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.
Walla Walla Valley vineyards excelled under 2016’s warm growing conditions. A selection of top Walla Walla vineyards, which contribute 50% of this blend, provide the wine’s rich mid-palate and vibrant bing cherry flavors. Dionysus Vineyard Cabernet (25%) gives the wine its structure and intense fruit flavors. The balance of the blend was sourced from a selection of Randy’s favorite Columbia Valley vineyards that define Feather’s rich, ripe character year after year.
Handpicked grapes were sorted, lightly crushed and fermented in small stainless-steel tanks. Then, at the peak of fermentation, the cap was pumped over aggressively to enhance color and structure. As fermentation neared completion, pump overs were handled more gently to further extract color and flavor without imparting harsh tannins. The finished wine was aged 22 months in all French oak barrels, 90% new.
95 points – Jeb Dunnuck