The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain has more energy and focus than the Napa Valley bottling. Iron, graphite, red fruits, dried flowers are some of the many notes that take shape in this deep, complex, powerful wine. I imagine the 2009 will still be spectacular at age 30. For now, it needs at least another handful of years of cellaring to drink well. Huge veins of minerality support the huge fruit, giving the wine much of its pure tension and vitality. This is going to be a fascinating wine to follow over the coming decades. Anticipated maturity: 2019-2039. (AG) 96+
Bright, saturated red-ruby. Very youthful, Pauillac-like aromas of cassis, blueberry, minerals, bitter chocolate and tobacco leaf. Densely packed and seamless but youthfully imploded, conveying a strong impression of saline minerality to its flavors of plum, dark berries, mocha and graphite. There's a sexy pliancy here but owing to its medicinal and mineral elements this big wine practically tastes like a barrel sample. Wonderfully thick, plush and dry, finishing with substantial but thoroughly buffered tannins and outstanding slow-building length and captivating sweetness. Drink through 2037. (ST)
As refined as it is rich and wonderfully deep in incisive, distinctly curranty fruit, Dunn's Howell Mountain bottling is in all ways a classic Cabernet. Its carefully fit oak and sweet loamy qualities play fine support to its ongoing message of fruit, and, while it is not without fine structural tannin, it never comes close to being tough or coarse. It lasts and lasts at the finish and comes with sure promise for better, and its combination of deft balance and depth guarantees a very long life. *Two Stars*
This delivers a tight beam of rich, complex flavors, with currant, black licorice, loamy earth, cedar and tobacco leaf notes that expand on the finish, where this maintains its focus and gains length. The tannins are firm, yet this is approachable. *Collectibles* (JL)
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