We popped a 1986 Dunn HM this week…and it’s ready!
We decanted, tasted over about 3 hours. It has great color with some bricking, and a splendid sort of spiced fruit and cedar/leather nose. Actual tertiary flavors, too! A touch of tannin remains, but in nice balance with slight cherry/plum notes. It didn’t have a specific say-it-out-loud specific fruit profile. Great mid to rear palate finish that I timed and stopped at a minute. Really a good slurp.
I’ve been sitting around waiting for a long time and these Dunn wines mature about as quickly as my n’er do well uncle did! Today’s the sday to go find this one an try it. (We drank an 1989 in December and it was as fully developed yet as this '86 was. Never before seen on a Dunn vintage chart: "Drink now is fine!"
As a preamble, we tasted the 2004 Williams Selyem Allen Vineyard chardonnay and it was spot on, as well!
My wife noticed the very faint butterscotch, but without any “old chardonnay” negatives: no wet cardboard, not too much butterscotch, no oxidation.
It had a hint of pear/pineapple, even some peach and fig. I would also say a touch of flintiness, too! Also a long all back-palate finish. There was maybe faint oak, not overbearing, and minimal “butter” (yay.)
The chard was consumed as a stand alone, the Dunn with a ribeye and mushroom risotto.
Dunn that’s ready, showing tertiary character, and not overly bretty seems like a unicorn experience. When those things all come together, I can see why people love this producer so much. Unfortunately, it is rare.
Knew by the title this thread must be about Dunn! Thanks for the note.
Last time I had ‘86 Howell about 4.5 years ago, it wasn’t ready. So this is interesting. I don’t own these, so I benefit from generosity of others on occasion, but as of a couple years ago, I thought ‘78 was pretty much ready, and ‘82 and ‘84 were getting there. Ready meaning, I suspect, ready to drink well for a long time.
1987 Dunn Napa has been spectacular for over a decade. I have reloaded numerous times via auction without disappointment. Unbelievably effusive aromatics that literally fill the room from the decanter- really! And the texture is very silky yet with continued sense of underlying structure and depth for further development. So complex, so delicious. Seemingly immortal, yet no need to wait to enjoy this beauty!
Haha! I was thinking the same! The 86 HM was the first Dunn I ever had- in 1997 during college days. Amazing wine, but painfully young. The 1982 HM was just about there for me some 5 years later- but not quite there. I have yet to try one I thought fully mature- but then again never have I feared one in development was at risk of drying out.
Quite the optimist! I really enjoy Dunn wines but stopped buying after the '97 vintage. The last bottles I purchased were '97 Howell Mountain in magnums. Luckily. my girls are really into wine and hopefully grandkids as well!
I bought 4 bottles of Dunn as anniversary wines because of their reputation as being long lived. I am hoping they will last a long time, but interestingly while I have these bottles, I have actually never tried a Dunn before.