Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Last summer at a wine dinner in New York, I was introduced to wine from  Dunn Vineyards. The dinner, which was hosted by a famous Chinese wine aficionado, was my first opportunity to taste several vintages from this great California operation. Our host is not usually interested in California cabs, so I was intrigued by his choice for the dinner. As always, his taste in wine proved to be unmatched.

Dunn produces two labels, Howell Mountain and Napa Valley. Both are 100% cabernet. Since the dinner, I have been buying the 2005, 2006 and 2007 Howell Mountain and 2007 Napa Valley. All are drinking well now and will continue to improve with age. They are available on wine searcher.

 Randy Dunn has been making great wine in Napa Valley on Howell Mountain since 1978. He makes a bordeaux style cabernet that is quite different from many of the big fruit bomb wines made on the left coast. It is definitely wine that is built to last and improve with age.

Like most things in the world, wine prices have been going up up up in the last few years. The are several reasons for this. The Chinese have gone crazy for first growths bordeaux wines. I guess they need more good wine to mix with their Pespi. In turn, future prices for current release second and third growths have gone through the roof. Almost every year since 2000 has been the "vintage of your lifetime" and it is hard to find any value in France. Even with the contraction in the California wine business after 2008, prices there can be a little out of line. Many run of the mill California cabernets are commanding over 100 dollars a bottle on release. That's crazy.

 These vintages of Dunn are in the same price range as Caymus and Silver Oak Alexander and many other known wines. I think all these vintages of the Dunn are drinking better. Grab a couple of bottles and find out for yourself.


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