Howell Mountain is Dunn’s estate bottling of Cabernet Sauvignon. Their vineyards lie at 1400 feet above sea level, above the fog, so when it is foggy in Napa it is sunny on the mountain. However, despite this excess of sunshine, temperatures are cooler, especially at night. Grapes develop thick skins in this environment, and the Dunn style is to produce a wine that shows the power and structure of the mountain. Tannins require time to soften, but these wines have great richness, complexity and longevity.
Third Party Reviews
The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain offers good density, but in more of a medium-bodied style that is quite a bit more approachable than is the norm here. A whole range of inky Howell Mountain fruit, graphite, grilled herb, licorice, spice, chocolate, and lavender nuances open up in a brooding, resonant Cabernet that needs a few years in bottle to start drinking well. There is plenty of the structure readers have come to expect from Dunn, but less youthful austerity, which is not a bad thing at all. Score 95, Vinous, Antonio Galloni, January 2020
Sage and bay leaf notes lead the way here, followed quickly by black currant and bitter plum paste flavors. The finish is singed cedar and alder details, with a lingering sanguine echo. Needs a little time to soften fully, but everything is in place. Score 95, Wine Spectator