Loads of smoky meat, spice, dark fruit, licorice and slate. Full body with chewy tannins and fresh finish. Intense mineral character, with white pepper. Powerful and rich yet so savory. Just softening now.
Dense purple in color and still looking like a barrel sample, the 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain has a nice, cedary, new saddle leather-infused blackcurrant richness, outstanding purity, medium to full body, sweet tannin and a layered, lush texture. The level of concentration is impressive. I don’t think there’s a wine taster that could tell whether this is 13.8% or 15.8% alcohol, given this level of richness. This wine is certainly accessible, but probably won’t hit its prime for another 5-7 years, and like most Dunn Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignons, it will have a good 30+ years of longevity. (Keep in mind that his 1982 is just now hitting that peak of quality to my palate.) (RP)
(13.8% alcohol): Dark red. Aromas of crushed cassis, minerals and violet are accompanied by some slightly sauvage notes of leather and game. Juicy, savory and penetrating in the mouth, should outstanding energy and strong underlying minerality to its fine-grained flavors of dark berries, mocha and game. Very sexy, grown-up wine with a subtle sweetness--not at all a blockbuster. Terrific clarity and class here. Really resounds and rises on the end. Sexy juice--and likely to be very long-lived. (ST) 94+
Deep red-ruby. Complex nose melds cassis, violet, licorice, musky game, black tea and black olive. Denser than the Napa Valley offering but tighter today, with its sweetness currently under wraps. But this serious, backward wine turns sweeter on the back end, finishing with broad, dusty tannins, an intriguing note of tobacco and sneaky length. Structured for a slow evolution in bottle but even today this is not especially austere. (ST)
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