Locating Wines from Caymus, Dominus and Dunn Vineyards

Locating Wines from Caymus, Dominus and Dunn Vineyards

This is the second in a series of posts that will focus on “Special Occasion Wines.”  Today we are going to locate wines in Bay Area Restaurants from Caymus Vineyards, Dominus Estate and Dunn Vineyards.

We recommend you review the section below our top values to see a summary of all the vintages in this report. We provide this level of detail because certain years have personal significance for our readers (birth of a child, engagement, wedding, graduation, passing the bar exam, climbing Mt. Everest, finishing a marathon or winning the Super Bowl), and having a great bottle of wine is the best way to look back and reflect on that event.

As with all VinoServant reviews, you will see the price at the restaurant followed by the mark-up over retail (2009 Caymus, Napa Valley, Cabernet | $90 | 1.5x | This translates into a retail price of $60).

Abbreviations

Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco (a/k/a ASSF)

Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino (a/k/a ASC)

Wine Advocate (a/k/a Robert Parker)

VINOSERVANT’S TOP VALUES

2009 Caymus Vineyards, Napa Valley, Cabernet | $90 at Waterfront Restaurant | 1.5x

2008 Dominus Estate, Napa Valley, Cabernet | $360 at AS SF | 2.0x

2008 Caymus Vineyards, Napa Valley, Cabernet | $150 at Plumed Horse | 2.0x

2007 Dominus, Napanook, Cabernet | $95 at Town Hall | 2.1x

2006 Dunn Vineyards, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, Cabernet | $180 at AS SF | 2.2x

2005 Dominus Estate, Cabernet | $275 at Acquarello | 1.9x

2005 Caymus Vineyards, Special Selection Cabernet | $345 at Plumed Horse | 1.9x

2004 Dunn Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, Cabernet | $130 at Los Altos Grill | 1.2x

2003 Dunn Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, Cabernet | $185 at ASSF | 2.1x

2002 Dominus Estate, Napa Valley, Cabernet | $300 at Plumed Horse | 1.9x

2002 Dunn Vineyards, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, Cabernet | $190 at ASSF & Spruce | 2.1x

2001 Dominus Estate, Napa Valley, Cabernet | $300 at Plumed Horse | 1.7x

1999 Dominus, Napanook, Cabernet | $125 at ASSF | 2.5x

1998 Dunn Vineyards, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, Cabernet | $225 at ASSF | 2.1x

1997 Caymus Vineyards, Special Selection, Cabernet | $300 at Spruce | $450 | 1.8x

1997 Dunn, Napa Valley, Cabernet | $200 at Spruce | 1.8x

1996 Caymus Vineyards, Napa Valley, Cabernet | $200 at Spruce | 2.2x

1995 Dunn Vineyards, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, Cabernet | $330 at Spruce | 2.0x

1995 Dunn Vineyards, Napa Valley, Cabernet | $230 at Spruce | 2.3x

1994 Dunn, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, Cabernet | $400 at Spruce | 2.3x

1991 Dominus Estate, Napa Valley, Cabernet METHUSELAH (8 bottles) | $4,900 at Plumed Horse | 2.0x

1990 Dominus Estate, Napa Valley, Cabernet | $410 at Acquarello | 2.5x

1985 Dominus Estate, Napa Valley, Cabernet | $225 at Plumed Horse | 1.6x

1984 Dominus Estate, Napa Valley, Cabernet | $225 at Plumed Horse | 1.7x

Breakdown by Vintage

2009 Caymus, Napa Valley, Cabernet

  • $90 at Waterfront Restaurant | 1.5x | TOP PICK
  • $145 at La Colonial | 2.4x

2009 Caymus Vineyards, Special Selection, Cabernet

  • $326 at Spruce | 3.2x

2008 Caymus, Napa Valley, Cabernet

  • $150 at Plumed Horse | 2.0x | TOP PICK

2008 Dominus Estate, Napa Valley, Cabernet

  • $360 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 2.0x | TOP PICK

2008 Dominus, Napanook, Cabernet

  • $125 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 2.5x

2007 Dominus, Napanook, Cabernet 

  • $95 at Town Hall | 2.1x | TOP PICK
  • $125 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 2.8x

2007 Dunn Vineyards, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, Cabernet

  • $180 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 2.2x

2006 Dominus Estate, Napa Valley, Cabernet 

  • $300 at Plumed Horse | 2.5x

2006 Dunn Vineyards, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, Cabernet

  • $180 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 2.2x | TOP PICK
  • $192 at Spruce | 2.4x
  • $215 at EPIC Roasthouse | 2.6x

2005 Caymus Vineyards, Special Selection, Cabernet

  • $345 at Plumed Horse | 1.9x | TOP PICK

2005 Dominus Estate, Napa Valley, Caberne

  • $275 at Acquarello | 1.9x | TOP PICK 

2005 Dunn Vineyards, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, Cabernet

  • $180 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 2.1x
  • $190 at Spruce | 2.2x
  • $220 at EPIC Roasthouse | 2.6x

2004 Dunn Vineyards, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon

  • $130 at Los Altos Grill | 1.2x | TOP PICK
  • $185 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 1.7x
  • $255 at EPIC Roasthouse | 2.4x

2003 Caymus Vineyards, Special Selection, Cabernet

  • $440 at Spruce | 2.8x

2003 Dunn Vineyards, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, Cabernet

  • $185 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 2.1x | TOP PICK
  • $230 at EPIC Roasthouse | 2.6x

2002 Caymus Vineyards, Special Selection, Cabernet

  • $330 at Plumed Horse | 2.0x

2002 Dominus Estate, Napa Valley, Cabernet

  • $300 at Plumed Horse | 1.9x | TOP PICK

2002 Dunn Vineyards, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, Cabernet

  • $190 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 2.1x | TOP PICK
  • $192 at Spruce | 2.1x | TOP PICK
  • $210 at Farallon | 2.3x
  • $237 at EPIC Roasthouse | 2.6x

2001 Caymus Vineyards, Napa Valley, Cabernet

  • $290 at Spruce | 3.6x

2001 Caymus Vineyards, Special Selection, Cabernet

  • $340 at Plumed Horse | 2.1x
  • $440 at Spruce | 2.75x

2001 Dominus Estate, Napa Valley, Cabernet

  • $300 at Plumed Horse | 1.7x | TOP PICK

2001 Dominus, Napanook, Cabernet

  • $125 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 3.1x

2001 Dunn Vineyards, Napa Valley, Cabernet

  • $200 at Spruce | 2.6x

2000 Caymus Vineyards, Napa Valley, Cabernet

  • $500 MAGNUM at Spruce | 3.7x

2000 Dunn Vineyards, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, Cabernet

  • $250 at Bix | 3.3x

1999 Caymus Vineyards, Napa Valley, Cabernet

  • $290 at Spruce | 2.5x
  • $595 MAGNUM at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.5x

1999 Dominus, Napanook, Cabernet

  • $125 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 2.5x TOP PICK

1998 Caymus Vineyards, Special Selection, Cabernet

  • $320 at Spruce | 2.6x
  • $395 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 3.2x

1998 Dunn Vineyards, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, Cabernet

  • $225 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 2.1x | TOP PICK
  • $228 at Spruce | 2.2x

1997 Caymus Vineyards, Napa Valley, Cabernet

  • $300 at Spruce | 2.8x

1997 Caymus Vineyards, Special Selection, Cabernet

  • $450 at Spruce | 1.8x | TOP PICK

1997 Dunn Vineyards, Napa Valley, Cabernet

  • $200 at Spruce | 1.8x | TOP PICK
  • $225 at Waterbar | 2.1x 

1997 Dunn Vineyards, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, Cabernet

  • $330 at Spruce | 2.5x

1996 Caymus Vineyards, Napa Valley, Cabernet

  • $200 at Spruce | 2.2x | TOP PICK
  • $335 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 3.7x

1996 Dominus Estate, Napa Valley, Cabernet

  • $515 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 3.8x

1996 Dunn Vineyards, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, Cabernet

  • $300 at Spruce | 2.5x

1995 Caymus Vineyards, Napa Valley, Cabernet

  • $350 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 3.6x
  • $695 MAGNUM at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 3.6x

1995 Caymus Vineyards, Special Selection, Cabernet

  • $995 MAGNUM at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 3.6x
  • $1,687 DOUBLE MAGNUM at RN74 | 3.0x

1995 Dunn Vineyards, Napa Valley, Cabernet

  • $230 at Spruce | 2.3x | TOP PICK 

1995 Dunn Vineyards, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, Cabernet

  • $330 at Spruce | 2.0x | TOP PICK

1994 Caymus Vineyards, Napa Valley, Cabernet

  • $290 at Spruce | 2.3x

1994 Caymus Vineyards, Special Selection, Cabernet

  • $530 at Spruce | 2.5x

1994 Dunn Vineyards, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, Cabernet

  • $400 at Spruce | 2.3x | TOP PICK

1992 Dunn Vineyards, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, Cabernet

  • $450 at Spruce | 2.9x

1991 Caymus Vineyards, Special Selection, Cabernet

  • $470 at Spruce | 2.3x 

1991 Dominus Estate, Napa Valley, Cabernet

  • $4,900 METHUSELAH (8 bottles) at Plumed Horse | 2.0x | TOP PICK

1991 Dunn Vineyards, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, Cabernet

  • $395 at RN74 | 3.2x

1990 Caymus Vineyards, Special Selection, Cabernet

  • $440 at Spruce | 2.5x

1990 Dominus Estate, Napa Valley, Cabernet

  • $410 at Acquarello | 2.5x | TOP PICK

1988 Dunn Vineyards, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, Cabernet

  • $280 at Spruce | 2.9x

1987 Dunn Vineyards, Napa Valley, Cabernet

  • $300 at Spruce | 2.6x
  • $350 at RN74 | 3.0x

 1986 Dunn Vineyards, Napa Valley, Cabernet

  • $545 MAGNUM at Plumed Horse | 2.9x

1985 Dominus Estate, Napa Valley, Cabernet

  • $225 at Plumed Horse | 1.6x | TOP PICK
  • $450 at Acquarello | 3.3x

1985 Dunn Vineyards, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, Cabernet

  • $330 at Spruce | 2.3x

1984 Dominus Estate, Napa Valley, Cabernet

  • $255 at Plumed Horse | 1.7x TOP PICK

1984 Dunn Vineyards, Napa Valley, Cabernet

  • $350 at Spruce | 3.2x

2009 Caymus, Napa Valley, Cabernet

Retail Price: $60 at K&L Wine Merchants

Rating: Wine Spectator 91

  • $90 at Waterfront Restaurant | 1.5x | TOP PICK
  • $145 at La Colonial | 2.4x

91 points Wine Spectator: “Supple and creamy-textured, with mocha, ripe plum and cherry flavors that show touches of tobacco, espresso and underbrush. Full-bodied, gaining tannic traction on the finish, elegant and readily approachable. Drink now through 2018.

2009 Caymus Vineyards, Special Selection, Cabernet

Retail Price: $100 at Beltramos & $119 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Spectator 93

  • $326 at Spruce | 3.2x

93 points Wine Spectator: Temptingly rich and layered, with complex mocha, plum and wild berry fruit that’s spicy and aromatic. Full-bodied, gaining depth and turning ever more elegant and detailed, with tannins that give this traction. Drink now through 2019. 29,820 cases made. –JL

2008 Caymus, Napa Valley, Cabernet

Retail Price: $73 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Spectator 93

  • $150 at Plumed Horse | 2.0x | TOP PICK

93 points Wine Spectator: Openly fruity, rich, lush and layered, serving up a complex mix of plum, blackberry, black licorice and spices. Full-bodied and supple-textured, ending with a long, persistent finish that keeps repeating the core flavor themes. Drink now through 2018. 56,000 cases made. –JL

2008 Dominus Estate, Napa Valley, Cabernet

Retail Price: $80 Half Bottle at Artisan Wine Depot & $179 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Spectator 94

  • $360 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 2.0x | TOP PICK

94 points Wine Spectator: Very Bordeaux-like in its makeup and structure, this firm wine offers good acidity and tight tannins, delivering complex flavors of loamy earth, vivid dried currant and berry, with anise and mineral notes sprinkled in. My favorite young Dominus of late. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2022. 4,500 cases made. –JL

2008 Dominus, Napanook, Cabernet

Retail Price: $50 at JJ Buckley

Rating: Wine Advocate 93

  • $125 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 2.5x

93 points Wine Advocate: The 2008 Napanook (84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Cabernet Franc and the rest Petit Verdot) may be one of the greatest Napanooks made. It is a deeper, richer, more intense wine with full body, an endearing texture and a long, pure finish. These two are “take your pick” vintages, but wine enthusiasts would probably be remiss in not having both 2007 and 2008 in their cellars.

Winemaker’s Notes: Napanook is made solely from grapes grown at the historic Napanook Vineyard in Yountville, Napa Valley. The wine is blended from blocks in the vineyard that were carefully selected for their lively fruit, soft tannins and early maturing characteristics. Alcohol 14.1%.

2007 Dominus, Napanook, Cabernet

Retail Price: $45 at Beltramo’s & $47 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 91

  • $95 at Town Hall | 2.1x | TOP PICK
  • $125 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 2.8x

91 points Wine Advocate: The other significant change is how the quality of Napanook has risen. Really a separate entity these days, the 2007 continues to show wonderful elegance, sweet finesse and ripe Napa Valley fruit. It is a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc and 7% Petit Verdot.

Winemaker’s Notes: The 2007 vintage is vibrant and rich, filled with fresh cranberry, incense and floral aromas, round tannins and exceptional energy. Creamy on the palate, the wine is pure, precise and powerful. This vintage is one of the finest produced to date. Alcohol 14.1%.

2007 Dunn Vineyards, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, Cabernet

Retail Price: $75 at Artisan Wine Depot & $88 Average  Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 97

  • $180 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 2.2x

97 points Wine Advocate: The 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is unlike any wine I have ever tasted from Dunn. Layer after layer of flavor saturates the palate in this opulent, full-throttle Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2007 possesses dazzling textural richness, depth and sheer intensity. Purists may prefer more structured vintages, but for a producer known for such slow maturing wines, the 2007 is a huge pleasure to taste today. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2037.” – Antonio Galloni (Dec 2011)

2006 Dominus Estate, Napa Valley, Cabernet

Retail Price: $109 at Belmont Wine Exchange & $130 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 96 & Wine Spectator 86

  • $300 at Plumed Horse | 2.5x

96 points Wine Advocate: Very deep garnet-purple colour. A wonderfully perfumed nose of violets, crushed blackberries, black cherries, mace and cloves leading into some smoked meat and mocha aromas with swirling. Very structured on the palate with high acidity, a medium to high level of fine tannins and a full body providing plenty of flesh in the mid-palate. Very long layered finish.

86 points Wine Spectator: A tight, reined-in style, with dry herb, cedar, dried currant, sage and mineral notes. Full-bodied, ending with a trim, tannic finish that suggests short-term cellaring. The best of two bottles tasted. Best from 2011 through 2015. 6,000 cases made. –JL

 

2006 Dunn Vineyards, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, Cabernet

Retail Price: $74 at Artisan Wine Depot & $88 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 95

  • $180 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 2.2x | TOP PICK
  • $192 at Spruce | 2.4x
  • $215 at EPIC Roasthouse | 2.6x

95 points Wine Advocate: The 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is big, dark and juicy. There is an element of wildness that runs through the wine. Graphite, licorice, tar and smoke are just some of the nuances that add complexity. The 2006 boasts superb purity from start to finish. Elements of fleshiness give the impression the 2006 might drink well relatively early, until the massive tannins set in. Floral notes add freshness on the finish. This is another fabulous wine from Randy Dunn. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2036.” – Antonio Galloni (Dec 2011)

 

2005 Caymus Vineyards, Special Selection, Cabernet

Retail Price: $174 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Spectator 94

  • $345 at Plumed Horse | 1.9x | TOP PICK

94 points Wine Spectator: Firm, intense and well-structured, with a mix of spicy oak, red and black currant, mineral, sage and dusty berry. Turns elegant and refined, yet shows a sturdy backbone on the finish. Best from 2009 through 2014. 11,550 cases made. –JL

2005 Dominus Estate, Napa Valley, Cabernet

Retail Price: $144 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 94 & Wine Spectator 89

  • $275 at Acquarello | 1.9x | TOP PICK

94 points Wine Advocate: Medium to deep garnet-purple colour. Vibrant scents of warm blackcurrants, plums, mocha, vanilla, cloves and nutmeg with a whiff of smoked meat. On the palate this vintage provides the characteristic high level of acidity matched by firm fine tannins and a lot of rich, concentrated fruit yielding a more opulent style. Very long finish with lots of spice.

89 points Wine Spectator: Starts out rich, supple and polished before gaining tannic traction, letting the earthy clay, loamy currant and dried herb and sage notes show in a complex, focused fashion. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2012. 7,000 cases made. –JL

 

2005 Dunn Vineyards, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, Cabernet

Retail Price: $75 at Artisan Wine Depot & $95 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 94

  • $180 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 2.1x
  • $190 at Spruce | 2.2x
  • $220 at EPIC Roasthouse | 2.6x

94 points Wine Advocate: The 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is a huge, powerful wine that is starting to show the very earliest signs of development. An exotic melange of smoke, tar, camphor and licorice leads to expressive, fleshy fruit as the 2005 opens up in the glass. Hints of tobacco, leather, licorice and spices are layered into the finish. This is a gorgeous wine with lovely mid-palate presence and fleshiness. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2035.” – Antonio Galloni (Dec 2011)

2004 Dunn Vineyards, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $106 via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 94 & Wine Spectator 87

  • $130 at Los Altos Grill | 1.2x | TOP PICK
  • $185 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 1.7x
  • $255 at EPIC Roasthouse | 2.4x

94+ points from Wine Advocate: I don’t know whether it’s me, the vintage character, or whether Randy Dunn and his son have intentionally softened their wines, but these 2004s are more opulent and up-front than previous renditions. Yet, they lack neither concentration nor richness. Those of us who have been cellaring Dunn’s wines for twenty years, waiting for them to reach maturity should be thrilled by this new development. The Howell Mountain is denser and richer with blacker fruits as well as more body. Both are full-bodied, powerful Cabernets very much in keeping with his style. However, the tannins are softer and the wines reveal surprisingly developed aromatics. The 2004 Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon should last for 20-25 years. It is a brilliant achievement.

87 points Wine Spectator: Dark, intense and concentrated, with a gamy, earthy streak running through the dried currant, sage and herbal notes. Balanced, with firm, chewy tannins. Best to cellar. Best from 2011 through 2020. 2,000 cases made. –JL

 

2003 Caymus Vineyards, Special Selection, Cabernet

Retail Price: $125 at Belmont Wine Exchange & $156 Average Price via  Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 94 & Wine Spectator 93

  • $440 at Spruce | 2.8x 

94 points Wine Advocate: The 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon Special Selection offers up scents of licorice, black currants, spice box, and a hint of flowers. This deep, full-bodied, chunky 2003 should last for 13-15 years.

93 points Wine Spectator: Supple and harmonious, with rich, fleshy currant, blackberry, herb, mocha and dill. Picks up momentum and holds onto a tight focus through the long, satisfying finish, where the tannins are rich and intense, boding well for short- to mid-term cellaring. Best from 2007 through 2014. 9,800 cases made. –JL

 

2003 Dunn Vineyards, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, Cabernet

Retail Price: $80 at JJ Buckley & $93 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 92 to 94 & Wine Spectator 87

  • $185 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 2.1x | TOP PICK
  • $230 at EPIC Roasthouse | 2.6x

92 to 94 points Wine Advocate: The powerful, strong 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain may turn out to be richer and fuller than either the 2001 or 2002, an atypical scenario. Its dense blue/purple color is followed by a big, rich nose of cassis, blueberries, minerals, and flowers. Rich, full-bodied, and powerfully tannic, it is classic Dunn stuff. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2030.

87 points Wine Spectator: There’s a wonderful spiciness in the aroma, yet this is a bit trimmer on the palate. Firm and intense, with anise, exotic spice and dried currant flavors. Turns dry and austere on the finish. Decant for now. Best from 2009 through 2014. 2,500 cases made. –JL

 

2002 Caymus Vineyards, Special Selection, Cabernet

Retail Price: $150 at K&L Wines, $160 at JJ Buckley & $186 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 96 & Wine Spectator 93

  • $330 at Plumed Horse | 2.0x

96 points Wine Advocate: A fabulous effort, the 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon Special Selection boasts an inky/purple color to the rim as well as a gloriously exuberant bouquet of creme de cassis, graphite, vanilla, and charcoal. Dense and full-bodied, with fabulous purity, sweet tannin, decent acidity, and perfect equilibrium, this is a great Napa Cabernet Sauvignon to drink now and over the next 15+ years.

93 points Wine Spectator: Rich yet sleek and concentrated, with tiers of ripe plum, wild berry and black cherry. Shows a touch of spice, sandalwood and nutmeg. The long, detailed aftertaste that keeps introducing new flavors. Best from 2006 through 2014. 8,800 cases made. –JL

2002 Dominus Estate, Napa Valley, Cabernet

Retail Price: $155 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 96 & Wine Spectator 88

  • $300 at Plumed Horse | 1.9x | TOP PICK

96 points Wine Advocate: Dominus is a large vineyard, and they have the ability to make a strict selection. The 2002 Dominus gets my nod as the greatest example of this cuvee since the 1991 and 1994. There are 4,500 cases of this 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot, and 3% Merlot blend fashioned from minuscule yields ranging from 1.8 to 2.8 tons of fruit per acre. Christian Moueix told me that the phenolic material was higher analytically in 2002, as were the acids, which surprised everyone. The deep, saturated purple-colored 2002 boasts an extraordinary perfume of roasted coffee intermixed with black currants, cherries, cocoa, cedar, cigar smoke, and new saddle leather. A classic, full-bodied palate possesses great structure, tremendous depth, loads of tannin, and a multilayered, concentrated yet elegant finish. It is difficult to predict when this beauty will plateau in terms of maturity. My best guess is it needs 3-5 years of bottle age, and should last for 25 years.

88 points Wine Spectator: Fresh aromas of ripe currant, wild berry, floral scents and spice carry over nicely to the palate, where the flavors turn supple and firm, with just the right touch of tannins. Not a great Dominus, and this was the best of three bottles. Drink now through 2010. 5,000 cases made. –JL

 

2002 Dunn Vineyards, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, Cabernet

Retail Price: $85 at K&L Wines & $96 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 91 to 93 & Wine Spectator 87

  • $190 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 2.1x
  • $192 at Spruce | 2.1x
  • $210 at Farallon | 2.3x
  • $237 at EPIC Roasthouse | 2.6x

91-93 points Wine Advocate: The 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain exhibits an inky/blue/purple color along with a sweet perfume of pure blackberries, meat, new saddle leather, and flowers. From an unusually ripe harvest, this sweet, rich, fleshy offering displays more accessibility than many Howell Mountain vintages. Randy Dunn said it was important to drop crop, and he eliminated 40% of the fruit from the vines in both 2002 and 2001. The long, concentrated 2002 may not be the biggest Howell Mountain cuvee, but it will provide lovely drinking between 2009-2024. (02/05)

87 points Wine Spectator: Intense and fleshy, with a complex range of red cherry, currant and berry fruit that has a supple entry before the firm and chewy tannins close in. Hints of espresso bean and nutmeg highlight the presence of wood at this stage, and it certainly showcases Howell Mountain’s austere tannins. Best from 2007 through 2012. 4,600 cases made. –JL

 

2001 Caymus Vineyards, Napa Valley, Cabernet

Retail Price: $80 at JJ Buckley

Rating: Wine Spectator 92

  • $290 at Spruce | 3.6x

92 points Wine Spectator: A stylish wine with layers of rich, polished Cabernet fruit and a chorus of currant, herb and black cherry accompanied by pretty smoke and toasty oak. The long, soothing, complex aftertaste keeps pumping out the flavors. Drink now through 2011. 24,000 cases made. –JL

2001 Caymus Vineyards, Special Selection, Cabernet

Retail Price: $145 at Belmont Wine Exchange & $186 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 96

  • $340 at Plumed Horse | 2.1x
  • $440 at Spruce | 2.75x

96 points Wine Advocate: Caymus has been around for so long there is a tendency to under-estimate their wines. However, they have a brilliant track record as evidenced by the decade old 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon Vintage Selection. Abundant chocolaty, black currant, licorice and coffee aromas soar from the glass of this perfumed wine. It exhibits an opaque ruby/purple color, wonderful opulence, a deep, full-bodied mouthfeel, fabulous depth and not a hard edge to be found. While seemingly fully mature, the supple tannins, expansive fruit and glycerin, depth and overall balance suggest it will keep for another 15+ years. June 2011.

2001 Dominus Estate, Napa Valley, Cabernet

Retail Price: $179 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 98

  • $300 at Plumed Horse | 1.7x | TOP PICK

98 points Wine Advocate: A brilliant showing for Christian Moueix’s well-known Napanook Vineyard, the 2001 Dominus is a blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 10% Petit Verdot. A classic in the making, this is a flawless, seamless example of elegant, complex Napa Cabernet Sauvignon that possesses a Bordeaux-like personality. This gorgeous, sexy, opulent, dense ruby/purple-colored wine reveals sweet caramel, mocha, creme de cassis and kirsch notes intermixed with a hint of espresso roast as well as underbrush. Ripe, long and full-bodied with well-integrated tannin, acidity, alcohol and wood, this prodigious 2001 is drinkable now and over the next 25+ years given this estate’s longevity track record. A virtually perfect wine, it is one of the most complex 2001s at present.

88 points Wine Spectator: Very Bordeaux-like in its presentation, with a mix of cedary oak, ripe currant, fresh clay, earth and rose petal flavors. Rich and supple, it’s well-focused and elegantly styled, gaining richness and depth on the finish, where the tannins become more evident. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Merlot. Best from 2006 through 2012. 7,000 cases made. –JL

2001 Dominus, Napanook, Cabernet

Retail Price: $40 at JJ Buckley & $46 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 88 & Wine Spectator 88

  • $125 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 3.1x

88 points Wine Advocate: The 2001 Napanook (a blend of 71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Cabernet Franc, 7% Merlot, and 4% Petit Verdot; 3,600 cases produced) exhibits a chocolatey, black cherry, and currant-scented nose with hints of dried herbs, cocoa, cedar, and spice in the background. Incredibly Bordeaux-like, it possesses soft, sweet tannin, medium body, and undeniable elegance. Enjoy it now and over the next 7-8 years.

88 points Wine Spectator: Pleasantly complex, with a supple texture and pure black cherry fruit that’s ripe and polished, with a nice integration of fruit and oak. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec. Drink now through 2009. 3,800 cases made. –JL

2001 Dunn Vineyards, Napa Valley, Cabernet

Retail Price: $70 at JJ Buckley & $84 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Spectator 86

  • $200 at Spruce | 2.6x

86 points Wine Spectator: Marked by ripe plum and cherry fruit with a cedary oak edge that turns to tobacco and herbs. Well-balanced, with firm tannins and a hint of wild berry and chocolate on the finish. Best from 2006 through 2012. 1,428 cases made. –JL

2000 Caymus Vineyards, Napa Valley, Cabernet

Retail Price: $135 MAGNUM at Belmont  Wine Exchange & $82 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Spectator 92

  • $500 MAGNUM at Spruce | 3.7x

92 points Wine Spectator: Packs in lots of ripe, rich, complex Cabernet flavors, gushing with ripe currant, plum and wild berry, turning spicy and revealing pretty oak and herb shadings as well. Long, smooth aftertaste. Drink now through 2010. 26,000 cases made. –JL

2000 Dunn Vineyards, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, Cabernet

Retail Price: $60 at Belmont Wine Exchange & $88 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 88 & Wine Spectator 87

  • $250 at Bix | 3.3x

88 points Wine Advocate: Telltale aromas of violets, blackberries, blueberries, and crushed stones are apparent in this medium to full-bodied, slightly lean 2000 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain. Tasty and expressive, it needs 3-4 years of cellaring, and should drink well for a decade.

87 points Wine Spectator: A persistent cedary, dill-like, woody character overshadows the earth and tart wild berry flavors. Tannic but balanced, it needs short-term cellaring and decanting. Best from 2005 through 2012. 2,200 cases made. –JL

 

1999 Caymus Vineyards, Napa Valley, Cabernet

Retail Price: $79 at Belmont Wine Exchange & $114 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Spectator 92 and Wine Advocate 87

  • $290 at Spruce | 2.5x
  • $595 MAGNUM at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.5x

92 points Wine Spectator: Smooth, rich and polished, with a tasty array of currant, anise, plum and blackberry fruit that’s sharply focused, with pretty, toasty oak nuances adding depth and dimenison on the finish. Drink now through 2010. 17,000 cases made. –JL

87 points Wine Advocate: The 1999 Cabernet Sauvignon offers a deep ruby/purple color, lavish toasty oak, and attractive sweet black currant fruit mixed with smoke, earth, and herb characteristics. Although the finish is angular, the wood too noticeable, and the wine lacks concentration, it is a solidly made effort, but preposterously over-priced. This Cabernet hardly represents cutting edge winemaking, but it remains immensely popular with most consumers.

1999 Dominus, Napanook, Cabernet

Retail Price: $49 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 87 & Wine Spectator 90

  • $125 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 2.5x | TOP PICK

87 points Wine Advocate: The soft, supple, easygoing 1999 Napanook (70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Cabernet Franc, 13% Merlot, and 3% Petit Verdot) exhibits cherry, earth, leather, and foresty aromas, sweet fruit, and a forward personality. It is best consumed over the next decade. August 2002.

90 points Wine Spectator: Sleek and polished, with an herbal, green olive edge to the earthy currant, coffee and sage flavors. A solid value that offers complex, concentrated flavors, with a long, persistent finish. Best from 2004 through 2012. 4,000 cases made. –JL

1998 Caymus Vineyards, Special Selection, Cabernet

Retail Price: $99 at Belmont Wine Exchange & $147 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Spectator 91

  • $320 at Spruce | 2.6x
  • $395 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 3.2x

91 points Wine Spectator: Ripe, rich and complex, with layers of juicy plum, blackberry, anise, coffee and wild berry. Turns supple, with a sense of elegance and finesse. Firms up on the finish, where the tannins fold in. Best from 2002 through 2008. 2,000 cases made. –JL

1998 Dunn Vineyards, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, Cabernet

Retail Price: $105 at Wine.com & $100 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 88 to 90 & Wine Spectator 87

  • $225 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 2.1x | TOP PICK
  • $228 at Spruce | 2.2x

88 to 90 points Wine Advocate: Dunn’s normal policy is to select the Napa Cabernet Sauvignon from his barrels right before bottling. Hence what I tasted was a trial blend of this wine. This year produced extremely small crops characterized by extremely cool growing seasons as well as unusually late harvests. Randy Dunn dropped 40% of his crop in 1998 in order to attain ripeness. Consequently, this wine does not possess the herbaceousness or weediness found in many 1998 Howell Mountain Cabernet.

The wine reveals plenty of sweet black currant fruit infused with minerals. While light, it is a successful effort. It may last only 20-25 years, rather than fifty! The 1998 displays excellent intensity along with pure black currant/cassis notes intermixed with earth, spice, and smoke.

87 points Wine Spectator: Highly reliant on green, cedary oak for its flavor, this tight, tannic, intense youngster finds enough ripe fruit to counter the wood, with hints of earthy currant, bell pepper, sage and tar. Requires patience. Best from 2003 through 2009. 2,300 cases made. –JL

1997 Caymus Vineyards, Napa Valley, Cabernet

Retail Price: $107 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 86

  • $300 at Spruce | 2.8x

86 points Wine Advocate: Readers wanting a jolt of blatant toasty oak with straightforward flavors reminiscent of cherry syrup, coffee, and herbs might appreciate this wine more than I. It is medium-bodied, monolithic, and best drunk over the next 8-10 years. Regarding the points/power ratio, I am reminded of an old retailer’s sarcastic sales slogan – “Why pay less?”

 

1997 Caymus Vineyards, Special Selection, Cabernet

Retail Price: $239 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Spectator 95

  • $450 at Spruce | 1.8x | TOP PICK

95 points Wine Spectator: This banner year’s Special Selection is smooth, rich and concentrated, with layers of currant, mocha, black cherry and wild berry, fairly gushing at midpalate. The finish is long, rich, and intricate. 2,000 cases made.

1997 Dunn Vineyards, Napa Valley, Cabernet

Retail Price: $106 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating:  Wine Spectator 92

  • $200 at Spruce | 1.8x | TOP PICK
  • $225 at Waterbar | 2.1x

92 points Wine Spectator: Sharply focused, with a pretty beam of plum, currant and black cherry flavors, framed by spicy, cedary oak and finishing with dry tannins. Best from 2002 through 2012. 1,956 cases made. –JL

 

1997 Dunn Vineyards, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, Cabernet

Retail Price: $119 at K&L Wines and $145 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 95

  • $330 at Spruce | 2.5x

95 points Robert Parker: The enormous 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is a super-powerful, fabulously-concentrated, 50-year wine. Aromas and flavors of blackberry/cassis jam, minerals, and subtle oak are found in this extravagantly rich, gargantuan Cabernet Sauvignon that should age effortlessly for half a century. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2050. (12/00).

1996 Caymus Vineyards, Napa Valley, Cabernet

Retail Price: $90 at K&L Wines and $93 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Spectator 90

  • $200 at Spruce | 2.2x | TOP PICK
  • $335 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 3.7x

90 points Wine Spectator: Attractive creamy, toasty oak up-front, with supple currant and black cherry folding in beneath. Though it remains complex on the finish, it comes up shy in depth and added dimensions compared with previous vintages. Grapes are from the sources normally used for the Special Selection, which was not made in ’96. Drink now through 2007. 26,000 cases made. –JL

1996 Dominus Estate, Napa Valley, Cabernet

Retail Price: $110 at Belmont Wine Exchange $161 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 95

  • $515 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 3.8x

95 points Wine Advocate: Medium garnet-brick colour. Complex, evolved aromas of black olive, dried cherries, bacon fat, graphic, balsamic, soy and a touch of truffle. The palate is finely knit with crisp acidity and a medium level of very fine tannins pulling together fruit a well balanced amount of earthy / savoury fruit. Very long finish. May 2010.

  

1996 Dunn Vineyards, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, Cabernet

Retail Price: $105 at Belmont Wine Exchange & $139 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 96

  • $300 at Spruce | 2.5x

96 points Wine Advocate: The 1996 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain possesses a black/blue/purple color, and a texture of unctuosity and thickness. Greatness is suggested by a wonderfully sweet mid-section, gorgeous purity, and this humongous wine’s overall symmetry. It also possesses sumptuous layers of concentration, remarkably sweet tannin, low acidity, and a 40+ second finish. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2040.” – Robert Parker, Wine Advocate #126 (Jan 2000)

1995 Caymus Vineyards, Napa Valley, Cabernet

Retail Price: $80 at K&L Wines & $96 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Spectator 92

  • $350 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 3.6x
  • $695 MAGNUM at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 3.6x

92 points Wine Spectator: A seductive style, with lots of spicy, vanilla-scented oak that leads to a rich, complex core of currant, black cherry, olive and plum. The tannins are smooth and polished; supple enough to drink now, yet substantial enough to cellar short-term. Best from 2000 through 2007. 26,000 cases made. –JL

1995 Caymus Vineyards, Special Selection, Cabernet

Retail Price: $212 Average Price via Wine – Searcher & $275 MAGNUM at Belmont Wine Exchange

Rating: Wine Advocate 90

  • $995 MAGNUM at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 3.6x
  • $1,687 DOUBLE MAGNUM at RN74 | 3.0x

90 points Wine Advocate: While it is fashionable to criticize this wine because of its price, and the secrecy surrounding the amount produced (who really cares?), the wine is unquestionably outstanding. The 1995 boasts a dark ruby/purple color as well as an attractive bouquet with lavish quantities of toasty new oak and black currants. There is moderate tannin, good purity, and an open-knit, sexy style. If the wine had not fallen a bit short on the mid-palate, it would have merited an even higher score. It should drink well for 10-15 years. Based on the fame of this winery and the price of the wine, one would expect this Cabernet to compete with Colgin, Bryant Family Vineyards, Screaming Eagle, Araujo, and Harlan Estate. It does not. Nevertheless, it is an outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon.

1995 Dunn Vineyards, Napa Valley, Cabernet

Retail Price: $98 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 94

  • $230 at Spruce | 2.3x 

94 points Wine Advocate: The saturated black/purple-colored 1995 Cabernet Sauvignon possesses a promising yet backward nose of minerals, lead pencil, and blackberries/cassis. The wine was bottled in June, but it is showing no ill effects. This mammoth offering displays extraordinary concentration and purity, as well as a thick, unctuous texture with high tannin levels. It will evolve for 30-50 years. When will it reach its plateau of maturity? My best guess is 10-15 years … minimum.

 

1995 Dunn Vineyards, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, Cabernet

Retail Price: $161 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 96

  • $330 at Spruce | 2.0x | TOP PICK

96 points Wine Advocate: The 1995 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is similar in all respects to the Napa Valley, but somewhat heavier in the mouth, with an aggressive tannic bite, and more length. It possesses mineral-tinged blackberry and cassis fruit, massive body, and extraordinary purity and length. It should not be touched for 12-15 years. It will undoubtedly live through the first half of the next century.

 

1994 Caymus Vineyards, Napa Valley, Cabernet

Retail Price: $109 at JJ Buckley & $126 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 91 & Wine Spectator 95

  • $290 at Spruce | 2.3x

91 points Wine Advocate: Cabernet is king at Caymus. During the decade of the nineties, there has been a succession of sumptuous, rich, concentrated, lavishly-wooded, cassis-flavored Caymus Cabernet Sauvignons. The sumptuous 1994 Cabernet Sauvignon appears to be one of the best Napa Cabernets Caymus has produced. Remarkably, there is plenty to go around – 25,000 cases, approximately the same production as Lafite-Rothschild and Margaux. The wine exhibits a dark purple color, and a sweet, jammy blackcurrant-scented nose. The lush, juicy, succulent texture is crammed with glycerin and extract. Surprisingly soft (a hallmark of this vintage), with a smooth texture, this full-bodied, oaky Cabernet should drink well for 10-12+ years.

95 points Wine Spectator: A real mouthful of Cabernet any way you taste it. Bold, ripe, rich and flavorful, with complex layers of currant, black cherry and plum flavors nicely accented with cedary oak. Terrific now, best around 1999. From a producer with a superb track record with Cabernet. 20,000 cases made. –JL

 

1994 Caymus Vineyards, Special Selection, Cabernet

Retail Price: $185 at Belmont Wine Exchange & $248 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 95 & Wine Spectator 93

  • $530 at Spruce | 2.5x

95 points Wine Advocate: This hedonistic Cabernet Sauvignon’s saturated purple color is accompanied by an exuberant, sweet, enveloping fragrance of smoky new oak, and jammy blackberry and cassis fruit. In the mouth, this lavishly wooded, black fruit-filled Cabernet is extremely full-bodied, with superb levels of fruit, glycerin, and extract. Like many 1994 Cabernet Sauvignons, it possesses extraordinary equilibrium, with the sweet tannin giving the wine considerable accessibility. The finish lasts for nearly 30 seconds. This will be a fun wine to drink young, but do not discount its aging ability as it should last for two decades.

 93 points Wine Spectator: Enormous complexity, depth and richness, with deeply concentrated blackberry, cherry, currant, anise and cedary dill and coconut scents, this is a powerful yet elegant young wine that is in peak drinking condition, finishing with a dash of herb and tobacco.–California Cabernet ’74/’84/’94 retrospective. Drink now through 2008. 1,000 cases made. –JL

 

1994 Dunn Vineyards, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, Cabernet

Retail Price: $172 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 96 & Wine Spectator 92

  • $400 at Spruce | 2.3x | TOP PICK

96 points Wine Advocate: The 1994s might be ready to drink within 10-15 years. It is hard to believe these wines spend 30 months in oak casks before bottling as they are incredibly unevolved and backward when released. Look out for the behemoth 1994 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain. This black/purple-colored wine adds a few more nuances (minerals, licorice, and floral scents) to the lavish display of creme de cassis. Full-bodied, with a blockbuster level of extract and density, this is an outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon for readers with patience, good genes for longevity, or the foresight to purchase it for their children. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2030.

92 points Wine Spectator: Dark-hued, with wild, racy, gamy, meaty and savory aromas, this is a still a dense, potent, deeply concentrated and firmly tannic youngster, with loads of mineral, sage, currant and blackberry flavors. The tannins are still intense, so decanting is advised.–California Cabernet ’74/’84/’94 retrospective. Drink now through 2010. 2,000 cases made. –JL

1992 Dunn Vineyards, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, Cabernet

Retail Price: $150 at K&L Wines & $160 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 97

  • $450 at Spruce | 2.9x

97 points Wine Advocate: What makes the 1992 California Cabernet Sauvignon vintage so incredible is that one of its hallmarks is the voluptuous, opulent, and succulent nature of the fruit. In Dunn’s offerings, that translates into wines that are massive and rich, but with sweeter, more expansive, chewy mid-palates.”(10/95)

 

1991 Caymus Vineyards, Special Selection, Cabernet

Retail Price: $155 at Belmont Wine Exchange, $199 at SF Wine Trading Company & $258 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Spectator 94

  • $470 at Spruce | 2.3x

94 points Wine Spectator: Healthy dark color, wonderful youthful vitality. Rich mocha, chocolate, black cherry and spice flavors, elegant and polished, with softening tannins and dusty, cedary oak adding dimension. Excellent balance.–’81/’91 California Cabernet retrospective. Drink now through 2009. 2,000 cases made. –JL, Wine Spectator (web 2002)

 

1991 Dominus Estate, Napa Valley, Cabernet

Retail Price: $249 at Belmont Wine Exchange & $368 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 94

  • $4,900 METHUSELAH (8 bottles) at Plumed Horse | 2.0x | TOP PICK

Wine Advocate 94: Very deep garnet-brick colored, this has pronounced aromas of sweaty saddles, dried mulberries and game with a hint of dried Mediterranean herbs. The palate is more youthful than the nose, revealing a rich, full bodied style with crisp acid, a medium-firm level of chewy tannins and tons of savory fruit, finishing long. Nov 2011.

 

1991 Dunn Vineyards, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, Cabernet

Retail Price: $120 at JJ Buckley & $133 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 94

  • $395 at RN74 | 3.2x

93 points Wine Advocate: The 1991 Howell Mountain Cabernet is noticeably thicker and more highly extracted than the 1992 and 1993 vintages. It is a huge, rich, powerful wine with great depth, as well as a boat-load of tannin. Do not touch a bottle for at least 5-6 years.

1990 Caymus Vineyards, Special Selection, Cabernet

Retail Price: $145 at Belmont Wine Exchange & $212 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Spectator 93

  • $440 at Spruce | 2.5x

93 points Wine Spectator: Aging extremely well, this is rich, sleek and elegant, with a wide range of black cherry, anise, currant, plum and earth notes that offer depthand complexity, finishing in a long aftertaste. Tannins are softening.–California Cabernet retrospective. Drink now through 2007. 1,000 cases made. –JL

 

1990 Dominus Estate, Napa Valley, Cabernet

Retail Price: $167 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 95 & Wine Spectator 91

  • $410 at Acquarello | 2.5x | TOP PICK

95 points Wine Advocate: In a blind tasting, both the 1990 and 1991 wines were identified as being French by all eight tasters. I pulled these wines from my cellar to insert as ringers, so I was particularly miffed at not getting their origin correct. In retrospect, I suppose I was somewhat surprised by just how great the 1990 performed in comparison with the profound 1991. I mistakenly thought the 1990 was a Medoc, with its cedary, spicy, tobacco, blackcurrant-scented nose, sweet, full-bodied flavors, high tannin, and low acidity. It is a superb Dominus that may be just beginning to close down. Rich and powerful, it is capable of lasting for 20+ years.

91 points Wine Spectator: Deeply flavored, rich and complex, with tiers of currant, coffee, spice and chocolate. While it’s young, intense and tannic, it’s developing a supple texture, which allows the flavors to glide through on the finish. Cellar short-term. Best after 1996. 4,600 cases made.

 

1988 Dunn Vineyards, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, Cabernet

Retail Price: $80 at K&L Wines & $110 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Spectator 89

  • $280 at Spruce | 2.9x

89 points Wine Spectator: Among the best in depth, richness, concentration, complexity and length. Classic Dunn Howell Mountain in its core of rich, earthy currant, mineral and raspberry. Finishes with chewy tannins, but also the fruit to match.–1988 California Cabernet retrospective. (11/98)

 

1987 Dunn Vineyards, Napa Valley, Cabernet

Retail Price: $95 at Belmont Wine Exchange & $137 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 91

  • $300 at Spruce | 2.6x
  • $350 at RN74 | 3.0x

91 points Wine Advocate: The 1987 Napa Cabernet reveals an opaque dark purple color, and a strong yet un-evolved bouquet of cassis, minerals, and toasty oak. Rich, but very tannic and full, this wine should be at its best between 1998-2010.

 

1986 Dunn Vineyards, Napa Valley, Cabernet

Retail Price: $80 at JJ Buckley & $109 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 92

  • $545 MAGNUM at Plumed Horse | 2.9x

92 points Wine Advocate: Two of the most impressive wines in these tastings, both of Dunn’s 1986s tasted like 3-4-year old Cabernets rather than 10-year old adolescents. The 1986 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa is still tight, but it reveals more openness, and gobs of sweet, mineral-laden, black-raspberry, and cassis fruit. The fruit dominates the wine’s structure, a positive sign given all the wine’s tannin and body. Rich, pure, and youthful, this 1986 is accessible now, but will unquestionably last another 20+ years. It is a profound, well-balanced Cabernet with well-integrated acidity and tannin. The tasting notes for this section are from two single blind tastings, one conducted in May, 1996, in California, and the other in June, 1996, in Baltimore.

 

1985 Dominus Estate, Napa Valley, Cabernet

Retail Price: $137 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 91

  • $225 at Plumed Horse | 1.6x | TOP PICK
  • $450 at Acquarello | 3.3x

91 points Wine Advocate: The 1985 Dominus stands out for its smoky, ripe cassis, earthy nose, sweet, full-bodied, concentrated flavors, and opulently long, chewy finish. It was the most forward, precocious example of this wine I have yet tasted. Most recent tastings have suggested the wine needed further aging. This bottling exhibited the plush, velvety texture that proprietor Christian Moueix achieves in top Pomerol vintages. The 1985 Dominus should continue to drink well for another 15-20 years. April 1995.

 

1985 Dunn Vineyards, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, Cabernet

Retail Price: $141 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 94

  • $330 at Spruce | 2.3x

94 points Wine Advocate: Last tasted October 1993. Extremely backward, closed, hard, tannic, and unyielding, this behemoth of a wine exhibits a saturated purple color, a nondescript bouquet, enormously rich, concentrated flavors, and a boat load of tannin. Unless you are a masochist, do not touch a bottle before the turn of the century.

1984 Dominus Estate, Napa Valley, Cabernet

Retail Price: $149 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 92

  • $255 at Plumed Horse | 1.7x | TOP PICK

92 points Wine Advocate: I have been fooled by this wine in blind tastings, mistaking it for a top Pomerol, although there is an insignificant percentage of Merlot in the blend. The complex bouquet of ripe, curranty fruit, coffee, and sweet black cherries has become increasingly complex and intense. Full-bodied, opulent, and soft, this fleshy wine appears to have reached an attractive plateau of maturity; it should easily last for another 10-15+ years.

1984 Dunn Vineyards, Napa Valley, Cabernet

Retail Price: $109 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 90

  • $350 at Spruce | 3.2x

Wine Advocate 90: Last tasted October 1993. With a youthful ruby/purple color and a reticent bouquet of cassis, this full-bodied, highly concentrated, tannic wine is only slightly more evolved than a barrel sample. The high rating reflects its richness, purity, and potential rather than its current state of drinkability. It needs 5-6 more years of cellaring. I hope my high praise is rewarded with more complexity.

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