During Thanksgiving, with a full table of 11 people, the wine solution was easy: magnums. They look majestic and make it easy to serve lots of people the same wine. Plus, they tend to age at a slightly slower pace than 750ml bottles.
Sadly, this magnum was the last of my Dunn 1995s, part of the mid- to late-90s run of superb California Cabernet vintages that I was lucky enough to stock up on when I was first building my cellar. Dunn’s Cabernets from Napa Valley and its Howell Mountain subappellation are known for their longevity, and this one was drinking beautifully, having hit its perfect stride now at age 14. It showed lots of smoky, loamy aromas, along with rich, well-sculpted tannins and loads of dark currant preserve, warm fig, tar, roasted vanilla and cedar notes.
While still powerful, the Cabernet was well-defined and had the underlying acidity to cut like a knife through all the Thanksgiving fare on the table. It was easily the wine of the long holiday weekend (and there were many). 95 points, non-blind.
WineSpectator.com members: Read previous blind-tasting reviews for the Dunn Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain 1995 (93, $45 for a 750ml on release).
• Plus, get our quick list of recently released Top Values in California Cabernet and read senior editor James Laube's 10-year retrospetive tasting of 1995 California Cabernets.