High-end CA cab similar to Dunn?

Newbie on the boards. I got a job selling lots of CA cab and I’m trying to get my bearings in the region, having spent 10 years selling French wine (and 20 drinking Italian).

I’m getting familiar with brands of the opulent, oaky side of Cab, but I am curious about benchmark producers of the more restrained style. I get the sense that Dunn is on the far end of the continuum.


1 Like

I haven’t had a lot of Dunn for comparison but for producers on the more restrained classical style

Neal Family
Di Costanzo
Long Meadow Ranch
Frogs Leap


1 Like

A new producer, Beta is also in that category.

Thank you!

Welcome, Raymond! I would add Forman to the list.


Thanks, Ed. I joined a few mailing lists. I’m happy to connect customers to the Wagner family wines they’re looking for but I would like to learn about some CA wines more my speed.

I’m trying to get into a 2018 Titus cab now but having a hard time with what seems to me sweet fruit. Not Caymus but not Lanessan either.

These forums are great - not only informative but highly entertaining. I never knew that RP labeled the Balgera Valtellina wines–among my favorites–bat guano after a dustup on the old erobertparker.com. I get what he was saying though I certainly haven’t heard it put like that.

Spottswoode, Corison, Diamond Creek, Dalla Valle, Chappellet

1 Like

I have not tasted La Jota recently, but they used to fit that profile.

If you want an ‘old style’ Cali cab, also give Rafanelli a taste.

La Pelle is also delicious and a touch in the realm you seek.

Don’t forget wineries in the Mayacamas, Mt. Veeder, Moon Mtn and Santa Cruz Mtns, where the restrained style is the norm.

Edit: and Carneros

Togni, Dominus, Ceritas, Dunn (prob only Howell Mountain), Diamond Creek, Mondavi Oakville

1 Like

A lot of great suggestions here.

If you are considering Dunn look alike, best in mind these are tannic wines which require decades of aging.

1 Like

The closest I’d recommend is Ceritas Peter Martin Ray Vyd. The '16 is opened up enough to impress and show what it’s about. The '17 & '18 are tannic beasts at the moment.


Good calls.

Maybe Beta wines that require long ageing? I know almacerro is a new HM wine that requires ageong. Have hear softer tannins than Dunn i believe.

What about Spottswoode and Louis Martini?