2018 LPV Blind Tasting: VV, Carter, Fait Main, Quivet and B Cellars

Lang's

Tasted February 27, 2021 by Cristal2000 with 131 views

Introduction

Fun to try all these blind with no bias.

Flight 1 (5 notes)

Red
2018 Vice Versa Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard USA, California, Napa Valley, St. Helena
98 points
2018 LPV blind tasting. Wines: Vice Versa, Carter La Verdad, Quivet, Fait Main and B Cellars. Six total tasters. All wines decanted 3+ hours.

The VV tied for first with Verdad. It was a little closed to start but started putting on weight as it was exposed to more and more air. I'd say this is the most classically made and well balanced wine of the group. The acidity was a bit crisper and the focus a bit better. While they all begged for more time in the bottle, this one seems the clear longer term ager of the group. Overall, while not as ripe or powerful as the Verdad, it was my favorite by a hair.
4 people found this helpful Comments (4)
Red
2018 Quivet Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard USA, California, Napa Valley
94 points
2018 LPV blind tasting. Wines: Vice Versa, Carter La Verdad, Quivet, Fait Main and B Cellars. Six total tasters. All wines decanted 3+ hours.

The Quivet came in 4th. It was very interesting to have two Mike Smith wines from the same vintage and vineyard in the tasting, yet be so dramatically different. I picked out the Verdad blind fairly easily, but this was harder. While it had some of the richness associated with his style, it also had the most char and funk on the nose. The acidity was a bit higher and the tannin a little rougher. Didn't match the silky texture of the Carter, nor the purity. Overall it was a good wine, but overshadowed in this tasting. I had it third.
4 people found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
2018 B Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard USA, California, Napa Valley, St. Helena
95 points
2018 LPV blind tasting. Wines: Vice Versa, Carter La Verdad, Quivet, Fait Main and B Cellars. Six total tasters. All wines decanted 3+ hours.

The B Cellars came in 3rd. Lord almighty you better love vanilla and oak to enjoy this wine. Easily the most polarizing of the group. Some loved the oak, and others (like me), struggled with how it overwhelmed the rest of the wine. This is super full bodied with lots of depth of flavor and a huge finish. It loses some points for lack of balance and overall focus. Some of the oak will likely integrate and blow off over time.
4 people found this helpful Comments (3)
Red
2018 Fait-Main Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Las Piedras USA, California, Napa Valley, St. Helena
93 points
2018 LPV blind tasting. Wines: Vice Versa, Carter La Verdad, Quivet, Fait Main and B Cellars. Six total tasters. All wines decanted 3+ hours.

The FM came in last. It was last for 5 out of 6 of us, including me. I actually thought this was probably the Quivet. I was really disappointed, as I figured the FM would be close to the top. The nose was muted, the acidity was high toned, the depth was lacking and overall it was the least interesting. I've had so many great bottles of FM I am willing to say this may have just been a bad bottle or opened at the wrong time. There was no doubt however that on this night, it was the worst of the group. Even had some left over the next day and it was still uninteresting.
2 people found this helpful Comments (3)
Red
2018 Carter Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon La Verdad Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard USA, California, Napa Valley
98 points
2018 LPV blind tasting. Wines: Vice Versa, Carter La Verdad, Quivet, Fait Main and B Cellars. Six total tasters. All wines decanted 3+ hours.

The Carter tied for 1st. For me at least, there was a huge gap between the VV/Carter and the rest of the field. This showed the most depth of flavor, the most seamless tannin integration, exceptional purity and as usual, was a delight to all the senses. I always feel like it's a good idea to drink Mike's wines in the first 5-7 years, and this is no exception. My sense is the VV will overtake the Carter as time passes, but for popping now or in the near future, it's hard to beat the Verdad.
5 people found this helpful Comments (1)
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