1996 Dunn - Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain
East of St. Helena in Angwin, the Dunn family has been making wine since 1979. Randy Dunn and his son, Michael, make the wines today. The grapes for this earthy, mineral-laden Cabernet are sourced from volcanic soils, leaving this bottling with a massive tannic edge perfect for cellar aging, which the Dunns claim can be well over 15 years.
The 1996 displayed dominant characteristics of fresh damson plum skin and black cherry. The youthful fruit-filled bouquet followed with additional notes of tarragon, chervil, violet flowers and jasmine. Subtle oak characteristics included campfire and toasted bread aromas framed by sweet cola and licorice spiciness. The wine was full-bodied with plenty of wood tannin and mouthwatering acidity. Very long on the finish. Drink now or cellar for 5-10 years (2009-2014++). Additional notes: Many other tasters recognized cranberry, cassis & tart cherry flavors. Pine needles arose as another descriptor on a couple of occasions.
Wine Spectator: 95 Points
"A classic Howell Mountain Cabernet. This is dark in color, impressively concentrated, with a very rich, firmly tannic core of mineral, cedar, currant, berry, plum and spice nuances, all sharply focused if a bit rustic and chewy at this youthful stage. Be patient. Best from 2002 through 2011. 2,000 cases made." –JL.
Wine Advocate: 09-204 Points
The 1996 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain possesses a black/blue/purple color, and a texture of unctuosity and thickness. Greatness is suggested by a wonderfully sweet mid-section, gorgeous purity, and this humongous wine's overall symmetry. It also possesses sumptuous layers of concentration, remarkably sweet tannin, low acidity, and a 40+ second finish. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2040.
Ruby-red. More floral, aromatic nose of cassis, tobacco and loam. Lush and sweet in the mouth; more silky and voluptuous than the Napa bottling. Here the tannins seem a bit sweeter and finer. These '96s seem less backward than many recent vintages of Dunn cabernet, which have a track record for developing very slowly in bottle.
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