Dunn Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 1999
Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
The first wine in the lineup boasted significant complexity with an array of ripe blackberry, black stone fruit and dried blackcurrant flavors. The spicy bouquet showed masses of sweet cardamom, vanilla, dried black tea and dried orange zest. Other secondary characteristics included tanned leather, sweet pipe tobacco, black truffles, forest floor and an iron. Oak tannins are well integrated and the bright acidity lends noticeable lift to the aromatics. Very long and focused.
Wine Spectator - "Dark and intense, with a tight, compact, tightly wound band of earth, anise, leather, game meat, currant and blackberry, revealing layers of complexity and concentration before the tannins and cedary oak clamp down."
The Wine Advocate - "Dunn's normal policy is to select the Napa Cabernet Sauvignon from his barrels right before bottling. Hence what I tasted was a trial blend of this wine. This year produced extremely small crops characterized by extremely cool growing seasons as well as unusually late harvests.
High atop Howell Mountain, nestled among 150-year-old fir trees, is Dunn Vineyards. Since 1979 the Dunn's have been producing Cabernet Sauvignon. Their total production is now at 4500 cases, split between the Howell Mountain and Napa Valley appellations. View all Dunn Vineyards Wines
About Napa ValleyView a map of Napa Valley wineries
It's hard not to think of Napa Valley when thinking of California wines. The region is, after all, the one that brought world recognition to California wine making. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux Blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Notable FactsWithin the Napa Valley lie smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two is St.-Helena and finally, just granted an AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap and Mount Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country unto itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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