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Wine Icons: Mayacamas and Dunn Vineyards, a three decade retrospective
September 18, 2014 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Twin Cities Wine Education LLC presents a very special wine event
Maycamas Vineyards and Dunn Vineyards, a three decade retrospective
One of the many gems we will be enjoying in this class: 1997 Dunn Napa Valley Cabernet
In the grand history of Napa Valley, only a handful of names can claim true “Icon” status. This short list includes some producers and wines that due to a cult-like following of rabid fans (as well as incredible press from Wine Spectator and Robert Parker) are nearly impossible to find.
For this special evening, we will be tasting and discussing two of these icons: Mayacamas Winery and Dunn Vineyards, tasting wines going back to the 1980’s.
Mayacamas, located high on Mount Veeder due west of the town of Napa, was one of the original cult wines of Napa Valley. Until recently it was owned and operated by Bob Travers, who purchased the property in 1968 and as he said, “Didn’t change a thing, including the winemaking.” As he watched his Napa Valley neighbors below him get more extracted, rich, and hedonistic in style, Travers stuck to his guns and made a wine to age gracefully. Travers recently sold the estate to the former owners of Screaming Eagle, basically closing a chapter in Napa Valley wine. As a result, the value of Traver’s-era Mayacama Cabernet is starting to go up-up-up.
Dunn Vineyards, located on the opposite side of the valley but equally high in Howell Mountain, is owned and operated by Randy Dunn, an outspoken and singular force in shaping Napa Valley into what it is today. His wines have been called by some the best of Napa Valley, by others simply too tannic to ever shake loose and show their true beauty. Rarely are older bottles of Dunn Napa Valley and Dunn Howell Mountain available to taste, but I grew fascinated by them in my early days of wine exploration because they often had the longest drinking window according to Robert Parker. It was not out of the ordinary to read such statements as “will drink well for the next 30 to 50 years.” Well, we’ll put that to the test with a bottle of Dunn Howell Mountain Cabernet from the 1980’s.
We will begin this special night with a tasting of some delicious wines from other producers, while discussing in detail the history of both estates. Then we will do the tasting, featuring one wine from each producer from each of three decades: the 2000’s, the 1990’s, and the 1980’s. All bottles are in excellent condition with top provenance, and will be presented properly decanted and served in Riedel stemware.
This will be a tasting you’ll never forget.