Since 1979, Randy and Lori Dunn have owned and operated Dunn Vineyards and continue to produce one of the most highly acclaimed Cabernet Sauvignons from Howell Mountain and the Napa Valley. Randy Dunn got his start working for Charlie Wagner at Caymus. From the beginning, the success that catapulted that wine to become one of the most popular and recognized wine brands in the US was due to quality winemaking. Randy acquired a special piece of land on Howell Mountain and has been one of the most important leaders to identify the unique qualities of Napa Valley mountain fruit. The structure the tannins from his estate vineyard are different. They are more rigid in their youth. But, it is the purity of the fruit and the special aging potential of these wines that amazes wine aesthetes.
Dunn makes two wines. The Howell Mountain Estate and the Napa Valley blend, which is a 50-50 combination of Howell Mountain Estate fruit and some sourced fruit from Coombsville. Both of the wines are 100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged 32 months in 100% new French oak.
The Howell Mountain wine rewards the patient collector. The Napa Valley wine offers immediate pleasure, silken lusciousness, with attractive red cherry, plum, sweet tobacco, dried flowers, and cedar nuances.
The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain looks sensational, as most of the better efforts do in this vintage of relatively low yields. Huge sucrosity, a big, fat, juicy mouthfeel, a dense black/purple color, and plenty of crème de cassis, blackberry, camphor, and licorice are all present in this layered, rather highly extracted and rich wine. It should drink well for 30-40 years. ~95 Robert Parker
A bright and juicy style, with lots of freshly crushed loganberry, boysenberry, and black currant fruit jumping to the fore, followed by briar and sweet tobacco notes on the finish. Solid grip throughout. This is really coiled for the long haul. Best from 2022 through 2040. ~95 Wine Spectator
The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon (Howell Mountain) offers a striking balance of intense richness from the low yields on the mountain and the intensely mineral/savory qualities that are such signatures of the Dunn Howell Mountain Cabernet. Graphite, smoke, grilled herbs, crème de cassis, menthol, and iron build into the huge finish. The tannins are there, but they are buried by the sheer intensity of the fruit. ~95 Vinous Media
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