2017 Tusk Estates Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon

  • USA
  • California
  • Napa Valley

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Community Tasting Note

  • Cristal2000 Likes this wine: 93 points

    March 28, 2021 - Just arrived, but wanted to see what I'm working with here in this difficult vintage. Decanted 5 hours before consumption. Must say, this is the least interesting Tusk I've had. It's young, so hopefully it'll come around.

    Starts with a lot of alcohol on the nose, but also shows nice floral, blackberry and earthy aromas. The palate is pretty indicative of the vintage - higher toned red berry, with above average acidity and not nearly the depth or well rounded flavor profile of recent vintages. The texture is excellent and there's no hint of smoke taint or other issues that plagued the vintage, but generally it is just unremarkable for the price point. Gets pretty sharp on a medium length finish.



  • yeti575rider commented:

    3/28/21, 7:17 PM - "unremarkable for the price point" is a bit of an understatement. $400+ wine? I assume you didn't want to risk being dropped off the list for 2018. I still hate that Napa never drops prices for "lesser" vintages. Easy to skip bordeaux vintages because of the excessive supply but Napa holds the waiting list over your head - some places much less so than others. It's more similar to Burgundy I guess in a lot of ways. Sounds like there is hope it will get a bit better.

  • Cristal2000 commented:

    3/28/21, 7:54 PM - Tusk is a bit unique, as they make very little wine and have quite a line to get it. When I got on the list, the only way on was if you knew someone at Tusk or a customer already receiving their wine. Not sure if that is still the case today. That still doesn't make spending $400 for a 2017 that's just "okay" feel better, but it's certainly why I gave it a run hoping for the best. And aftermarket is higher of course. This is more a pet project where they likely make no money on it, so very unusual in the world of Napa. Heck, the parties they throw probably cost about 25% of their total revenue from Tusk sales. It's an oddity. I've always found their wine to be very good although it's a bit of a mystery as to where they source their grapes.

    Funny to watch the higher production high end wineries pull some annoying tactics, like Spottswoode making you buy 2017 if you want 2018. Now that's just plain taking advantage of your list, especially since they distribute so much wine you will almost certainly find 2018 for release price at many different stores.

    Anyhow, yeah, I think there's the potential for this wine to get better, but in my estimation it'll never be a 2012-2016 wine. But hey, 2018 is on the horizon...

  • LiteItOnFire commented:

    4/26/21, 7:26 AM - With all of the other wines out there at or under $500 these wines to me no longer make sense. Hope the ‘18 is a better value for you. Thanks for posting the note.

  • Cristal2000 commented:

    4/26/21, 7:43 AM - I can't argue on value for the money. I've enjoyed some great times at Tusk, so there's a sentimental value. But strictly on price to quality, it rarely makes sense to spend this much.

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