Vintage 2018 / Tod Mostero

Tod Mostero
Technical Director,
Dominus Estate, Yountville, USA

At Dominus Estate, complex wines resulted from the 2018 season, which started and finished late. Low rainfall (22” versus 31” annual average) and a warmer than average summer created ideal conditions where the dry-farmed, deep-rooted vines produced limited foliage and a balanced canopy. In late summer, temperatures dropped below norms with morning fog in August and September, which contributed to slow ripening and long hang time. In the absence of heat spikes, harvest began with Cabernet Franc on October 1. A storm system with 1.2” of rain on October 2 - 3 interrupted picking. Very dry, hot weather returned on October 5 and harvest continued with Cabernet Sauvignon on October 9, followed by Petit Verdot. We picked 94% of our fruit between October 9 – 15 at full ripeness. The resulting wines are promising: deep and well-articulated. This is in contrast to the very early 2017 vintage, which witnessed a phenomenal 63” of seasonal rainfall followed by extremely high temperatures (up to 112F) at the beginning of September. The 2017 harvest was a week earlier than normal, and fruit quantity was down due to sunburn and dehydration during the heat wave.