Firstly the color, a perfect jewel-like dark garnet with reflections of red brick. Concentrated and flawless in both appearance and smell it offers an amalgamation of ripe blackcurrant, plum skins, blackberry and a hint of dried orange zest and caramelized sugar. It displayed intense mineral earthiness ranging from pencil-lead to dust and gravel to dried forest floor and campfire. Tertiary characteristics included powdered cinnamon, vanilla cream and bitter chocolate, dried tealeaves, tobacco & violets. Notes also included bacon fat and leather saddle. The finish was at once seamless, complex and long with flavors moving through stages of intensity for minutes after swallowing. It offers a tannic menthol freshness and just enough acidity to encourage another sip, again and again, the taster's mouth being totally refreshed and ready for another onslaught of flavor. The alcohol seems perfectly balanced to the fruit ripeness and silky high-level tannins.
The perfect accompaniment to a beautifully wood-roasted "smoky" leg of milk-fed lamb, simply garnished with caramelized onions and dried provençal herbs. A beautifully crafted Howell Mountain Cabernet in the prime of it's life. Drink 2007-2020 or even longer.
"The 1993 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain reveals an opaque black color, huge tannin, terrific purity, and density, a broad, heavyweight mouthfeel, and gobs of ripe tannin. It is a massive Cabernet Sauvignon that requires a decade of cellaring - at the minimum.
The last three vintages (1993, 1994 and 1995) offer fabulous promise. They are black/purple-colored wines, with similar levels of sweet, cassis, mineral-tinged fruit, full body, and blockbuster levels of extract and tannin. Both the 1994s and 1995s are still in barrel. What I tasted represented what Randy Dunn believed would be the final blend. This is one winery where the 1995s may turn out to be a point or two superior to the 1994s. The 1995's super-sweet richness is even more intense than the fabulous concentration and extract of the 1994s. This is also another producer who turned out outstanding 1993s, a vintage that has received some unjustifiably tough press from West Coast wine critics."
The Wine Advocate
"Earthy, reductive aromas of anise, tar, mineral and currant lead to similar flavors that are intense, with firm, leather-scented tannins. Supple for a young Dunn Howell Mountain.--1993 California Cabernet retrospective. Drink now through 2007. 1,670 cases made."