2016 Bryant Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon

  • USA
  • California
  • Napa Valley

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Community Tasting Note

  • csimm1161 wrote: 98 points

    April 30, 2021 - 3 days in Napa: Arkenstone, Memento Mori, Maxem, The French Laundry, Christopher Tynan, Kinsman, Harlan, Vice Versa, Accendo, Fairchild, Macdonald, and a truckload of others (Napa): Blackberry skin, bitter chocolate, black rock, and anise notes leap from the glass with nervy tension and a firm acidic clamp that instantly grips the palate and the jaw with skillful might. Finishes wonderfully dry and focused, this was an amazing accompaniment with food. Reminding me of a 2016 Harlan, but without the extra booze the Harlan was displaying, the Bryant is surely a youngster, but shows its youth with nerve and acid and not with unresolved overt alcohol. The controlled intensity is noteworthy. Profile-wise, I loved this wine’s black fruit and dark minerality, with the cacao notes adding even more interest.

    Revisiting this bottle 24 later proved that this thing can go the real distance. It was preforming beautifully, exhibiting even more expansion of black cherry and plum flavors, with some developed earthy-spice elements also showing especially well after the one-day mark. A wine to hold for sure. Try again in a decade and be rewarded. 98+ points.

    This was served next to a 2018 Macdonald, sharing similar profiles generally, but I did find it interesting (as much as I loved the Bryant) how the Macdonald possessed that true “it” factor that secured its dominance among all of the wines we were fortunate enough to have tried. For those Bryant followers, this is a phenomenal wine worthy of continued cellar time. Hold for a decade+.

    2 people found this helpful 3,277 views


  • MJP Hou TX commented:

    5/1/21, 7:10 AM - I'm very curious as to the story of being able to revisit so many of these wines after 24 hours. Bottles with corks replaced must have been all over the place! Good stuff!

  • csimm1161 commented:

    5/1/21, 9:18 AM - So long story short, a ton of the wine we opened at VV's cave with Patrice and Samantha were left unfinished by the end of the night... there were only eight of us and dozens of wines, so even with the lushes at the table, we still had leftovers. We corked all the bottles and brought them back to the VRBO. The next night was a dinner at a VRBO, so we popped them all open again to see how they had evolved (or devolved).

  • MJP Hou TX commented:

    5/1/21, 9:20 AM - Nice! Patrice was very generous in our visit also. Almost no room at the table because of all the glassware and bottles. Thanks again for sharing the experience with us.

  • gymnastpro commented:

    5/1/21, 10:03 AM - I love the 16 Bryant. I have two bottles. And out of all the wine I have ever tasted so far. The 16 Bryant has been second only to the 14 Promontory!

  • csimm1161 commented:

    5/1/21, 10:09 AM - That's some quality juice gymnast, with the price points to match. They seem definitely "worth" it though. It's always hard when a Macdonald comes across the table at a fraction of the DTC price (though obviously harder to get DTC and in lesser quantities) and just OWNS the other wines around it. That aside, I was absolutely impressed with this Bryant. Very sophisticated and compelling juice.

  • gymnastpro commented:

    5/1/21, 10:15 AM - Got it. Ya people praise Macdonald but I've never had it. Bought one 14 Mac on the secondary market just to see if the hype is real.

  • csimm1161 commented:

    5/1/21, 10:19 AM - Everyone has their favorites of course. Macdonald is clearly one of mine. Stylistically, I'd say it's not dissimilar to Bryant, especially given the likenesses in sophisticated structure and tension.

  • gymnastpro commented:

    5/1/21, 10:38 AM - Have you had the 14? I will be excited to try it then.

  • csimm1161 commented:

    5/1/21, 10:41 AM - I did a vertical of 2013-2016 with Alex and a couple of fellow CT'ers about a year-and-a-half ago and they were are fantastic. The 2014 was the most accessible right out of the gate. It's a good bottle to have because I imagine it will be a great gauge into the style without having to wait a decade from vintage. I have notes on all of those vintages here on Cellar Tracker. Below is a link to the "Story" with the notes if you want to cut/paste the link.

  • gymnastpro commented:

    5/1/21, 10:46 AM - Copy thanks for the info! Do they do tastings even if you aren't on the active list? I might be dead before I get an allocation and I'm 26 ha!

  • csimm1161 commented:

    5/1/21, 10:57 AM - Macdonald doesn't have traditional tastings, but Alex does schedule some appointments to sample one vintage of the wine (usually most recent, but not always), and then walk you around the vineyard and go over the history of the family and the site. If that's of interest, my suggestion is to email them directly and mention your obvious passion for wine and interest in perhaps meeting up. I have no idea about their availability and if they are meeting up with non-list members at the moment, but I know they appreciate those of us who are here on CT and share an elevated interest in and pursuit of top-shelf wines.

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