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Dominus--Vintage 1994

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Estimate: US$1,200 - US$1,600
Price realised:  US$1,140
Lot number 1, Views: 60

Dominus--Vintage 1994
1 double-magnum per lot
DOMINUS Napanook is on the west side of the Napa Valley facing the town of Yountville, approximately one-third of the way up the valley. Historical records show that in 1836 George Yount, who gave his name to Yountville, planted the first vines of the valley on the location of Napanook vineyard, before selling the land in 1850 to Charles Hopper. Since then, Napanook has had several owners, including Hugh La Rue, one of the pioneers in the use of rootstock and John Daniel, famous for the Inglenook Cask Selection. Christian Moueix fell in love with the valley and its wines while studying at U.C. Davis in 1968 and 1969. After many years of searching for the ideal vineyard location, in 1982 he entered into a joint venture with Robin Lail and Marcia Smith, John Daniel's two daughters. This was the birth of Dominus, and its first vintage was harvested in 1983, however, it was felt that the 1983's structure was such that it needed further time in bottle to resolve a stout tannic structure. As such the team at Dominus initiated a break from tradition and released the 1984 vintage as the first commercial release. Since then, Christian Moueix has worked to restore the unique character of the original vineyard. He became full owner in 1995. Dominus--Vintage 1994 Napa Valley Lot 1 label signed by Christian Moueix (see illustration) Lot 2 in original wooden case "Christian Moueix and his talented winemaking team continue to rewrite the definition of a Napa Valley reference point wine. I have had a difficult time keeping the corks in my bottles of 1994 Dominus. Eight-thousand cases were produced from a blend of 70 Cabernet Sauvignon, 14 Cabernet Franc, 12 Merlot, and 4 Petit Verdot. In this vintage, 174 days passed between bud break and the harvest, a remarkable period of time for any wine region in the world. The 1994 is a strikingly thick, compellingly rich wine with the texture of a great Pomerol, despite being made primarily from Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine exhibits a dense purple color, and an incredibly fragrant nose of jammy black fruits, spice, smoke, and loamy, truffle-like scents. In the mouth, it is full-bodied, with thrilling levels of extract and richness, but no sense of heaviness or harshness. This seamless Dominus possesses no hard edges, as its acidity, tannin, and alcohol are beautifully meshed with copious quantities of ripe fruit. This wine offers early drinking, yet has the potential to last for 30+ years." Robert Parker Wine Advocate #114 (Dec 1997) 1 double-magnum per lot

Informations about the auction
Auction house: Christie's
Title: Finest And Rarest Wine from an Important West Coast Collection
Date of the auction: 3 May 2008
Address: Christie's
3 May 2008, Beverly Hills