2016 Quivet Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard

Cabernet Sauvignon

  • USA
  • California
  • Napa Valley

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Community Tasting Note

  • msuwright wrote: 93 points

    October 29, 2019 - I decided to taste the 2016 and 2017 Quivet Piedras next to each other, in the name of science and all that. The conclusions: neither was great; both need time; and each are as good as (and probably the only ones) you’ll get out of LPV for $125. Still, let’s not sugarcoat things: the 2016 was plainly better, with more integration, depth, and balance. The 2017 was thinner, more straightforward, and less impressive. Oh, the vintages! Here are the notes:

    - 2016: Light purple in color; full in body; nose of boysenberry, graphite, and fresh embers (really, this was the one that seemed more grainy, almost smokey, like a barbecue potato chip, as opposed to the 2017, which just seemed a bit too clean). Tastes of sour cherry, pencil lead, espresso, and baking spices, with a grainy yet sweet finish. 15.1% alcohol. 93+ for now, since it still seems a bit rustic and unformed. Decant at least a few hours. Best in 2021 or later.

    - 2017: Similarly light purple in color, this wine is more light in body - there are no teardrops on glass like with the 2016, and its mouthfeel is more skim as opposed to 2%. The aromas, too, are bit more diffuse, with vague notes of black cherry and cardamon (and, really, I’m straining to find those). The tastes, too, seem superficial, with notes of blueberry skins, crushed raspberries, peppercorn, and fruit cake, with a spiny and bright finish (far lighter than the 2016). 15.1% alcohol. 90-91 for now. Best in 2022 or later, though I’m not sure if it will ever quite get there.

    The fruit in the 2016 was a bit chunky, and the fruit in the 2017 was a bit anemic. In other words, the 2016 needs time to lose weight, while the 2017 needs time to gain it. It was interesting how neither offered the pronounced chocolate notes that many providers (like Carter, Fait-Main, or Vice Versa) offer to go with the gravelly tastes of LPV. Maybe the 2017 will someday find its footing, but - right now - there’s no doubt the 2016 is the more promising wine.

    6 people found this helpful 2,531 views


  • Mark1npt commented:

    10/30/19, 5:18 AM - Did not taste any '17s from Quivet. Your assessment seems about right. The '17s at some houses were either too heavy or too thin. The heat really messed things up way more than the smoke did, IMO. I think I'm going to let what few '17s I have just sit for a year and then try.

  • Cristal2000 commented:

    10/30/19, 7:34 AM - Disappointing about the 2016. It has showed very well for me in the past; hopefully in a "phase". 2017 is unsurprising unfortunately. Thanks for the nice review!

  • csimm1161 commented:

    10/30/19, 9:04 AM - Man I’m hoping time resolves the 2016’s issues. I have absolutely loved this wine earlier in the year. Hmmmm.

  • Mark1npt commented:

    10/30/19, 9:46 AM - csimmm.....all these hedonistic fruit bombs (while satisfyingly good early) will surely be much better overall 'wines' in the years ahead.

  • csimm1161 commented:

    10/30/19, 10:36 AM - I hope you’re right my friend. Once the gluttonous baby fat is shed, those wines can either truly show their amazing core, or turn into blubbering slobberpusses (many 2007s had this issue). It seems like this particular Quivet has enough tension and stuffing to hold on for a stronger showing in the future, but.......... we shall see.....

  • Mark1npt commented:

    10/30/19, 1:24 PM - 'blubbering slobberpusses'

  • msuwright commented:

    10/30/19, 10:54 PM - Thanks for the comments, guys. I've decided to put away most of my 2016s for the moment, since tasting them now seems like the definition of insanity (i.e., doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result).

    It's hard because I found some 2016s to be ridiculously good (e.g., Memento Mori Crane, Vice Versa, Arkenstone) in the early going, but many of them just seemed too juicy and unformed. Oh well, time to move on and focus on the next vintage... or, er, onward to 2018!

  • Cristal2000 commented:

    10/31/19, 8:30 AM - This thread has hit on the biggest question mark about very fruit forward and opulent Napa Cabs (Bevan, Mike Smith, Venge..): Will they age, or do they turn into mush once the fruit dissipates? As far as I'm concerned, the jury is out. I know I personally don't expect a good drinking window after 7-10 years. The micro-oxidation used to get them ready early would seemingly be a big liability over the long haul. Time will tell!

  • Mark1npt commented:

    10/31/19, 9:24 AM - Cristal....that's a very good point. Precisely why I'm planning on drinking all my Napa wines in the next 10-12 years and all my BDX in the next 10-12 after that!

  • Jazz Nut commented:

    11/6/19, 3:25 PM - Thanks for the note! I found the 2016 (when I tasted it in the fall last year) to need a lot of time, it was extremely primary. I'll be sure to stock the 2017s that I received in the back of the cellar, unless bottle age won't serve this vintage well. I am hopeful for both vintages. A 2014 I opened last year didn't show as well as I had hoped either. I really think this vineyard should be producing 95+ point wines consistently.

  • Jazz Nut commented:

    11/6/19, 3:31 PM - Cristal, to your questions about the ability to age of Bevan, etc., he's stated the tannin volume and other factors lead him to believe they will age well. But time will tell, for all of these voluptuous wines! I had a 2009 Kenefick Ranch recently and it wasn't very exciting, but I was comparing that to a 2015 and 2016, so take that with a grain of salt. It wasn't over the hill or anything, just muted.

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