1988 Dunn Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1081565 97 points Vinous

 The 1988 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is one of the many highlights in this tasting. Initially quite reticent, the 1988 turns positively explosive with time in the glass. What a pleasure it is to watch the 1988 develop over several hours. By the end of the night, the 1988 is positively electric. Smoke, black fruit and menthol inform the deep, powerful finish. (AG)  (2/2014)

92 points John Gilman

 The 1988 Dunn “Howell Mountain” is just starting to blossom on the palate and offers up an excellent nose of red and black cherries, woodsmoke, a fine base of stony soil tones, a touch of eucalyptus, lovely notes of allspice and a fine framing of cedary oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and beautifully open and resolved on the attack, with a fine core, excellent balance and just a bit of backend tannin still perking up the long and complex finish. A fine, fine bottle. (Drink between 2015-2030)  (7/2015)

Wine Spectator

 Among the best in depth, richness, concentration, complexity and length. Classic Dunn Howell Mountain in its core of rich, earthy currant, mineral and raspberry. Finishes with chewy tannins, but also the fruit to match.--1988 California Cabernet retrospective. (JL)  (11/1998)

K&L Notes

Robert Parker writes: "To his credit, Randy Dunn could give a hoot about what writers or other professionals think about his wines. I don't believe a single thing has changed in the way he makes wine, and why should he? Since his first vintage of Dunn Cabernet in 1979, these wines have been known for their saturated purple colors, outstanding purity, and huge, massive mouthfeel. In many vintages, the differences between the Napa and the Howell Mountain cuvées appear negligible, at least when the wines are young. With ten or more years of age, the Howell Mountain is usually more concentrated and powerful than the Napa. The wines age effortlessly … Although I suspect Dunn's finest vintages over the last 15 or so years are wines that are being consumed young, even though they only express a small fraction of their ultimate potential."

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Price: $149.99
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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 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.

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.


- 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.
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.