Columbia Valley, Washington
WINEMAKER – Randy Dunn
Randy Dunn is one of the world’s most celebrated makers of extraordinary Cabernet Sauvignons. Dunn established his reputation at Caymus Winery from 1975 to 1985, where his Cabernet Sauvignons became the benchmark for the industry. In addition, his artistry shaped other premium wineries that now enjoy an acclaimed place in the sun (Pahlmeyer, Livingston, La Jota and others). Since 1979, Dunn has produced roughly 5,000 cases a year of his Dunn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignons. Randy is known not only for his famous wines, but for his philosophy on how to make wine. He does it his way – leaving the floor of the Napa Valley “to corn and melon farmers,” he tends his vines in the red stony soil of Howell Mountain. There are no road signs; no retail sales. And don’t look for him in a winery tour. No time for that, as Randy spends his quiet hours making his wonderful heirloom wines.
As always the Feather is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2014 Feather is a blend of four of Washington’s top Cabernet Sauvignon regions, selected to create a complex, layered wine. Equal parts Dionysis (Columbia Valley) and Weinbau (Wahluke Slope) vineyards give the wine its sructure and backbone, along with intense fruit flavors. Summit View Vineyard (Walla Walla) adds a dark fruit component, particularly notable on the mid-palate and Sonnet Vineyard (Horse Heaven Hills) brings elegant, refined tannins to the finished blend.
Hand-harvested grapes picked at the peak of ripeness were sorted, lightly crushed and fermented in small stainless steel tanks. Once fermentation was underway, the cap was pumped over aggressively to extract color and structure. As fermentation neared completion, pump-overs were handled more gently to continue to extract color and flavor without imparting harsh tannins. The finished wine was aged 22 months in 90% new Vicard French oak barrels, Randy’s cooper of choice at Dunn Vineyards as well.
97 points – Jeb Dunnuck