When Mike and Kara Dunn decided to make a wine of their own, they knew that they wanted to honor the history of the vineyard as well as their families (Mike is the son of Randy Dunn – Dunn Vineyards) foundations in the Napa Valley wine industry.
The historic Park Muscatine vineyard on Howell Mountain was chosen in part because Mike has known this vineyard since his childhood, pruning the vineyard in winter, and harvesting the fruit in the fall. With its scant ton per acre production, this vineyard is a gem.
They chose the Retro name to pay homage to the generational groundwork that’s been laid for their endeavor, and with a vision for continuity in the future literally illustrated by the artwork on the label, which came from the hand of their then 11-year-old son, Alex. Alex, now 23, is a graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute, and part-time cellars hand at Dunn Vineyards and Retro Cellars.
Mike Dunn’s winemaking style can be described as “retro” in that his aim is to allow the terroir to express itself in the bottle, he makes the wine as naturally as possible, and ages the wine in french oak barrels for an extended period of 30-32 months. For the aging of the Petite Sirah, Mike selected French oak barrels from four prestigious coopers: Tonnellerie Garonnaise, Tonnellerie Damy, Tonnellerie Billon and Richelieu. Located on the outskirts of Beaune, France (Burgundy region) the Tonnelleries produce wine barrels of superior quality.
Almost opaque purple color showing no signs of age. Deeply complex, intense, fragrant aromas of blackberry, ripe cherries, spice drawer, cedar pencil shavings and finely ground white peppercorn. Fresh and intense, full-bodied and flexing! Ripe black and red fruits power a long, fresh, supple finish. At this point the wine will be best with winter game stews or braised red meats. Summer time with the ultimate smoked or bbq’d tri-tip or brisket. Cigar anyone? Will be on alert in your cellar for many years to come. ES
Retro’s 2014 Petite Sirah (Napa Valley) is fabulous. Dark red cherry, plum, iron, smoke and menthol infuse this potent, deeply layered Petite. Medium in body and pliant, the 2014 possesses tremendous fruit intensity allied to soft tannins for a young Petite, a pretty appealing combination in my book. The 2014 is super-ripe, flamboyant and incredibly delicious. In this vintage, all of the fruit was sourced from Pope Valley. – Antonio Galloni, Vinous, 94 points