2006 Dunn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain

Year: 2006
Appellation: Howell Mountain, Napa Valley
Country: USA-California
Wine Advocate: 95
Vinous Media: 92
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 13.8%
Price :
$79.95
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"The 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is big, dark and juicy. There is an element of wildness that runs through the wine. Graphite, licorice, tar and smoke are just some of the nuances that add complexity. The 2006 boasts superb purity from start to finish. Elements of fleshiness give the impression the 2006 might drink well relatively early, until the massive tannins set in. Floral notes add freshness on the finish. This is another fabulous wine from Randy Dunn. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2036.

I tasted a large number of wines with Randy Dunn this year. These are some of the most powerful, age worthy Cabernets being made in Napa Valley today. Dunn is very much an iconoclast who follows his own convictions. Picking is a bit earlier here than elsewhere throughout the valley. Dunn isn’t too concerned if stems occasionally make it into the fermenter. A fervent advocate of lower-alcohol wines, Dunn makes no apologies for removing alcohol from his wines if they come in above 14%. Personally, that strikes me as a totally unnecessary intervention, but it’s hard to argue with the quality of what is in the bottle, and ultimately that is what counts most. The Napa Valley bottling includes purchased fruit from the valley floor and is typically a slightly more accessible wine, while the Howell Mountain is a much tougher wine that typically demands 20 years to enter its early peak. 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. Readers who want to explore these wines without waiting several decades may want to start with the 2005 or 2007 Napa Valley bottlings, both of which are somewhat accessible at this stage." (WA)

"($75) Bright full medium ruby. Expressive nose offers cassis, blackberry, black raspberry and leather scents lifted by a minty nuance. Lush and fine-grained but with a firm edge of acidity and menthol and minty nuances energizing the rich dark berry flavors. Finishes with civilized tannins but still needs a few years to harmonize its acidity. Like the Napa Valley bottling, this is suppler than many past releases of this wine." (IWC)

Winery Notes:
Dunn Vineyards produces two labels, Howell Mountain and Napa Valley. Both wines are one hundred percent cabernet sauvignon. We produce around 2500 cases of Howell Mountain and about 1500 cases of Napa Valley. The Howell Mountain wines consist of one hundred percent Howell Mountain fruit. The Napa Valley wines include up to 15% Napa Valley floor fruit with the remainder of the fruit coming from Howell Mountain. This floor fruit contributes to the wine's softer approach, even though the wines usually can be laid down for 15+ years.

The bottles differ in two ways. The Napa Valley has a foil seal, whereas the Howell Mountain has been hand dipped in red wax. The Howell Mountain wine label reads both the sub appellation- Howell Mountain as well as the appellation Napa Valley. The Napa Valley label only reads Napa Valley. The Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is usually more approachable at a younger age with it’s softer tannins. Whereas, the Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon is massive in fruit and tannins.