Tag Archives: napa valley

Dominus Estate “Napanook” 2012

Cosimo Commisso divulges one of his newest favourite wines: Dominus Estate’s “Napanook” 2012

In all the wines crafted by Dominus Estate in Napa Valley, one can taste the heart and soul that went into it. In 1981, Christian Moueix — son of the famed French wine merchant Jean-Pierre Moueix — established the winery after falling in love with Napa Valley and acquiring the ancient vineyard. He named his estate “Dominus,” or “Lord of the Estate,” to reflect the commitment he feels for the land, and that commitment can be felt and savoured in every glass sourced from the picturesque establishment.

Dominus Estate “Napanook” 2012

My particular favourite, however, is the 2012 Napanook. The Napanook series is a blend of Bordeaux varietals selected from the estate vineyard for its lively and bold fruity flavour. Youthful and exuberant, Napanook is intended as a more casual wine. A blend of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petit Verdot, the 2012 tastes reminiscent of fresh strawberry, caramel and minty sage, and the undertones are earthy and complex with hints of dark cocoa and roasted almonds. The harmony experienced in this wine is evident of the perfect growing season that yielded it: lots of rainfall and a mild spring.

2012 Dominus Estate Napanook, Napa Valley

The 2012 Napanook was awarded 94 points by Antonio Galloni on vinous.com, and for good reason. I recommend sipping this while enjoying a laid-back evening with friends during the warmer months, as the 2012’s exuberant flavours naturally lift the spirits and reflect the warmth and brightness of summertime.

With love,
Cosimo Commisso

Cosimo Commisso Enjoy Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Cosimo Commisso sheds some light on the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon from Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, one of his preferred wineries in the Napa Valley region.

Cocoa powder, wild blackberries and currants burst from this plush wine, which pairs beautifully with coffee-marinated wagyu beef with a fig glaze. The undertones of dark blueberry, wild berry and hints of spice make this 100 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon an even more thoughtful experience, evoking warmth and instilling serenity while you dine.

Beyond its distinctive characteristics — having been derived from the Napa Valley appellation and aged for 21 months in 100 per cent new French oak — this Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 is a reflection of the acclaimed winery that created it. Stag’s Leap was established in 1969 and has since become a Napa Valley favourite, not only for its stellar wines but also for the architectural beauty of the estate. I highly recommend stopping by Stag’s Leap for a wine tasting and tour next time you’re in the area — it’s an experience that’s as inspiring as it is delicious.

Altamura winery & Ciccio Napa Valley

Many of you know that Altamura winery is one the only winery in Wooden Valley located within the Napa Valley appellation. The winery was established back in 1985, by Frank and Karen Altamura, making a conscious decision of taking a hand approach to how they produced wines, where a natural production limit is established. My favorite is their Cabernet Sauvignon. Their exacting, no compromise policy in the vineyard, where they believe is where 90% of the wine is made is the secret to what you get in their bottles.



The owner Frank, knew winemaking was his calling, ever since he graduated from High School and began working with his cousin. But his formative years of becoming a great winemaker were further developed at Caymus, where he worked for five years. His passion for developing great grape varieties from Burger to Zinfardel, as well as refining concepts of soil and climatic effects, and every bottle of Altamura, is a reflection of Frank’s winemaking approach of quality over quantity. After 20 years, The Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese are raved about for their rich texture and intensity of the elements unique to each vineyard site.

If you are ever in this neighbourhood, a stop at their new restaurant aptly named “Ciccio,” which is term of endearment in Italian. For this is the terms you use to call a friend, your nephews,…because of the cuteness of their cuteness and the affection you feel towards them… Hey Ciccio. Much of that sentiment is reflected in this former Old Grocery store, where Frank Altamura would shop as a child. Now at Ciccio, you can pair Altamura wines with locally grown foods and veggies. The delicious menu and easy on the wallet pricing has kept this place packed from day one. The only downside of this place, is that they do not take reservations. But, then to further note of this family hospitality in nature, heaters were placed outside the porch to keep the crowd warm as they wait up to an hour for a table.



A must is their oven-fired pizzas with locally sourced ingredients some on the Altamura ranch. Chef Polly Lappetto will make you feel right at home. The details like the orange handles cutlery and touches of this colour throughout, shows that no detail is to small or left to chance in this cozy restaurant. A must from the bar is the Frank’s Negroni.

Coincidentally, while I was writing this blog…my doorbell rang, and what you know it was a courier delivering a package addressed to Cosimo Commisso from: Altamura Winery. Must be the Altamura Cabernet 2012, striking, elegant and refined, I had ordered a few weeks earlier. Cosimo Commisso signing off…as I have to go pair some really, special special wine… think ripe dense blackberry that is opulent, elegant and refined with some holestyle porchetta.