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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.

By far the largest and best-known winemaking province in Argentina...

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By far the largest and best-known winemaking province in Argentina, Mendoza is responsible for over 70% of the country’s enological output. Set in the eastern foothills of the Andes Mountains, the climate is dry and continental, presenting relatively few challenges for viticulturists during the growing season. Mendoza is divided into several distinctive sub-regions, including Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley—two sources of some of the country’s finest wines.

For many wine lovers, Mendoza is practically synonymous with Malbec, originally a Bordelaise variety brought to Argentina by the French in the mid-1800s. Here it found success and renown it never could have achieved in its homeland due to its struggle to ripen fully in finicky climates. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, and Pinot Noir are all widely planted here as well (and often blended with one another. The best white wines are made from Chardonnay, and there are excellent examples to be found as well from Torrontés, Sauvignon Blanc, and Sémillon.

Known for its big, bold flavors and supple texture...

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Known for its big, bold flavors and supple texture, Malbec is most famous for its runaway success in Argentina. However, the variety actually originates in Bordeaux, where it historically contributed color and tannin to blends but was susceptible to viticultural problems. After being nearly wiped out by a devastating frost in 1956, it was never significantly replanted, although it did flourish under the name Côt in nearby Cahors. Malbec was brought to Argentina in 1868 by a French agronomist who saw great potential for the variety in Mendoza’s hot, high-altitude landscape, but did not gain its current reputation as the national grape of Argentina until a surge in popularity in the late 20th century thanks to its easy-going drinkability.

In the Glass

Malbec typically expresses deep flavors of freshly turned earth, black fruits from berries to plums, and licorice, appropriately backed by dense, chewy tannins. In warmer, New World regions, such as Mendoza, it can be quite intense and often needs time to mellow before becoming drinkable. In the Old World, its rusticity shines, with aged examples showing dusty notes of leather and tobacco. The best examples in all regions often possess a beguiling bouquet of violets.

Perfect Parings

Malbec’s rustic character begs for flavorful dishes, like spicy grilled sausages or the classic cassoulet of France’s Southwest. South American iterations are best enjoyed as they would be in Argentina: with a thick, juicy steak.

Sommelier Secret

If you’re trying to please a crowd, Malbec is generally a safe bet. With its combination of bold flavors and soft tannins, it will appeal to basically anyone who enjoys red wine. Malbec also wins bonus points for affordability, as even the most inexpensive examples are often quite good.

YNG564021_2005 Item# 107432

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