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Dunn Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
  • JS95
  • V94
  • ST93
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Winemaker Notes

Very, very concentrated, with a formidable core of black currant and blackberry fruit. Bone dry but with that subtle impression of sweetness that comes from ripe Cabernet. Dried mushroom tones contribute an appetizing, savory component and there's also a trace of black licorice. The tannins are fine-grained and supple, with an impression of chewiness fleshing out the aftertaste. The vivid flavors of the finish suggest a terrific future.

Critical Acclaim

JS 95
James Suckling

Loads of smoky meat, spice, dark fruit, licorice and slate. Full body with chewy tannins and fresh finish. Intense mineral character, with white pepper. Powerful and rich yet so savory. Just softening now.

V 94
Vinous / Antonio Galloni

The 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is a huge, powerful wine that is starting to show the very earliest signs of development. An exotic melange of smoke, tar, camphor and licorice leads to expressive, fleshy fruit as the 2005 opens up in the glass. Hints of tobacco, leather, licorice and spices are layered into the finish. This is a gorgeous wine with lovely mid-palate presence and fleshiness. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2035.

ST 93
International Wine Cellar

Deep red-ruby. Complex nose melds cassis, violet, licorice, musky game, black tea and black olive. Denser than the Napa Valley offering but tighter today, with its sweetness currently under wraps. But this serious, backward wine turns sweeter on the back end, finishing with broad, dusty tannins, an intriguing note of tobacco and sneaky length. Structured for a slow evolution in bottle but even today this is not especially austere.

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Dunn

Dunn Vineyards

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Dunn Vineyards, , California
Dunn
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.

Home to some of America’s most celebrated Pinot Noir...

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Home to some of America’s most celebrated Pinot Noir, Oregon benefits from a marginal climate where grapes must struggle to achieve full ripeness—a challenge that results in high-quality fruit. By far the most important region is the Willamette Valley, which is further subdivided into six smaller AVAs. Surrounded on three sides by mountain ranges, the Willamette Valley is characterized by warm to hot dry summers and cool, rainy winters during which cloud cover is a near-constant. Along with the warmer AVAs to the south, including Umpqua Valley and Rogue Valley, it benefits from cool Pacific breezes during the growing season. Further inland, Columbia Valley to the north and Snake River Valley to the east experience cooler, wetter conditions. Post-prohibition viticulture is a relatively new addition to the state, which had been previously deemed unsuitable for the planting of Vitis vinifera grape varieties. That all changed in the mid-1960s, when Pinot Noir was first grown successfully along with other Alsatian varieties. Over the next two decades or so, Oregon continued its ascent to become to Pinot Noir powerhouse we know it as today.

The obvious success story of Oregon is Pinot Noir, which here takes on a personality that could be described in general terms as somewhere in between the wines of California and Burgundy, and is often more affordable than either one. The combination of elegant balance, high acidity, and rustic earth plus bright red fruit places it solidly in the middle of the spectrum for this versatile variety. Other successful varieties here include Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, and Riesling.

Chardonnay

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes...

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it’s grown and how it’s made. In Burgundy, Chardonnay produces some of the finest white wines in the world, typically tending towards minimal intervention in the winery and at its best resulting in remarkable longevity. This grape is popular throughout the world, but perhaps its second most important home is in California, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay’s flavors tend towards grapefruit, green apple, minerals, and white stone fruit, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of fig, melon, and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice (as well as texture), while malolactic fermentation can impart soft, buttery acidity.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with simple seafood, light chicken dishes, and salads. Richer Chardonnays marry well with cream or oil-based sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. These Old-World style wines have been dubbed the “New California Chardonnays,” and anyone who claims they do not like Chardonnay should give them a try.

YNG564021_2005 Item# 107432

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