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Professional Ratings: 94 Wine & Spirits, 92 The Wine Advocate, 91 Wine Enthusiast
Region: Napa Valley, California
Varietal: Bordeaux Red Blends
Style: Big & Bold
Item no. 99330
Napanook is made solely from grapes grown at the historic Napanook Vineyard in Yountville, Napa Valley. The wine is blended from blocks in the vineyard that were carefully selected for their lively fruit, soft tannins and early maturing characteristics
The 2006 vintage is deep crimson in color. Its nose is dense, complex and full of black cherry, fresh almonds and bitter chocolate notes. The entry is very full and velvety, enveloped with round, deep tannins. The finish lingers on with aromas of bramble berries, cigar tobacco and cocoa beans.
Napanook 2006 is a blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot and 3% Merlot.
Here's the challenge of blind tasting. The 2006 Napanook, the wine from younger vines and lesser soils at the Dominus Estate, is transparent, its beauty easy to see. It may, in fact, be the best vintage of Napanook we've tasted on release-all black currants and peppercorn spice, lifted, savory, dark and intense. A great Napa wine for rack of lamb. Meanwhile, the '06 Dominus (recommended below) is all restraint, closed off behind the wall of its structure. If Dominus catches up and surpasses Napanook, which it should, it will be an astonishing wine.
The 2006 Napanook (a 3,500-case blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest small amounts of Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Petit Verdot) is made in a riper, more California style than usual, displaying more exuberant, up-front notes of kirsch, black currants, and plums. Deep and full-bodied with low acidity, sweet tannin, and a fleshy, succulent personality, it tastes like a classic Napa Cabernet. Consume it over the next 10-15 years.
It’s tempting to think of Napanook as a second wine of Dominus, but this Cabernet-based Bordeaux blend has been trying to stand on its own. It doesn’t always succeed, but the ’06 represents a step forward, and is the best release since 2003. Dry and well-structured, it offers complex flavors of black currants and sweet grilled oak. Good now and beyond 2012.