2009 Dunn Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1111996 95 points James Suckling

 A wine with wonderful sweet tobacco, and berry, spice and green olive. Full body, with lovely chewy tannins. Balanced and beautiful. Drink or hold.  (4/2012)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Dunn's 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley is loaded with blue and black fruit, grilled herbs, asphalt, melted road tar and smoke. A dark, juicy wine, the 2009 is surprisingly open for a young Dunn Cabernet Sauvignon. In this vintage, Dunn's Lake Vineyard, the last parcel on the property to ripen, accounts for nearly 50% of the blend. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2029. Randy Dunn's two 2009s are quite different from each other in this vintage, something that isn't always the case. That's good news for Dunn fans, as the 2009 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the estate's few recent releases that won't take ages to be accessible. (AG)  (12/2012)

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright ruby-red. Musky black raspberry, mocha, cola, leather and game on the rather wild nose and palate, perked up by a peppery note. Nicely concentrated, juicy and supple, with plenty of early sex appeal, especially for the leather crowd. Finishes with substantial dusty, sweet tannins and very good subtle persistence. (ST) 91+  (5/2013)

90 points Connoisseurs Guide

 A little less forceful and never quite so well-filled as its striking cellarmate from Howell Mountain above, this decidedly sturdy, tannin-framed effort is more about structure than style. Its early reach for richness is parried by toughness, yet it gamely hangs on to just enough fruit to warrant patience. How much it will smooth out over time and the degree to which its essential fruit will emerge are questions that will be only answered with age, but some of each is sure to occur, and, in the end, the wine has the sure footing to improve.  (8/2013)

Wine Spectator

 The aromas of cedar, blackberry, pencil lead and graphite are tightly wound, well-structured and firmly tannic, ending on a graceful note. Delivers structure and tightness, with ample room to grow. (JL)  (6/2013)

K&L Notes

The 2009 is the much-anticipated followup to the success of the 2008 vintage, which received off-the-charts praise from all the major critics. From Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "These are some of the most powerful, age worthy Cabernets being made in Napa Valley today. Dunn is very much an iconoclast who follows his own convictions. Picking is a bit earlier here than elsewhere throughout the valley. Dunn isn't too concerned if stems occasionally make it into the fermenter. A fervent advocate of lower-alcohol wines, Dunn makes no apologies for removing alcohol from his wines if they come in above 14%. Personally, that strikes me as a totally unnecessary intervention, but it's hard to argue with the quality of what is in the bottle, and ultimately that is what counts most. The Napa Valley bottling includes purchased fruit from the valley floor and is typically a slightly more accessible wine, while the Howell Mountain is a much tougher wine that typically demands 20 years to enter its early peak." (AG, 12/2011)

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Staff Image By: Scott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/19/2012 | Send Email
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I'll be honest here...I'm a big fan of Dunn vineyards, particularly of their Howell Mountain appellation. So, it was a great surprise when I tasted this latest release of the Napa (9/25/2012) and was just blown away by it. It is a mouthful of red and black fruits with cedar wood and elegant spice. It was positively fantastic after being open well over eight hours for a second try after closing time here. This bottling is worth every penny and is a shining example of why the Dunn family has been renowned for quality for over 30 years. NEVER overextracted or one-note. PERFECT for everyone...from those of you looking for something of quality to enjoy tonight (decant it for an hour) or for those of you seeking to add to your cellar. It's simply great wine!

Staff Image By: Michael Jordan | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/2/2012 | Send Email
The Dunn's have made great wine for years and now they are getting the publicity and attention they have always deserved. The 2009 Napa is a stunning effort. Bright black and fruit with touches of raspberry nicely balanced with cassis, pepper, mocha, cedar and just a touch of bell pepper. A beautiful minerality zips through the wine. The wine shows great structure and balance. A couple years of aging will help it open up although 3 hours in a decanter and it's ready to go now.

Staff Image By: Mike Barber | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/2/2012 | Send Email
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A classic Dunn from a great California vintage! While not all from estate fruit, the wine is definitely Dunn style with a muscular structure of oak and tannin and flavors of dark fruit and bell pepper spice. This one is for the cellar and will get better with age!
Drink from 2015 to 2027

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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 M├ędoc 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.

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.


- 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.