A very good to excellent year with ideal weather throughout the growing season. Dry and sunny, with the moderating influence of cool mornings and nights to keep acidity fresh and to allow the grapes to reach excellent physiological ripeness. A balanced, beautiful vintage with excellent, age-worthy wines.
After the wet fall of 1989, the weather pattern changed and 1990 was a dry year, the fourth in a row with less rainfall than normal. Good weather in the spring allowed an early bud break. A period of rain at bloom reduced the size of the crop, as did a hot spell in late May, and a few scattered thunderstorms caused some crop damage. The growing season saw good conditions and a moderate climate right through the harvest, allowing a long, even ripening period. It is a fine vintage with wines that are balanced, ripe, and rich, with ample tannins. Late rains came after most had completed the harvest, and overall the picking took place in ideal circumstances, allowing excellent ripeness and balance of tannins, flavors, and sugars. Overall it was an excellent year that has stood the test of time and lived up to its potential.
Warm spring weather
Early bud break
Cool temperatures and rain affected bloom and berry-set late in the month. Heat arrived at the tail end of the month
Christian Moueix's origins are in Bordeaux. His family firm in Libourne owns Château Pétrus, and owns, manages or markets dozens of other Châteaux. During his time at UC Davis, however, Moueix fell in love with the Napa Valley. It was to be a lasting love, which flowered into Dominus, his California outpost. Here he makes a decidedly Old World-style red blend from the historic Napanook Vineyard in Yountville. 103 acres are planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot, which Moueix combines in suave, complex Bordeaux blends that age gracefully. Make no mistake, these are not jammy California fruit bombs. Instead, Dominus wines showcase notes of leather, loam, tobacco, licorice and fresh herbs. The estate's flagship Proprietary red often contains upwards of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, and can be quite pricey. The Napanook bottling is a more gently priced intro to the house style.