While attending the University of California Davis in the 1960’s, the young Christian Moueix developed a deep appreciation for the emerging wine region of Napa Valley. After returning to France to join his family in managing their famed portfolio, he decided to return to California in 1981 to purchase the legendary Napanook Vineyard. Located in the Yountville area of Napa Valley, the Napanook vineyard was a central part of John Daniel’s Inglenook Cabernets of the 1940’s and 50’s, considered by many to be some of the greatest wines ever produced from Napa Valley. Christian Moueix took his experience from the Right Bank of Bordeaux and founded Dominus, with the explicit purpose of making the greatest wines he could from one of the highest quality vineyards in Napa. The results disappoint few.
Supple tannin, suave fruit, and impeccable balance have become hallmarks of the Cabernet dominant Bordeaux-style blends Dominus has produced since 1983.The wines of Dominus burst with the rich fruit blessed by the California sun without abandoning the balance and restraint more often associated with French winemaking tradition. Napanook vineyard is entirely dry farmed and composed of well-drained volcanic gravel-loam, creating a perfect balance of stressful conditions. Napanook’s location in the middle on Napa Valley is also ideally situated in relation to the cooling influence of the San Pablo bay, blunting some of the worst summer heat.
On top of these natural factors Moueix shows the depth of his background in the consistent restraint his wines display in the hottest years, while the cooler years showcase their expert vineyard management and decades of experience with the often wetter growing season in Bordeaux. These wines usually take years, if not decades to fully come into their own. With increasing numbers of French wine giants establishing themselves abroad, Moueix has thoroughly proven what can be accomplished when refined talent is combined with foreign terroir.