At the peak of its powers, the 1997 Howell Mountain is bursting with black fruit, graphite, wood smoke and hints of tar and truffle. On the palate the wine is rich, plush and generous but well balanced, with great length and depth. A certain suppleness nods to the vintage's warmth, but that's by no means unwelcome in this typically firm-framed cuvée. Drinking Window 2017 - 2040 (WK)
The enormous 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is a super-powerful, fabulously-concentrated, 50-year wine. Aromas and flavors of blackberry/cassis jam, minerals, and subtle oak are found in this extravagantly rich, gargantuan Cabernet Sauvignon that should age effortlessly for half a century. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2050. (RP)
Bright medium ruby with virtually no sign of development at the rim. Sexy, musky, meaty scents of raspberry, cassis, menthol and underbrush. Plush and fine-grained but still with a reserve to its juicy redcurrant, tobacco, wild herb and underbrush flavors. Lovely energy here. Finishes with a firm dusting of tannins and excellent rising length. I believe I've finally found a Dunn wine close to its peak, but this Cabernet possesses the energy and spine to go on for years. (ST, for Vinous.com)
In this context, the 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is very pretty, but not quite at the level of the very best wines in this tasting, a tall order for sure. This is a texturally open and silky vintage for the Howell Mountain, with good balance and tons of near-term appeal. I like the 1997 for current and medium-term. drinking, but don't see it making old bones, within the context of Dunn, of course. Red stone fruits, smoke, tobacco and licorice linger on the finish. (AG)
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