Looking for something unique, The wines of Randy Dunn really need no introduction in the US. First with Caymus Vineyards, where Randy was the winemaker from 1975 through 1985, and then with his eponymous Dunn label, whose first release was a 1979 Cabernet from Howell Mountain fruit, Dunn’s wines have made people take notice. Indeed, much of Caymus’s fame was built on the wines of those vintages, and while the Dunn wines are cut from a different cloth, they have won admirers for years.
Dunn has been on a crusade to reverse the upward spiral of alcohol in Cabernet, a trend he sees as not only destroying the style of wine on which Napa has made its reputation but also neutralizing any sense of place.
He is so opposed to making wine above 14 percent alcohol that he openly resorts to a controversial method known as reverse osmosis, which removes some of his wine's alcohol.
With Napa's price ceiling now hitting $750 per bottle, it's harder to categorize Dunn's wines. Are they great bargain cult bottles, or holdovers from a less prestigious era?
"I've been in many conversations with people that have been selling their wines for $150 a bottle for 15 years, and I was at $65 or something. They go, 'What are you doing? You're making us look like fools,' " he says. "And I said, 'You know, I'm quite profitable at this level.' Here's a concept called greed."