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. (AG) 96+
The Dunn family's 2009 Howell Mountain reveals a nose of cassis, blackberry, dark spice and subtle new oak aromas. Striking minerality and precision is combined with palate-stainingly intense flavours, all underpinned by a lovely core of refined tannin and acidity. This is a comparatively accessible rendition of this cuvée. (WK)
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. (ST)
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