One of the finest wines of the vintage, this is simply a spectacular effort that has captured every bit of the potential it originally displayed in cask. Restrained and backward nose of a fantastically complex mix of blackberries, spice, cedar, soy, anise and dried herbs followed by full-bodied, multi-layered flavors of amazing length. Opulent and lavish yet all remains exquisitely balanced and this is astonishingly precise. A real stunner of a wine that is as classy and graceful as they come. As good and classy as the ’02 if not quite as structured. 96 Points. 2016+. Burghound.com
“The nose offers aromas of licorice and sweet smoky new oak intermixed with jammy black fruits, licorice, and minerals. The wine is medium to full-bodied, with extraordinary richness, fabulous equilibrium…” [Score: 95 pt – Wine Advocate # 115, Feb 1998]
Dark color. Black licorice, coffee, currants and black olives. Complex nose. A full-bodied, chewy blockbuster of a wine that is not giving anything at all away. It is like buried treasure still; you have to search for the gold. And it’s there. Fabulous. Please give this time. –’95/’96 Bordeaux retrospective. Best after 2014. [Score: 100 pt -Wine Spectator]
This is regarded as the “super second”, producing wines that on a good vintage can rival its first growth neighbour. Big and muscular in style, and often taking many decades to reach their peak.
94 points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
Haut-Brion’s 2001, which was bottled late (the end of September, 2003), possesses an unmistakable nobility as well as a burgeoning complexity. Plum/purple to the rim, this blend of 52% Merlot, 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 12% Cabernet Franc is playing it close to the vest, having closed down considerably after bottling. Nevertheless, it reveals pure notes of sweet and sour cherries, black currants, licorice, smoke, and crushed stones. Medium-bodied with excellent purity, firm tannin, and an angular, structured finish, it requires 5-7 years of cellaring. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2020+. (6/ 2004)
91 Points The Wine Advocate
This wine is in our cellar. Very Rare.
“Full, bright, deep red. Superripe aromas of strawberry, tobacco and cedary oak; smells considerably deeper than the ’98 Arborina. Then lush, layered and perfumed in the mouth; a very silky wine with a solid underlying backbone. Complicating note of tobacco. Finishes with serious but thoroughly ripe tannins and excellent persistence.” Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar
(IWC, 11/01/2002) Rating: 94 points
“Offers forest fruit, with cream and pie crust on the nose. Full-bodied, with chewy, slight new wood tannins that lead to a rich and fruity finish. Layered and powerful for the vintage. Needs a little more time to come together.—’99 Piedmont blind retrospective (2009). Best after 2011. 500 cases made.” Wine Spectator
(WS, 01/01/2009) Rating: 93 points
Shows stunning depth and drive, with a deep well of blackberry and plum sauce and a lush structure. Superlong, with spice and anise echoing on. A tremendous young wine in the making. Tasted non-blind. Score range: 95-98 Wine Spectator
Shows gorgeous strawberry tart aromas, with fresh flowers and subtle vanilla bean. Full-bodied, with seamless tannins and a solid core of beautiful fruit. Lots of new wood. Needs more time to come together.-’99 Piedmont blind retrospective (2009). Best after 2011.
The 1999 Le Vigne presents a highly aromatic, perfumed nose and gorgeous layers of bright, focused red fruit on a medium-bodied frame, with excellent length and concentration. This firmly structured Barolo remains a model of restrained elegance and finesse that strikes a gorgeous balance between traditional and modern expressions of Barolo. It will benefit from a few years of bottle age and drink well until age 20.
94 Point: Wine & Spirits – “Christian Moueix and his team at Dominus have experience with rainy vintages in Bordeaux. They also farm a site that is particularly well adapted to draining excess water. So they produced a remarkable 2011, a late vintage challenged by rain close to harvest, It’s proof that a challenge met can create something sublime-like this floral, red raspberry-scented vintage of Dominus. It’s tense chord of flavor incorporating green herb, tobbacco, casis and raspberry in a lasting harmony. The sophistocated structure suggests it will age with grace, while the gentleness of that structure will make it accessible along the way. A great bottle for lamb.”
94 points: Vinous / Antonio Galloni – “Savory herbs, menthol, smoke and licorice are some of the aromas that open up in the glass in the 2011 Dominus. This is a relatively immediate, expressive Dominus with plenty of near-term appeal. The style is open and succulent for the year, with lovely balance and poise. Crushed rose petals and dried herbs linger in the close. With time in the glass, the 2011 fleshes out nicely. In 2011 Dominus is 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot and 5% Cabernet Franc.”
Blend: 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc
The Wine Advocate
Rating: 93 (4/1/2012)
The 2008 Barolo is loaded with finesse and grace. Dark red cherries, flowers, spices, mint and minerals are some of the nuances that flow from this beautifully delineated, gorgeous Barolo. Floral notes reappear to frame the sublime finish. Altare’s straight Barolo doesn’t get as much recognition as some of his other wines, but it is once again fabulous in 2008. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2028.
93 points Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar
(bottled two days before my visit): Aromas of blueberry, licorice and bitter chocolate are a bit stunted by the bottling. Juicy, primary and tight, offering black fruit, bitter chocolate and espresso flavors framed by firm minerality. There’s a creaminess lurking today but currently this wine is dominated by its sappy lift. Finishes very long and sweet, with noble tannins. This is carrying a relatively low 3.5 pH and appears to be built for a slow evolution in bottle. (6/ 2013)