2002 Dunn Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright, saturated ruby-red. Vibrant nose offers cassis, minerals, gunpowder and spices. Densely packed but nicely delineated, with primary, fruit-driven flavors of blackcurrant and spices. Very juicy and suave but still quite youthfully unevolved. Finishes with firm but smooth tannins. This calls for considerably more patience than the Napa Valley bottling, but even today there's a pleasing pliancy of texture. This held up extremely well in the recorked bottle.
From its very deep, currant-and-sweet-spice aromas to its keenly defined and concentrated varietal flavors, this compelling young effort is wonderfully rich without being flamboyant or flashy or beholden to runaway ripeness and oak. It is uncommonly well tailored for the big wine that it is, and it shows fine fruity length even while finishing with considerable tannins. It is far from its best and, given the capability for lengthy aging shown by Dunn Cabernets over the years, we feel safe in setting this one aside for a decade or more.
Notably elegant and refined, this shows good density. The core of mixed flavors includes dried currant, savory herb, cedar and mineral. Firm in body and tannins, ending with a cigar box-cedar-tobacco allure. —2002 California Cabernet blind retrospective (May 2012). Drink now through 2018. (Web Only- 2012)