Wiry, opinionated and something of a recluse, Randy Dunn has a reputation for making sleek, powerfully structured, extremely ageworthy mountain cabernet. He is also adamant on the topic of ripeness, vowing in 2007 that he would never make a wine with more than 14% alcohol by volume. The 2016, like most Dunn Cabernets, has not an ounce of body fat. It’s tight, lean, and focused with soaring fine tannin and lots of fantastic savory and spicy flavors from black olives to Chinese 5-spice. The fruit has almost a cool blue character. While I loved drinking this 2016, this wine won’t truly unfurl itself for another several years.
- Decanter, 97 pts
The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain offers good density, but in more of a medium-bodied style that is quite a bit more approachable than is the norm here. A whole range of inky Howell Mountain fruit, graphite, grilled herb, licorice, spice, chocolate, and lavender nuances open up in a brooding, resonant Cabernet that needs a few years in bottle to start drinking well. There is plenty of the structure readers have come to expect from Dunn, but less youthful austerity, which is not a bad thing at all. 95+
-Vinious, 95+ pts
Sage and bay leaf notes lead the way here, followed quickly by black currant and bitter plum paste flavors. The finish is framed by singed cedar and alder details, with a lingering sanguine echo. Needs a little time to soften fully, but everything is in place.
-Wine Spectator, 95 pts