Sunday, March 11, 2007

Dominus Napa Valley 2000

Tasting notes:

Nose shows wild berries, earth, then some lingering blueberry
Tight core of dark fruit with an elegant texture
Moderately tannic finish with more fruit layered with dark chocolate, herbs, and dusty earth

PB and his wife were in town for a brief stop over, and it happened to be "Open That Bottle Night" (OBTN). OBTN is a tradition started by the wine columnists from The Wall Street Journal in order to provide an excuse to open some good wines and enjoy the company of friends and family.

On this occasion, we did just that. The food was excellent, with a variety of courses, and the wine was flowing. I decided to open this bottle of Dominus because it had been in my cellar for four years and probably was at or near it's peak. Dominus rose to fame in the 1980's and 1990's, but recent vintages have not been up to par. This 2000 was a decent year according to the critics, but wouldn't be considered a treasured bottle. At $110 or so, I wish it was. Fortunately, if I remember correctly, the wine was a gift so I wasn't the one who ponied up the money.

After opening the bottle, we decided to decant it because it seemed tightly wound. As it opened up throughout the evening, it showed some richness and some nice layers. Even so, it never tasted like something I'd plunk down a hundred bucks for. I'm always pleased to taste wines from storied wineries and expensive labels, but it's a good reminder that selectivity and a discerning palate are a big help at these prices.

Overall, this was a real treat. I'm happy for an excuse to drink special wines with some of my favorite peeps! Raise a glass!

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