2012 Dunn Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 94 WA

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The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa, which includes 65% Coombsville fruit from John Caldwell’s vineyard and the rest from Howell Mountain, is a big, deep, dramatic Cabernet Sauvignon, much in keeping with the vintage’s character. It is full-bodied and displaying flashy, flamboyant blueberry and blackberry fruit, licorice and background earth and oak, it is voluptuous and ideal for drinking over the next 15 or more years.

Mike Dunn seems to be far more flexible than his father about alcohol levels in their Cabernet Sauvignon, as some of these are over 14%, while his father consistently maintained he used reverse osmosis to lower the alcohol. That being said, there is never a question about ripeness. These wines are always picked at 25 or more Brix to get the fruit ripe. After some hiccups over the last decade, the 2011s performed well above the average vintage quality, and the 2012s are spectacular, including the first old-vine cuvée from the first vines Randy Dunn planted in 1972. Unfortunately, that wine is limited to only four barrels, or about 100 cases, were produced. There have always been two cuvées and they are Napa bottling, which comes from young fruit as well as purchased fruit, in more recent years from Coombsville. And the estate wine comes from the steep, 35-acre red Aiken soil-dominated vineyards of Howell Mountain.

*Vintage shown in the image does not correspond to the actual vintage.