1999 Dunn Howell Mountain Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1001072 90-93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Dunn's normal policy is to select the Napa Cabernet Sauvignon from his barrels right before bottling. Hence what I tasted was a trial blend of this wine. This year produced extremely small crops characterized by extremely cool growing seasons as well as unusually late harvests. Dunn dropped 30% of the crop in order to guarantee ripeness in his vineyard. There is no astringent tannin or vegetal characteristic to be found in this full-bodied, powerful Cabernet Sauvignon. (Not released yet)  (12/ 2000)

93 points Wine Spectator

 *Top 100 Wines of 2002* Dark and intense, with a tight, compact, tightly wound band of earth, anise, leather, game meat, currant and blackberry, revealing layers of complexity and concentration before the tannins and cedary oak clamp down. Best from 2005 through 2014.  (11/ 2002)

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Ruby-red. Cassis, spice and a suggestion of bandaid on the nose. Juicy and penetrating but austere, with assertive blackcurrant and meat flavors. Densely packed and quite backward, showing tougher tannins today than the Napa bottling. Finish exudes a hint of the barnyard.  (12/ 2002)

K&L Notes

One of the last of the great and ageable '99s. Solid structure with noticeable tannins, this offering has the balance to develop for decades. Dunn has the track record to prove it, from lesser vintages (the '83 comes to mind) to this fabulous '99.

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Price: $89.99

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Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.