About the Wine
"These Cabernets are for the patient, but make no mistake about it, in top vintages the Howell Mountain is one of the great wines, not just of California, but of the world.”~ Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media.
This superb wine was born in one of the BEST vintages EVER in Napa Valley. Wine Spectator blessed 2018 with a nearly-perfect 99 pointreview, stating that this was "An spectacular year, with wines that are rich and dark, and very terroir-driven." And Decanter praised this year saying that "The 2018 vintage in Napa Valley belongs in an echelon with the finest of the past two decades."
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.
Aging: 32 months in 100% new French oak.
Tasting Notes: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. This outstanding Cab shows powerful aromas of red and black fruit, licorice, cassis and some spice notes. The palate is elegant, deep and with a long and persistent finish. The Howell Mountain wine rewards the patient collector.
The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is elegant, deep and classy. Inky dark purplish fruit, savory herbs, menthol, licorice and spice. The purity of the fruit is remarkable today. There is plenty of youthfull Howell Mountain tannin, so readers will have to be patient. ~97 Points, Vinous Media.
The 2018 Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon is the 40th Anniversary for Dunn and the bottle is marked with a commemorative seal for the occasion. As far as the wine itself, it is another outstanding vintage to add to the long list of sensational releases the Dunn’s have produced over the years, displaying remarkable elegance, purity and a lovely classic character. It slowly begins to unwind in the glass releasing inviting aromas of blackberries and cassis, which are woven together with savory herbs, coffee, wet gravel, pencil shavings and fresh cut florals. The palate is medium to full-bodied and well-structured with polished tannins that firmly wrap its core. It goes on to display outstanding overall precision and balance with a remarkable sense of freshness that continues through the long finish. This is a simply beautiful style of Napa Cabernet that should age brilliantly. That said, the 2018 will require a serious amount of air contact if approaching upon release, however this is ultimately a Cabernet built for the cellar and destined for a marvelous future ahead. ~97 Points, International Wine Report.
Ripe and very juicy, with a youthfully compact set of plum, boysenberry and blackberry compote flavors wrapped in licorice and violet notes. This is both racy and grippy, showing serious power but with the freshness and drive to match. Delivers a long, iron accent that scores the fruit through the finish. Best from 2024 through 2040. 3,523 cases made. ~96 Points, Wine Spectator.
The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is a typically long-term proposition, coated in dusty tannins and cedary oak. It will take time for the cassis, blueberry and slightly pine-scented backbone of this wine to emerge, as for the moment it's almost difficult to taste. Yes, the concentration is present, the tannins are almost silky-ripe, but the structure of this medium to full-bodied wine is unassailable. ~95+ Robert Parker.
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