Dunn Vineyards Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
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|Region||California, Napa Valley, Howell Mountain|
More opulent, soft, and approachable than most past vintages, the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain nevertheless offers beautifully classic Howell Mountain notes of crème de cassis, leafy herbs, forest floor, licorice, and spring flowers. These all carry to a full-bodied wine that has a stacked mid-palate, lots of sweet tannins, and terrific balance as well as remarkable purity of fruit. The old dogma of Dunn's Howell Mountain Cabernet never being ready won't be the case with this beauty, since it's already offering tons of pleasure and charm. It should easily evolve for another 20-25 years or more.
The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is classic Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, with plenty of licorice, blackcurrant and blackberry fruit, forest floor and background oak and earth. It is full-bodied, showing wonderfully sweet tannin and a long, layered finish. It does strike me as somewhat more approachable in its youth than Randy Dunn's Cabernets would have been. Certainly, this will age for 25 or more years.
Dark ruby-red. Very reticent but ripe scents of black raspberry, licorice and graphite. Hugely rich, chewy, slightly liqueur-like wine with the powerful medicinal reserve of a barrel sample. This massive, brooding, dark Cabernet is almost too much today and will need a good decade more of cellaring to lose some of its baby fat. Finishes extremely tactile and long, with substantial tannins coating the front teeth. (13.9% after a bit of de-alcoholization--as in 2004 and 2009)
Exhibits a sinewy core of dense currant, blackberry and dusty, fine-grained tannins that grip the palate and cling tightly, slowly easing to make way for subtle hints of licorice, anise and dried herb amid the underlying accents of rock and fresh-turned earth. Unabashedly tannic and seductive, in a style with presence. Drink now through 2030.- J.L.