2016 Vice Versa Cabernet Sauvignon BBS Beckstoffer Dr. Crane

Cabernet Sauvignon

  • USA
  • California
  • Napa Valley
  • St. Helena

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Community Tasting Note

  • csimm1161 wrote: 98 points

    May 17, 2021 - I've written quite a bit here already, so I won't go too in-depth specifically on this wine. This was full of depth and flavor expansion from the very beginning. Ripe and rich, but not too sweet (which I very much appreciate), with a texture that gorgeously coats the palate, the BBS Crane is indeed a top shelf representation of the site. This was ready to go on PnP, and even more compelling after an hour or so of slow O2 and some swirling in the glass. Phenomenal stuff.

    Served next to a 2015 VV LPV (not BBS) that was much more linear and reserved - perhaps a product of the vintage and the site. The LPV is a solid performer, but needs more time. The Crane is splayed with fruit flavor.

    My man Cristal2000 keeps trying to sell me on the notion that Crane is the superior site over LPV. I'm reluctant to acquiesce and surrender on this just yet, as I have become sensitive to how plush and "fruity" Cranes can become sometimes. The LPV can be more mulish indeed, but when it shines, it's exactly what I'm looking for. Interestingly, the 2019 VV LPV was an absolute shining rock star compared to the 2019 VV Crane at the time of our recent tasting of the VV barrel samples. So, once again it depends on hitting these wines at the right time. The LPV certainly does seem to have more of a "shut down" period (or whatever the hip term is for it these days) than the Crane generally speaking. As far as this comparison between the 2016 Crane BBS and 2015 LPV (maybe not a fair fight), I will say this: Cristal2000 - You've won the battle, but not the war...

    3 people found this helpful 2,232 views


  • Cristal2000 commented:

    5/17/21, 10:37 AM - Like the Japanese after Peal Harbor, you've lost the war, you just don't know it yet...

  • csimm1161 commented:

    5/17/21, 11:09 AM - You mean the Japan that has had one of the most highly developed free-market economies in the world? That Japan??

  • Cristal2000 commented:

    5/17/21, 11:13 AM - I mean the Japan that bit off more than it could chew and bowed down in defeat to the USA...much the same as the LPV to the Crane. :)

  • csimm1161 commented:

    5/17/21, 11:23 AM - So, Crane is the hero-syndrome 'Merica type and LPV is centered on cultural respect and etiquette. Ok ya, that does make sense then... :)

  • Cristal2000 commented:

    5/17/21, 11:25 AM - LPV is the one who took an uncivilized cheap shot while Crane wasn't looking...Crane only defended itself, and summarily crushed LPV

  • csimm1161 commented:

    5/17/21, 11:42 AM - Ever the patriot... Trying to turn even the simplest of wine consumptions into a Marine history lesson, all in the name of your fruity freedom juice. Last I checked, you have quite a bit of that LPV coward water stashed away in your cellar. Speaking of battling, are we “site shaming” or something? I’m not sure what the kids call it these days on the webernet or whatever it’s called...

  • Cristal2000 commented:

    5/17/21, 11:56 AM - Well now, LPV is certainly no Frenchie juice. Plenty of fruit from that site. I have no issue with LPV, just can't see it being relatively better than the good Doctor, even if Crane is a bit more sultry and the skirt is a bit shorter...

  • NickRut commented:

    5/17/21, 3:23 PM - I always struggle with Crane vs LPV vs BTK for the top spot for me for modern Napa. First world problems.

    Any must hit tastings from your recent trip? Putting together something for in a few weeks. Wondering what the can’t miss stops are?

  • csimm1161 commented:

    5/17/21, 3:39 PM - Hi Nick! Well first off it seems this is an appropriate place to plug Vice Versa! Always a GREAT tasting to hook up there if possible. If you can score a meet with Kinsman, that’s a must (they were new to me - Cristal2000 hooked that up!). Their wines are so compelling. For me Tynan is also a solid tasting, though Christopher can be pretty busy. Hitting up Mike Smith never disappoints. Sampling Macdonald is always at the top, though generally you’re sampling one wine - but it’s an awesome wine! Those are my favorites off the top of my head. I mean, I’d now also say Harlan, but that’s a whole other story haha.

  • LiteItOnFire commented:

    5/19/21, 10:40 PM - Nick- I highly suggest Screaming something or other. Always a solid tasting.

    Enough with all of this Napa talk- who is in for quick Bordeaux tasting in July using my favors to do cool stuff? Who is with me? Bueller?

  • NickRut commented:

    5/20/21, 12:52 PM - Appreciate the thoughts on tastings. Sent a note to VV to see what they could do. Kinsman is unfortunately already booked up. Luckily I was able to grab a few of the last release so I won't go without.

    Lite - Does Screaming whatever have a heli-pad? Trying to take my helicopter to that tasting if possible.

  • LiteItOnFire commented:

    5/20/21, 1:14 PM - Nick you are so silly, why would you need a helipad when you would teleport?

    Carter, Fait Main, Myriad, Greer, Lail, Matt Morris (Charbono), Memento Mori, Ovid, La Pelle, Vangone, William and Marie

  • NickRut commented:

    5/20/21, 1:34 PM - Good point on the heli...

    Good list as well. Thank you.

    CSimm - On your trip it looks like you got to taste a lot of the Kaplan wines. Who did you coordinate that with? Would love to have a similar experience.

  • csimm1161 commented:

    5/20/21, 2:18 PM - Hi Nick. I don’t have a special connect necessarily but I would direct email Arkenstone (Adrian was our host for Ark) and tell them what you’re specifically looking for tasting-wise and see what they can accommodate. As you well know, sometimes it depends on who is around at any given time and what they are able to show/taste you on.

    That’s what I do at least (cuz it changes sometimes - one trip I’ll be interested in recent vintages, but another place I may ask about trying some other specific wine). Nowadays I’m generally a proponent of telling the wineries directly what I’m interested in tasting and then seeing if they can do it. It saves everyone a lot of time and clarifies the expectations of the tasting. If they can’t, then you decide if it’s worth the stop. You also learn who the generous and hungry wineries are and who could care less about you. Anyway, I know I’m preaching to the choir, but that’s what I tend to do and luckily there are some really great folks in the business who are gracious and generous with their tastings, especially to us wine geeks who show a genuine interest and passion in the great wines they make. It may sound cheesy, but reaching out with a more personal request can go a long way with people.

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