years. I still believe it is the simplest way to rate a wine, with its origins from grade school in the United States. A wine that I rate 90 points or more is outstanding (A), and worth buying. If I rate a wine 95 points or more (A+), it is a must buy.
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