Grapelive Wine of the Day
By Kerry Winslow
1996 Dunn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon “Howell Mountain” Napa Valley.
In recent tastings, the Dunn Cabs have really blown me away, the 2007 Howell Mountain and the 2008 Napa Valley show sublime balance and elegant layers of fruit, and I’m looking forward to trying the 2008 Howell when it comes out next month. In the meantime, I am delighted to report that the 1996 Dunn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon “Howell Mountain” is drinking fantastic and I’m grateful to a friend that wanted my opinion on it, and shared a sample of this lovely wine. I think my favorite Dunn’s have been the 1991 and 1994, with 1993 and 2008 not far behind, but I was very impressed with the 1996 and while not as big as 1994 in structure is is almost every bit as complex and stylish with a real Pauillac feel, I think these 90’s Dunn Cabs are steals, and are as pleasing as Lafite or Latour. The 1996 opens with black fruits, currants and plums with cedar, sage and tobacco accents as well as graphite, mineral and briar. The palate has blackberry, currant, plum and cherry fruits that go on and on, while tannins hold things firm, but refined. This wine has reached a great period, and should be drunk soon for maximum pleasure, in my opinion, though it still has a good life ahead, I just think you’d want to enjoy it when the fruit is peaking still. This is a classic wine that deserves high praise indeed.
($130-200 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive