2018 Dunn Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain

Cabernet Sauvignon - 750ML
Reg: $184.94
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VN 97 WS 96 WA 95 JD 94
VN 97

Vinous, January 2022

The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is elegant, deep and classy. Inky dark purplish fruit, savory herbs, menthol, licorice and spice. The purity of the fruit is remarkable today. There is plenty of youthful Howell...
WS 96

Wine Spectator, November 2022

Ripe and very juicy, with a youthfully compact set of plum, boysenberry and blackberry compote flavors wrapped in licorice and violet notes. This is both racy and grippy, showing serious power but with the freshness and...
WA 95

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, May 2022

(95+ points) The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is a typically long-term proposition, coated in dusty tannins and cedary oak. It will take time for the cassis, blueberry and slightly pine-scented backbone of this...
JD 94

jebdunnuck.com, December 2023

I continue to think the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain was slightly impacted by the high-level smoke on Howell Mountain in 2018, but now five years after the vintage, it certainly hasn't gotten worse, and I think...


Color & Type Red
Varietal Cabernet Sauvignon
Country USA
Region California
Sub-region North Coast
Appellation Napa
Sub-appellation Howell Mountain
Vintage 2018
Size 750ML
Percent alcohol 13.9%
Closure Cork

Dunn Vineyards is a celebrated family-owned and operated estate in Howell Mountain, a subregion of the Napa Valley AVA. In 1979, Randy Dunn and his wife Lori moved with their son Mike into a home on the outskirts of the quiet town of Angwin. While the valley floor inspired farmers to plant vineyards and make wine, Howell Mountain captured Randy’s heart.

From these mountain vineyards, the Dunn family made its mark on the wine industry, and the land in turn made its mark on the family. They now own over 200 acres of land, 35 acres of which are planted to vines - 29 acres to Cabernet Sauvignon, and a small parcel for Mike Dunn’s Petite Sirah, released under the Retro Cellars label. Another 63 forested acres are entrusted to the Napa Valley Land Trust. The Dunn’s continue to produce two of the best regional examples of Cabernet Sauvignon, one from Howell Mountain and one from Napa Valley.

Dunn Vineyards produces 100% Cabernet Sauvignon under two labels: Howell Mountain and Napa Valley. Around 2500 cases of Howell Mountain and about 1500 cases of Napa Valley are made each year. The Howell Mountain Cabernet is from 100% percent Howell Mountain fruit, while the Napa Valley includes up to 15% Napa Valley floor fruit, with the remainder of the fruit coming from Howell Mountain. This floor fruit contributes to the wine’s softer approach, even though the wines usually can be laid down for 15+ years.

The bottles differ in two ways: The Napa Valley has a foil seal, whereas the Howell Mountain has been hand dipped in red wax. The Howell Mountain wine label bears both h the sub appellation Howell Mountain, as well as the appellation Napa Valley while the Napa release only reads Napa Valley. The Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is usually more approachable at a younger age with its softer tannins whereas, the Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon is massive in fruit and tannins.

The 2018 Dunn Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is a captivating red wine that showcases the exceptional quality and character of the Howell Mountain appellation in Napa Valley, California. With a deep, inky color and a cork closure, this wine exudes elegance and sophistication from the moment it is uncorked.

On the nose, the 2018 Dunn Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon reveals enticing aromas of ripe plum, boysenberry, and blackberry compote. These luscious fruit notes are complemented by hints of licorice and violet, adding layers of complexity to the bouquet.

Upon tasting, this wine displays a youthful freshness and vibrant acidity that instantly captivate the palate. The plum, boysenberry, and blackberry flavors are rich and juicy, enveloping the taste buds with their intensity. The wine's racy and grippy texture further enhances the tasting experience, showcasing its serious power and structure.

As the wine evolves on the palate, a long, iron accent emerges, scoring the fruit through the finish. This iron accent adds a distinctive element to the wine, highlighting its complexity and depth. With its firm tannins and cedary oak undertones, the 2018 Dunn Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon promises a long-term aging potential, rewarding those who exercise patience.

Accolades from esteemed wine critics further affirm the excellence of this wine. Wine Spectator awarded it an impressive score of 96, praising its ripe and juicy flavors, freshness, and drive. Robert Parker's Wine Advocate awarded it 95+ points, acknowledging its concentration, silky-ripe tannins, and unassailable structure. Vinous, giving it a score of 97, highlighted its elegance, deepness, and remarkable fruit purity.

For those who appreciate the artistry of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2018 Dunn Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon is a must-have addition to their collection. Its allure, complexity, and aging potential make it a wine worth savoring for years to come.