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Dunn Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 1995

Cabernet Sauvignon from Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California
  • RP96
0% ABV
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  • WS92
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Winemaker Notes

The 1995 is densely concentrated and shows a dark ruby core moving to a rim of magenta and garnet. It displays a high intensity of aromas, featuring dried blackberries and cherry, cassis and over ripe plums. Its secondary aromas show some development and include a bouquet of bacon, game meats, leather, violets, and cedar. The palate offers pleasure with a delicious attack of sweet blackcurrant and licorice spice. Oak characters are well integrated with some background flavors of vanilla, toffee, mocha, and cinnamon. Some tasters noted a green or vegetal aspect to the wine with descriptors including thyme and green tomato. Earth characteristics ranged from iron-rich and compost to graphite. Most considered this wine to be youthful, with its high concentration of tannins, full body and fairly high levels of acidity. It seemed a difficult wine to grade because of the level of competition, almost every taster offered a tasting window from 2012 onwards.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 1995 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is similar in all respects to the Napa Valley, but somewhat heavier in the mouth, with an aggressive tannic bite, and more length. It possesses mineral-tinged blackberry and cassis fruit, massive body, and extraordinary purity and length. It should not be touched for 12-15 years. It will undoubtedly live through the first half of the next century.
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Dunn

Dunn Vineyards

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Dunn Vineyards, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California
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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.

Howell Mountain

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Today Cabernet Sauvignon is the star of this part of Napa’s rugged, eastern hills, but Zinfandel was responsible for giving the Howell Mountain growing area its original fame in the late 1800s.

Winemaking in Howell Mountain was abandoned during Prohibition, and wasn’t reawakened until the arrival of Randy Dunn, a talented winemaker famous for the success of Caymus in the 1970s and 1980s. In the early eighties, he set his sights on the Napa hills and subsequently astonished the wine world with a Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon. Shortly thereafter Howell Mountain became officially recognized as the first sub-region of Napa Valley (1983).

With vineyards at 1,400 to 2,000 feet in elevation, they predominantly sit above the fog line but the days in Howell Mountain remain cooler than those in the heart of the valley, giving the grapes a bit more time on the vine.

The Howell Mountain AVA includes 1,000 acres of vineyards interspersed by forestlands in the Vaca Mountains. The soils, shallow and infertile with good drainage, are volcanic ash and red clay and produce highly concentrated berries with thick skins. The resulting wines are full of structure and potential to age.

Today Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petite Sirah thrive in this sub-appellation, as well as its founding variety, Zinfandel.

Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is now the world's most planted grape variety. Inherently high in tannins and acidity, the best bottlings of Cabernet can age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region and forms the base of the Medoc reds, which are typically mostly Cabernet with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. (Enjoying a great deal of success in various regions around the world, this blend is now globally referred to as a Bordeaux Blend.) Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed great success throughout the world, particularly in the Napa Valley, and is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and sought-after “cult” wines.

In the Glass

High in color, tannin and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it is typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California Washington, Argentina, Chile and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.

Perfect Pairings

Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.

Sommelier Secrets

Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA profiling revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

SSR29239_1995 Item# 29239