Tasting Notes for Cristal2000

(1,078 notes on 821 wines)

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Red
2018 The Mascot Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
12/7/2022 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
94 points
This is one of the better Mascot's I've had, going back to the 2013 vintage. Cassis, tobacco, violets and forest floor on an expressive, clean nose. Palate shows plenty of fruit around a solid structure with decent levels of acidity. It's pure and weightless with integrated tannins, seamless texture and a relatively long finish. It may not remind you of Harlan or Promontory, but for the price, there's class and sophistication here in a wine you can drink young - which I gather is the point. Can use some time, but it's not a horrible idea to pop one early.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
11/4/2022 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
96 points
The interesting Blair version of Bard...an SVD, but shares the name "Bard" with the 7000 case blend and apparently this may be the only version of it. Not sure how they came up with that, but I was willing to roll with it to the tune of three bottles. Only about double the price, so my fiscal side was sleeping again, as tends to happen with wine. After that mess of an intro, I have to say, this is really good wine.

Right now the best part of this wine is the bouquet (aroma, nose..etc). It is soooo striking, with violets jumping out glass bringing with it blackberry pie, crushed rock, forest floor and deep, grainy earthy notes. That's a $500 napa nose right there - amazing. The nose led me to believe this was going to be rich and possibly extracted, but shockingly, it's restrained, with excellent balance a great purity, The tannins are powerful, but sweet and integrated, and the spine is powerful, bringing great overall structure. It is by no means a fruit bomb either, with really impressive savory notes to complement the deep purple expressive fruit. Powerful and somewhat tannic finish. Overall, this is really good and better than the "blend" Bard. I don't think it will keep up with the more established Realm SVD's over long periods of time, but for the next 5 years or so, this is going to be fabulous.
1 person found this helpful Comments (4)
White
11/2/2022 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
95 points
Well, this is certainly interesting. Let's start with the really impressive bottle and label. This is done in a SQN style, and I find it quite distinctive, being large, attractive and unique. I looked on the back and it says 13.4% alcohol. Now, I've never had an Andremily wine that didn't taste like around 20%, so that caught my attention. I'm saying no way.

Pnp, and yeah, this probably needs a nice decant but you know, sometimes that is the way it goes. Deep dehydrated pee yellow in the glass. This is definitely not going to be Chablis. Impressive rich nose that says "I am going to be super dense". Creme brûlée dominates, with butterscotch, embers, lemon curd, white flowers and hints of oak. On the palate, ummm yeah, if this is 13.4% alc then the world is flat (and yes, in the world we live in I am sure many actually think that now). Nevertheless, it carries the weight well, with super ripe, fine grained and integrated sweet tannin and a massive core of fruit and stone that is waiting to unfurl. It doesn't come across heavy or overbearing, thanks to some acidity and lift, but this clearly isn't going to be the hyper focused cutting white to pair with your favorite fish. Lots of room to develop, but shows great length and is certainly as fabulous effort for Andremily's first white. It is texturally brilliant but also putting off a bunch of alcohol right now. Honestly, I find this more compelling than the reds.
5 people found this helpful Comments (14)
Red
10/27/2022 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
94 points
Vinter Dinner for Napa in Newport (Supporting Cure Duchenne) (Pacific Club - Newport Beach): Drinking this next to the 05 Helms and 18 Lotus wasn't really fair. By comparison, it was the most fruit forward, jammy and lush offering on the table. That being said, this was really enjoyable, with lovely pure fruit showing off notes of creme de cassis, blackberries, vanilla extract and tilled soil. On the palate, the tannin profile is wonderfully refined, with a suave mouthfeel and layers of beautiful fruit. As you'd expect, it doesn't have the overall complexity or depth of the Dana SVD's, but it's still super fun to drink.
Red
10/27/2022 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
98 points
Vinter Dinner for Napa in Newport (Supporting Cure Duchenne) (Pacific Club - Newport Beach): This is a terrific wine in a fabulous vintage for Napa. Aromas of dark cherries, dark chocolate, red clay, wet stone and deeply fragrant earth. Super firm, structured and powerful on the palate, this is build like a brick house with fine grained powerful tannin hemming in huge levels of gorgeous fruit and layers of minerality. While clearly built for age, this manages to come off refined at the same time, with depth for days and a massive finish. Best wine I've tasted from Dana.
Red
10/27/2022 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
96 points
Vinter Dinner for Napa in Newport (Supporting Cure Duchenne) (Pacific Club - Newport Beach): Drank this alongside an 18 Lotus and 19 Onda. The aromas made it clear which wine was 17 yrs old, as this had an amazing, Bordeaux like perfumed bouquet of mint, eucalyptus, tobacco and white pepper. This is holding up remarkably well, with great freshness and crisp acidity backing up still generous levels of dark fruit. It's balanced and very complex at this stage, showing off wonderful tertiary elements and finishing long and savory. For my palate, this is in a great spot, but I think it'll last another 10 years+.
White
10/27/2022 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
95 points
Vinter Dinner for Napa in Newport (Supporting Cure Duchenne) (Pacific Club - Newport Beach): Drinking this 7yr old SB from Dana gave me an appreciation for how well these wines are made. Shockingly, this wine is not even at mid-life in my estimation. Starts with a similar profile to the 2020 Onda SB I had alongside, although with less citrus fruit and a more evolved nose of stone and brioche. The entry is silky and suave, with fabulous balance and texture, showing off good levels of complexity with a herbaceous backbone. There is still depth for days, with plenty of lush fruit and still hints of cedar. The finish sets it apart with layers of mineral drive. Quite an effort - count me a fan!
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
10/27/2022 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
94 points
Vinter Dinner for Napa in Newport (Supporting Cure Duchenne) (Pacific Club - Newport Beach): A new wine from Dana, sourced from Hershey vineyard which is the same as the flagship SB. The barrel treatment is different, but these wines aren't far apart. Apparently the main difference is they are making quite a bit more of the Onda SB.

Striking aromas of grapefruit, crushed rock, wet stone, peaches and hints of cedar. This is a white made for age, with a deeply concentrated core of expressive pure fruit. It's balanced and complemented nicely by a mid-palate driven by mineral driven flavors and a very long, powerful finish. There's still some oak to integrate, so I'd suggest giving this a couple years in the cellar, but it's a serious SB and not far off from the much more expensive flagship offering.
Red
10/24/2022 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
95 points
Another bottle generously opened by MJP when we visited him in Houston. This was a last min pull, and could have used a decant. That alone surprised me, because I just didn't expect a 10 yr old Cab Franc from Hourglass to be so age worthy. While this wasn't yet singing, it had tremendous energy, with a pure and youthful profile that showed off really focused, expressive red fruit and an herbal complexity that elevated the experience. Lighter on its feet than the Abreu had alongside, this wine was about the energy for me. Another hour in the decanter and I suspect it would have been singing. Great find MJP!
1 person found this helpful Comments (3)
Red
2010 Abreu Cappella Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
10/24/2022 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
97 points
MJP graciously opened this bottle at lunch with our wives in Houston. I haven't had many Abreu wines, but this is definitely a testament to how well they age. Splash decanted, but really didn't have much air as we took it down quickly. The nose and the wine itself are very complex at this stage, with lots of tertiary flavors of mushrooms and tobacco weaved in effortlessly with dark, pure concentrated fruit. A very big wine, this is aging at a lovely, restrained pace, with massive depth of flavor, wonderful integration and a super long finish.. This should drink well for 15-20 more years. Decant if opening now. Thanks again to MJP for hosting!
2 people found this helpful Comments (7)
White
10/24/2022 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
94 points
Had this with MJP and wives in Houston. Very nice of MJP to host. I adore this wine, but was a bit more skeptical of the 2020 vintage. Long story short, it still manages to pull the concentration and acidity together and make a really terrific chard, but it's not quite up there with 18 or 19 from recent memory. Very pure, with great depth and a bit of a cutting acidic edge, it still needs time to integrate the oak and other elements, but should be singing in a few years. Definitely decant this white.
2 people found this helpful Comments (11)
Red
10/1/2022 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
97 points
Bright purple, this is so energetic and wild it tastes like a barrel sample. Densely packed with abundant flavors of blackberries, layer cake, licorice and hints of new oak, this shows off incredible levels of concentration with sweet tannin and plenty of structure. It has the iron fist in a velvet glove nature that allows it to overwhelm your palate with flavor without the least bit of heaviness. Finishes super long and spicy. This is a baby right now and needs a few years, but it's fantastic.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
9/21/2022 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
96 points
Gorgeous translucent purple in the glass, with aromas of creme de cassis, asian spices, violets, menthol and dank earth. Muscular, taut and impressive, this shines with rich and dense layers of dark fruit combined with excellent precision. All the earth and mineral driven components are there, along with huge, fine grained but gripping tannins that keep the flavor somewhat at bay. Super long finish. Had this PnP, and you can tell it's going to be shut down with some air. Needs to rest, but this will be excellent.
5 people found this helpful Comments (8)
Red
9/16/2022 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
97 points
Doubled decanted about 3 hours before dinner. Thankfully, the wine never shut down and seemed to be at its sweet spot with about 4 hours of air. The 18 didn't quite have the opulent flare of the 19 I had a couple weeks ago, but it was still fantastic.

Aromas of creme de cassis, menthol, tobacco, violets and fragrant earth. This is big but firm, with regal tannins and prominent energetic layers of fruit. It doesn't fill up the mid palate like a similar Napa Cab might, but stays totally composed and tight knit, with building complexity and a super long finish. Clearly this was an infant, but that is really how I enjoy my wines. Total class in a bottle.
Red
9/11/2022 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
96 points
I've always thought Cliff Lede & Chris Tynan make a few fantastic wines that are somewhat under the radar, and this is certainly in that category, along with their Poetry and To Kalon. For the price, this is hard to beat.

Really dark purple in the glass, this is all about the dark chocolate, blackberries, spicy overtones and deeply fragrant earthly elements. Rich, concentrated and yet refined, it delivers full bodied flavor in waves with wonderfully pure fruit and savory notions, while retaining its freshness. The tannins are well integrated, but this hasn't aged much in its seven years of life. Even for those of us who enjoy the primary flavors, this will likely keep delivering for at least another 5+ years and last 20+ more.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
8/25/2022 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
97 points
Had PnP. Absolutely heroic nose, with loads of creme de cassis, explosive floral notes, scorched earth, cigar box and tilled soil. Reminded me of Napa's Las Piedras. Uber refined palate, with ripe, powerful and integrated tannins, a silky mouthfeel and wonderfully layered black and blue fruit. This is certainly opulent for Bordeaux, but it is so incredibly well done, with terrific balance and plenty of lift from the acidity. The elegance and refinement are off the charts, as is the ridiculously long finish. As one critic would say, this is pure Haute Couture. My general sense is either get at it right now without a decant, or wait 7+ years.
5 people found this helpful Comments (4)
White
2020 Y de Yquem Bordeaux Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
8/20/2022 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
97 points
First time with this wine. Super interesting, as it combines a creamy, rich and provocative flavor profile with streaks of stark mineral driven flavors in a sophisticated, yet citrus driven package. That meshing of contrasting styles makes it one of the better overall wines I have tasted with these varietals.

Aromas of lemon zest, apricots, orange rind, pears, white flowers, wet stone and crushed rock. Palate is at once firm and expressive, showing off wonderfully pure and concentrated flavors with serious depth of flavor. Big mid palate brings it to a higher level. Nice mineral driven streak, showing hints of savory notions as it progresses to a very long finish. Excellent.
2 people found this helpful Comments (3)
Red
8/20/2022 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
99 points
Had this alongside a 2019 Ausone. While the Ausone showed best at PnP, the Mouton hit its stride around hour 3 in the decanter. There was a magical window at that point, and then by hour 6 it had completely shutdown.

A fabulous vintage for this wine. Displayed soaring aromas of creme de cassis, white flowers, sweet tobacco, asian spices and wet stone. For a Bordeaux, this is very opulent, with ripe tannins that are almost immediately hemmed in by significant structure and excellent levels of acidity. For the brief time when the fruit was allowed to come out and play, this was spectacular, showing insane purity and incredible persistence as it danced around on the palate. Even in a more showy vintage, the sophistication, elegance and polish set it apart from nearly all other wines. Absolutely loved it, but it's going to be a challenge to find the right drinking window if you kill this baby.
6 people found this helpful Comments (12)
Red
2019 Château Ausone St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
8/20/2022 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
98 points
Had this alongside a 2019 Mouton Rothschild. Both were obviously babies, but the experience showed me how great this vintage is likely to be for my palate. If you're drinking this wine now, I suggest you have it at pop and pour, because it was singing right out of the gate, started to shut down at a hour 2, woke back up and put on some weight for a while after that, and then finally went completely closed around hour 6-7.

Aromas of dark berries, violets, burnt embers, sweet oak and spice box emanate from the glass. Even compared to the Mouton, this is full bodied, with lots of density and weight, and it's going to need some time to come together properly. That said, this is a super expressive vintage, with spectacular pure and expansive fruit combined with the tension and structure to make it super long lived. I particularly loved the energy this showed in the mid palate, and the overall class of the wine. The finish is super long and savory. For some, the alcohol will be a bit off putting at this stage, but I enjoyed the experiment!
2 people found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
2019 Realm Cellars The Bard Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
8/2/2022 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
95 points
This wine is way better than it has any right to be, especially considering the numerous vineyards involved in the blend and the 7000+ cases being made. Starts with a rich and powerfully expressive nose of creme de cassis and violets. Really true to vintage, this is upfront and lovely, with deeply concentrated dark fruit that is expansive and showing very well right out of the chute. Showing a suave and seamless mouthfeel, with a silky texture and rounded edges, this wine will seduce you into downing the bottle before you know it. Unlike the 18 edition that clearly needs some time, this wine is ready to go with a little bit of air. Pretty great, and a touch above the 18 for me.
7 people found this helpful Comments (29)
White
7/24/2022 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
94 points
This is a chablis for the purists, and damn if it isn't special. Green apples, peaches, citrus white flowers and wet stone highlight a really expressive and intoxicating nose. The palate displays insane focus, purity and cut, with unreal levels of mineral driven flavors and fabulous acidity. While it gets right to the line of being austere, it has just enough richness to avoid going over the edge and the finish is ridiculously long. I liken this to a white mineral laser shooting right down your throat, but somehow it's super enjoyable.
5 people found this helpful Comments (6)
Red
7/22/2022 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
95 points
Double decant with about 2 hours of air before consumption. Took a sip at PnP at it needed a little time. Right around hours 4 and 5 it hit its peak and then dropped off from there.

Very typical Mike Smith wine, with beautiful smooth contours, a silky mouthfeel, extracted pure fruit and essentially hedonism captured in a glass. There's a bit of oak left to integrate, but otherwise I would say this is very close to its peak drinking window. As usual with these wines, this is all about the upfront gorgeous fruit. You aren't going to get a lot of complexity or age worthiness, and that was evident as the hours passed and the fruit got thinner and more bitter, without the underlying structure to support it. As this wine ages and the fruit recedes, I wouldn't count on compelling secondary and tertiary flavors to emerge.

When I was newer to wine and Napa, this was the benchmark style for my palate. Over time I've gravitated to more well balanced and structured wines, but still really enjoy these from time to time for the amazing pure fruit and seamless quality.
3 people found this helpful Comments (3)
Red
6/16/2022 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
96 points
I think it goes without saying that if you are looking for bright acidity, restraint and nuance, Bevan is not your wine. Move right along. If you are into these wines, you know they are a meal unto themselves and loaded up with massive amounts of just about everything.

Russell and Dr. Crane together equal a wild, opulent flavor explosion. Where purely the quality of fruit is concerned, it's hard to beat Dr. Crane, and Russell sucks every last morsel of juicy goodness into this bottle of wine. As usual, the refined, integrated tannins and suave mouthfeel are a hallmark of this iron fist in a velvet glove styled cabernet. I feel like at times there is just too much coffee and wood on these wines, but right at this very moment those elements are in the background and it's allowing the exceptional blueberry fruit and violets to shine through with ever expanding depth of flavor and a huge finish. Enjoy this wine in the next 5-10 years, because it's all about the fruit, and that fruit is amazing.
11 people found this helpful Comments (8)
White
2019 Morlet Family Vineyards La Proportion Dorée Sonoma Coast Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
6/9/2022 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
96 points
Always one of my favorite non-chardonnay based white wines. Explodes with aromas of peaches, white flowers, honey, baked bread and crushed rock. Super supple texture, with amazing layers of concentrated pure fruit backed by refined and integrated tannins. This is so utterly suave and sexy, you feel like you've entered James Bond level sophistication and status by association. The mid palate brings lovely mineral and wet stone complexity, and the finish just goes on and on. Really spectacular.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2018 Saxum Syrah Booker Vineyard Paso Robles Willow Creek District (view label images)
6/7/2022 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
97 points
My first ever wine list was Saxum (2004 vintage), back when it was $44 a bottle and that was very expensive for me! As good as it was back then, it's really turned things up a notch the past few vintages, scaling back the extraction and making some epically fresh and balanced wines.

This Booker smells amazing, with fresh blackberries, crushed flowers, charcuterie, black licorice and hints of smoked meat. The palate is energetic and spicy, with wonderfully expressive black fruit and a tremendous suave mouthfeel. Showing good levels of acidity and relatively strong, integrated tannins, it's still a baby, but I find it fun and enjoyable now with a long decant. Fantastic length on the finish.
4 people found this helpful Comments (10)
Red
2019 Vieux Château Certan Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
6/4/2022 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
98 points
Starts with one of the most amazing bouquets I can remember on a BDX wine. Glorious creme de cassis and dark chocolate with soaring floral aromas, laced with menthol, tobacco and herbs. Tremendously pure and focused, it's super firm, with Mt Everest level tannins and insane precision. If you catch it just at the right time, the fruit is a knockout, but blink and the tannins have sucked that enjoyment away. I guess if you could ever say a wine of this quality from BDX is forward than this has a hint of that opulence, but everything is in perfect balance and it will be super long lived. Love it, but of course it needs at least a decade or so to come around.
9 people found this helpful Comments (11)
White
6/3/2022 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
94 points
A charming wine that combines attributes of the new and old world to make a very compelling experience. Beautiful green candied apple, crushed rock, white flowers and hints of exotic asian spices on a really expressive nose. Shows deeply rich, concentrated and full bodied flavor that is immediately reined in by limestone and deep minerality. Brings a hedonistic flair without ever going over the top, and finishes with serious persistence and power. This will satisfy young and old palates alike, and is perfect for just about any occasion.
White - Sweet/Dessert
2001 Château Rieussec Sauternes Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend (view label images)
5/30/2022 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
95 points
If it weren't for recently having an absolutely epic 2001 d'Yquem, I'd probably be an even bigger fan. This had all the hallmarks of a great dessert wine, with beautiful apricot, honey, peach and brûlée notes complemented by exotic spice and wet rock flavors. Full bodied, yet far less so than the d'Yquem, it showed good concentration, lovely complexity and still decent acidity. It was suave and silky, wafting over the palate effortlessly. Likely in its best drinking window, although I expect it will last another couple decades.
6 people found this helpful Comment
White
5/30/2022 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
97 points
Beguiling aromas of peaches, green apple, honey, white flowers and wet stone on an incredibly fresh nose. Uber concentrated and refined, it explodes with super pure and deeply expressive fruit, giving way to serious crushed rock and mineral driven elements. The mouthfeel is pure silk, the layers are everlasting and the finish is long and dynamic. The complexity is notable, as well as the overall depth of flavor that just keeps coming. Perhaps not as precise as a great white burg, but without a doubt this brings the flavor in spades. It is aging beautifully and appears to have many more years ahead of it. Fabulous! Domestically, perhaps only Kongsgaard Judge is above it.
6 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Vieux Château Certan Pomerol Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
5/29/2022 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
96 points
If the recent 16 La Fleur-Petrus I had was painfully young, then this is insanely young. The nose is fantastic, with fresh baked cherries, white flowers, spice box, tobacco and fresh herbs filling the air. Super structured with laser like focus, it's fresh with massive tannins that obscure the fruit and most all the underlying layers. Gets very mineral driven towards the end and finishes with huge, savory persistence. If the measure of a wine is the finish, this wine has it in spades, but it seems pretty shut down and I would hold off opening one.
7 people found this helpful Comments (27)
Red
5/28/2022 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
94 points
Ripe, layered with great texture, this would fall into the distinctly California style of Pinot (i.e. burg only lovers need not apply). Concentrated, with dark cherries and strawberries complemented by savory and rustic notions, this was enjoyable if a bit overly forward for my taste in this varietal
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
5/28/2022 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
97 points
Aromas of fresh violets, wet stone, blueberries, and olive tapenade. Pure and precise, this wine is showing great focus from a vineyard known for its expressive and expansive fruit. Medium to full bodied with amazing blue fruit, it is wonderfully balanced and fresh with fine grained sweet tannin and a finish for days.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
5/28/2022 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
97 points
Slow ox for 8 hours. Decadent and young, this is fleshy, ripe, super powerful and fresh. Lots of floral aromas give way to sweet oak, blackberries and asian spices. Full bodied and teeming with dark chocolate, it's supremely rich and deeply concentrated, with wonderful layers of fruit. Still working though some integration of oak, but otherwise already fun to drink, if massive. Finish is very long and spicy.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
5/25/2022 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
97 points
Painfully young, but an amazing vintage. Soars from the glass with beautiful floral notes, dark cherries, black olives and hints of chocolate. Well integrated and powerful tannins hem in laser focused fruit with exceptional layering and serious grainy savory character. Super firm and chiseled, this is powerfully structured and built to last, but ripe enough to bring some pleasure now. Finish is 30-45 seconds of enjoyment. Fantastic effort.
2 people found this helpful Comments (18)
White
5/24/2022 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
96 points
Such the anti-California chard...chard. I think in a blind, it may actually be hard to tell if this is from CA or Burgundy. Lots of wineries claim to make this style, but rarely do they pull it off.

Lovely green apple, citrus, almonds and wet stone notes. Very austere and mineral driven with a massive, grippy crushed rock element. Super crisp, the fruit only emerges with time but the freshness, energy and focus stand out, along with an extremely long finish. Super duper good, if not at all like most CA chards.
2 people found this helpful Comments (2)
Red
2012 Promontory Penultimate Napa Valley Red Bordeaux Blend (view label images)
5/19/2022 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
95 points
Very fun to have this right alongside big brother 12 Promontory. Penultimate is from the young vines. At age 5, they graduate into this bottling, and then at age 12, they move up to the big boy. Every year 3-5% of the vines are replanted at the vineyard, and so the circle is created.

Being their first ever vintage and given the youth of the vines, I didn't expect a lot, but boy was I proven wrong. Had all the beautiful hallmarks of the 12 vintage, with a gorgeous nose of blackberries, plums, hints of tobacco, spice box and tilled soil. The fruit is super expressive with enough acidity to keep it fresh, while showing great energy and tension. Displays sweet fine grained tannin, excellent crushed rock and mineral driven notes and a savory long finish. The only thing that really stood out as different vs the 12 Promontory was the overall depth and concentration of the Penultimate, which couldn't quite keep up in that respect. Nevertheless, what a great wine, and one to drink now or in the next 5 or so years.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2021 Promontory Red Wine Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (view label images)
5/19/2022 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
97 points
Back from the abyss of the 2020 barrel sample, thankfully. As with other 2021's I sampled on the trip, this already shows really lush polished fruit, but being a Promontory the tannins start trying to rip your face off from the inside when you near the finish. That of course, is to be expected. It's hard to say when it's still in cask, but this reminds me a little of the 14 vintage. Supple, rounder than other vintages, super gorgeous fruit with ripe tannin and great overall balance. Promontory will always have structure and minerality in spades, so getting a bit more on the fruit front makes it quite fun. 96-98+
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2020 Promontory Red Wine Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (view label images)
5/19/2022 - Cristal2000 wrote:
I have similar feelings to what I see in some notes here. Harlan is releasing a 2020 at all its properties it seems, which is an amazing risk. I can think of no other winery near its status doing so. If these wines end up with taint down the line, it will be ruinous for their reputation. No matter what anyone says, there was a ton of smoke in the valley well before harvest, even if by some stroke of luck they picked before the second fire (not sure how convinced I am of that either).

The barrel sample was thin, primal and really not indicative of this property. Did it overtly show taint? No, but the finish did end on a bitter note, which of course leads one to wonder. No matter how you look at it, this will be a loyalty test for their list, and I am afraid I will not pass. If rating, not good.
5 people found this helpful Comments (28)
Red
2016 Promontory Red Wine Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (view label images)
5/19/2022 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
100 points
IMO, this is the best wine ever made by Promontory. While it isn't yet near its prime drinking window, all the components are there for it to be a legend.

Expressive nose of white flowers, creme de cassis, tilled soil, chocolate and iron ore. Stunning and chiseled on the palate, this is one of those noble wines that sets itself apart with fabulous concentrated fruit and incredible tension and structure. The tannins are powerful but pixilated and there's a focus that is rarely achieved in Napa. Built like a skyscraper with a finish that is nearly unmatched, this is going to be a very long lived wine and one that is likely at least a decade from its early drinking window. Nevertheless, it's very enjoyable to try today.
5 people found this helpful Comments (2)
Red
2014 Promontory Red Wine Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (view label images)
5/19/2022 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
98 points
Had this at the winery along with 12, 16, 20 (barrel), 21 (barrel) and 12 Penultimate. For drinking right now, 12 Promontory was the winner but this wasn't far behind and is overall a slightly better wine (16 is the best of them IMO).

Aromas of blackcurrant, baking spices, lead pencil, violets and forest floor. Has a tightly packed palate (especially for a 14), but the layers start to unfurl while in the glass, revealing lovely pure and expressive blue fruit. Still quite firm with chalky powerful tannins, this has a tremendous aging potential but gives you so much right now. Superior concentration, extreme freshness and an insanely long finish leave quite the impression.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2012 Promontory Red Wine Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (view label images)
5/19/2022 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
97 points
Had this at the winery. In a great drinking window. Showing amazing pure expressive fruit, highlighted by notes of black forest cake, cassis fruit, crushed rock, underbrush and tilled soil. Totally enveloping on the palate, I didn't realize a Promontory wine could show such rounded juicy fruit enjoyment. While this will never be confused with a To Kalon wine, it's very generous with serious depth of flavor that is complimented with a huge mineral driven streak. Super pure and showing great layers of flavor, this still has the firm tannic backbone and fresh acidity to last for another decade or two. Finish is long and satisfying. In a perfect place to drink now for me.
2 people found this helpful Comments (2)
Red
5/18/2022 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
99 points
I mean, there's not a lot to be said that hasn't been before about these wines. Great guys making great wine and holding the line on price increases despite immense (and I mean IMMENSE) pressure from the rest of the valley to hike it up. In turn, that creates a super loyal client base and I know personally this would be the very last wine list I dropped if hard times hit (and news flash - that may be close on the horizon).

As for the wine, like most vintages this is either perfect or on the verge of it. Deep garnet purple in the glass, it shows off heavenly aromas of creme de cassis, mocha, cigar box, pencil shavings and hints of forest floor. The palate is super firm, taut and fresh, with refined yet powerful tannins hemming in obnoxiously pure and focused fruit with serious mineral driven elements. It's built like a brick house but with superior balance and class. The finish races at you like a locomotive with massive persistence. Is it perfect? I mean probably. I'll go with 99 today, but reserve the right to bring it up to 100 when I get a little more time with the bottle.
4 people found this helpful Comments (6)
Red
5/17/2022 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
97 points
As with the other 19's, this had been open for over 24 hours with a decant. Still grippy after all that time, it's clear you'll want to give this a ton of air if drinking anytime soon.

All these wines are excellent complements to each other, with the Anjea being the most black fruited, dense and earthy in the lineup. Blackcurrant, black licorice, chargrill, spice box and forest floor jump out of the glass. The palate is stacked with luscious if firm dark fruit that shows huge almost tar like grainy consistency. Full bodied and amazingly fresh and pure, this has depth for days and layers that will keep unfurling with time. Displays a powerful mid palate that leads to a very long finish. Another must have winner.
6 people found this helpful Comment
Red
5/18/2022 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
98 points
This was open for over 24 hours with a decant, and it was still extremely grippy. Not surprising for those of us familiar with Nigel's style. It'll be a wine to age for sure.

Having this right after the Voleuse gave an excellent contrast to the wines. Where the Voleuse is super suave and sexy, this is a more structured, higher toned wine that requires some patience. It's a blend, which I believe is 80% cab, so it's also got some other BDX elements in there (15% Franc and 5% PV if I remember), which also changes the profile somewhat. Nose of cherries, iron ore, wet stone, underbrush and hints of tobacco. Medium to full bodied with excellent acidity, this is built like a brick house. The tannins are firm but super refined, with massive layers yet to unfurl. This wine shows the most mineral driven notes of the three for my palate, which it what you'd expect from Diamond Mtn. Fresh, pure, hyper focused and bringing a massive tannic finish, this is going to be fabulous but needs many, many years.
6 people found this helpful Comment
Red
5/17/2022 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
99 points
Talk about going out on an high note (at least for a few years), this baby was just spectacular for our tasting. Nigel said these had been open for over 24 hours and also had a decant, so it's fair to say they are going to need a bit of time if you plan to open one in the next handful of years.

This is a super luxurious wine. The fruit is so pure and gorgeous, it is hard to stop drinking it. Showing medium to full body, this is translucent purple in color and starts with dark cherries, mocha, dark chocolate, violets and tilled soil. Suave and sexy, it saunters onto the palate and brings pure opulent pleasure with sweet refined tannin and wave after wave of perfect expressive fruit. Everything is in balance and there's a depth of flavor that is just downright stunning. Super rich and refined, it carries the its weight effortlessly into a huge finish. This may be a perfect effort.
6 people found this helpful Comments (12)
Red
5/19/2022 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
97 points
Nigel just keeps pumping out what for me is the best Sleeping Lady in the valley. Not quite sure how he gets so much depth and complexity out of it, but he is sure doing wonders in this vineyard.

A barrel sample, so take these notes with a grain of salt. As with the 2021 VHR sample, it's clear polish and refinement will be a hallmark. The Anjea is always a beast early, but the sample was still gorgeous and fun to experience. This is classically dark fruited, with loads of earthy goodness. Blackcurrant, baking spices, black licorice and fresh cut flowers and forest floor all are notes jump at you right out of the gate. There's huge levels or density without any heaviness, and a grainy, earthy mid palate that makes you feel like you're right there in the dirt at the vineyard. I think this vintage will follow the same general profile as in the past, but as perhaps a more elegant version, given the suppleness of the tannin and layering that is already present. Definitely one to have. 96-98+
4 people found this helpful Comments (3)
Red
5/19/2022 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
99 points
A super young barrel sample, so clearly take these notes with a grain of salt. This is clone 4 and block 4 according to Nigel and Shae, and 2021 will be their first from this vineyard for their own label. I've been anxiously waiting to see what Nigel could do with this awesome terroir, and I was not disappointed!

In talking with Nigel and then sampling the 2021, it's clear the vintage is going to be incredibly elegant and the tannins are already super refined with a gorgeous silky mouthfeel. This tasted like a complete wine already. The fruit is going to be more concentrated than what you find with the VHR label, and it showed a beautifully layered and polished mid palate with seamless blue and red fruit that was not surprisingly very grippy. It is ripe but in great balance and the interplay of floral notes with some of the earthy chargrill and charcuterie make for a heavenly drinking experience. There's no doubt this is going to be a massive winner. Awesome. 98-100.
4 people found this helpful Comments (4)
Red
5/17/2022 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
94 points
Blind of 2018 Harlan, Colgin Tychson Hill, Bryant Family Estate, Eisele and Chappellet Pritchard Hill. Bottles were slow ox'd starting at 9am and consumed at 6pm. Six total tasters, one of which was CSIMM1161. The final order was Colgin, Harlan, Eisele, Bryant and Chappellet. The top 3 were neck and neck, with Bryant a little father back and then Chappellet not really even in the discussion.

This really suffered on a relative basis. It was a tough crowd. The bottle also was a little warmer than the rest, and since another participant brought it, I can't be sure what time it was opened. Nevertheless, everyone seemed to realize this was the Chappellet.

Relative to the rest, this was light in body without the depth or overall length. Had a more red fruited and red dirt vibe, with lots of violets, blueberries and red fruit. It was pure and relatively seamless, just didn't seem to have as much going on as the other bottles.
3 people found this helpful Comments (2)
Red
5/17/2022 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
97 points
Blind of 2018 Harlan, Colgin Tychson Hill, Bryant Family Estate, Eisele and Chappellet Pritchard Hill. Bottles were slow ox'd starting at 9am and consumed at 6pm. Six total tasters, one of which was CSIMM1161. The final order was Colgin, Harlan, Eisele, Bryant and Chappellet. The top 3 were neck and neck, with Bryant a little father back and then Chappellet not really even in the discussion.

Surprisingly, the Bryant was the extrovert of the group. Showed the most alcohol, extraction and wood. Of course, you're never going to confuse this for a Bevan wine, but in this company it stood out for those qualities. Nevertheless, it's still a tremendous wine that no one will be upset about having in their cellar.

Aromas of blackberries, anise, tilled soil, violets, pencil shavings and sweet oak. On the palate, this is rich yet composed, with some oak left to integrate. Fabulous full bodied concentration with spicy undertones, there is excellent freshness to the fruit and lots of building complexity from the mineral driven elements. Very well layered, it was surprising to see the fruit showing off so much already. This needs some time in bottle to bring all the parts into balance, but it's great. The finish is very long, dry and satisfying.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
5/17/2022 - Cristal2000 Likes this wine:
99 points
Blind of 2018 Harlan, Colgin Tychson Hill, Bryant Family Estate, Eisele and Chappellet Pritchard Hill. Bottles were slow ox'd starting at 9am and consumed at 6pm. Six total tasters, one of which was CSIMM1161. The final order was Colgin, Harlan, Eisele, Bryant and Chappellet. The top 3 were neck and neck, with Bryant a little father back and then Chappellet not really even in the discussion.

This is one hell of a wine. It just kept getting better and better all night until it pressed right up to the Colgin/Harlan level. As one of two valley floor wines in the mix, and with a notable bordeaux-like style (owed I am sure to the Latour ownership), I think most of us were able to pick this one out as the Eisele before the reveal.

Complex aromas of dark cherries, eucalyptus, cigar box, tobacco and rose petals. Super refined and classy on the palate, it shows sweet and well integrated tannin, incredible purity of fruit and more earthy notions than the other wines at the table. Some leather in there as well. Firm and fresh with amazing balance, the fruit just kept becoming more expressive the longer it was open until it was just absolutely singing at the end of the night. I didn't realize Eisele could get so much layered fruit intensity from their wine. Very long and elegant finish. Crazy great experience with this wine and highly recommended whether you like Napa Cab or BDX or both.
8 people found this helpful Comments (10)
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