2007 Dunn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain

Year: 2007
Appellation: Howell Mountain, Napa Valley
Country: USA-California
Wine Advocate: 97
Vinous Media: 93
Red Wine
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"The 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is unlike any wine I have ever tasted from Dunn. Layer after layer of flavor saturates the palate in this opulent, full-throttle Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2007 possesses dazzling textural richness, depth and sheer intensity. Purists may prefer more structured vintages, but for a producer known for such slow maturing wines, the 2007 is a huge pleasure to taste today. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2037.

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)

"(as with the Napa Valley '07, the label shows a moderate 13.9% alcohol): Full ruby. Restrained, high-pitched, youthfully medicinal aromas of cassis, cocoa powder and crushed rock. Very young and fresh, with good sweetness and lift to its dark fruit and violet flavors. Finishes with building tannins and integrated acidity that will support a couple decades of development in bottle. Seems much more powerful, not to mention more fruity, than the Napa Valley bottling." (IWC)

Winery Notes:
Muscular Cabernet that will need four or five years to peak. Concentrated fruit has brawny tannic structure. Cedar, vanilla and dark chocolate from toasty oak will integrate with bottle age. There’s noteworthy intensity and focus to the flavors, then the structure amps up in the finish. Has outstanding length and pervasive earthiness and minerality. Try this in 2015 and cellar it with confidence until at least 2025.