• knlowery Likes this wine: 96 points

    August 2, 2020 - delicious, enjoyed over 2 evenings and better still the second night.

    Lovely earthiness blended with the fruit and structure.

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  • eschuldt wrote: 97 points

    August 1, 2020 - Drank alongside an ‘09, while the older wine was a bit softer and better integrated this was my preference. Great fruit and in a few years should be awesome.

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  • LiteItOnFire Likes this wine: 94 points

    July 31, 2020 - No notes. Drank alongside 2012 Velvet Glove. I agree with MSU, until the very last half glass of this wine, the Glove was the preferred wine hands down. It wasn’t until the end the Tusk started to shine. Will have to revisit as this really started to turn a corner but even at this stage was unable to show its true self.

    Recommend holding for a few years or may hour decant.

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  • msuwine wrote: 98 points

    November 21, 2019 - This powerful and rich Cabernet is downright explosive right now: the fruit is bursting at the seams, the earthy but elegant undertone is present, and the finish goes on and on. It took a few hours of air to get where I had hoped it would, but this is plainly a special - and great - wine.

    Dark purple in color and full in body, the wine offers enticing aromas of blueberry, black cherry, graphite, fresh lavender, and charcoal. The tastes are lucious but elegant, with notes of boysenberry, strawberry tart, menthol, leather, rosemary, and gravel, with a finish that offers fruit, tannin, and acidity in the kind of silky texture that makes the flavors seem all the more impressive - unique but polished, powerful but graceful. 15.4% alcohol.

    I at first thought this 2015 was in a dreaded “dumb phase” - a real bummer when you open a bottle this expensive. After about two hours, though, it came alive, with a depth and tension that were remarkable. A wine this pricey should be this good, but it’s nice when it actually is. 97-98 for now, with upside in a few years.

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  • csimm1161 wrote: 99 points

    September 14, 2019 - Tusk vertical - 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 (Seven Hills restaurant, SF + Tusk party - with Cristal2000): The clear standout and undeniable best of the Tusk lineup was indeed the complex and sophisticated 2015 Tusk. As seemed to be the case for most everyone at the table, the progressive vintages represented marked improvement each year, with the 2015 dominating over its older siblings. Now whether this speaks to an inability to age or a year-to-year uptick in quality and production is somewhat of a question I suppose – I personally trust it’s the latter).

    Specific notes of black cherry, huckleberry, and purple plum dominate. A nice zing of wild red raspberry and iron dart through the otherwise dark berry profile, making one suppose that the Pritchard Hill component of this wine is trying to make a statement here with its showy red fruit and volcanic earth notes. Finishes with a perfect equilibrium of richness and grip, with bitter chocolate and black raspberry seed notes popping up on the tail. The 2015 is more controlled and keenly focused than the curved 2012 and opulent 2014; it is also comparatively deeper and more concentrated than the bristly 2013.

    I’m sure this wine can go a good distance, as it possesses great intensity and tension, but it’s spitting out enticing, vivacious flavors even in its current state. Drink now or hold depending on how you like to take down your modern cult Napa Cabs. There is a little more than a whisper of booze on the very tail (the only thing really keeping this from being a 100 point wine for me), so obviously giving it time to continue to integrate into its elements is most prudent. 99+ points.

    Day 2: This was also served at the Tusk party. The samples served that night of the 2015 seemed much more lavish (more akin to the 2014 from the night before). The chocolate and vanilla wood influence dominated, making for a rich chocolate-covered-blackberry profile. Less of the Pritchard Hill terroir. Anyway, I’m not sure of the treatment of the wine before these glasses were offered and how long the wines had been opened before service. Interesting how the same wine can change based on a few seemingly small factors. Certainly delicious, this version of 2015 was more hedonistic and modern in execution seemingly due to the lavish barrel influence here.

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  • Cristal2000 Likes this wine: 99 points

    September 13, 2019 - Tusk Vertical 2011-2015 plus 2016 L'Orange - W/CSIMM1161; 9/13/2019-9/14/2019 (Seven Hills Restaurant, SF & Tusk Party): As CSIMM notes, we had this on two separate occasions. Once at dinner next to the 2012-2014 vintages, and then again at the Tusk party. A bit surprising since we expected to get a taste of the 2016, but alas, our hopes were dashed.

    The wine showed quite a bit differently at dinner than at the party. My score is primarily based on the restaurant experience, where we had it in a more controlled setting and it was borderline perfection. It easily out did the 2012-2014 wines next to it. At the Tusk party, it showed more oaky and unresolved.

    Super rich, with massive depth and concentration, this is a very serious and powerful wine. At the same time, it is silky, with refined and integrated tannins along with nearly perfect texture that makes it glide gracefully across the palate. This showed the best layering of all the vintages, and was really expressive with blackberries, black cherries, violets, herbs and earthy notions. There's a lot of the Pritchard Hill profile - think Colgin or Ovid. That red dirt/volcanic effect. Lasting, super long finish.

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  • csimm1161 wrote: 99 points

    March 31, 2019 - As soon as the juice hits the glass, the nose cons you into thinking you made a big mistake, with crushed ripe blackberry and Grey Goose slithering up the nostrils. It’s not a full-on Everclear sinus-clearer; the aromas aren’t hot, but they certainly lead you to believe all you’re going to get on the palate is primary fruit and a boozey finish.

    April Fool’s for you presumptive palate man (Ok, so I’m a day early...). On the first sip, it’s an instant glide. The fruit is perfectly weighted, and sachets along the front end surrounded by pure, elegant (but still full) fruit that somehow manages to also pull off one of the most texturally advanced attacks this side of Kalamazoo. The flavors coat the palate effortlessly, creating a mouthfeel that epitomizes a smooth but purposeful delivery.

    Grip is firm but gentle, just enough to provide frame and energy, dropping keenly mid-palate, and then moving in for the second wave. The back end picks up speed and ends with finely grained tannins, finishing even more silky than it started. Less taut and driven than the 2013 Tusk, but so much smoother than either the 2013 or 2014. No youthful wonkiness to sort out at all (especially as witnessed in the early stages of the 2014). At first I expected and perhaps wanted more power in the 2015, but then I realized more push and punch would’ve caused a “disruption in the force.” Like a Hindu Jedi, this thing was all about balance and Om.

    Specific notes of black cherry, blackberry, huckleberry, purple plum, scortched earth (but not overly charred at all), river rock, and the faintest red iron note (which became a little more pronounced with air).

    The only reason it isn’t 100 points is because I’m almost tired of giving 99-100 points to all of these wines lately (I don’t want folks calling me an easy-grader or anything). Let’s go with, ‘the nose wasn’t in collaboration with the palate yet’ or some other goofy notion...but that’s a good enough reason for now, right?! I’ll hold for another year for some justification that makes no sense...then it’ll hit for what I assume will be an easy 100 points. An impressively seamless animal, all the while staying true to its cult Napa Cab origin. No question, an amazingly perfect bottle of wine.

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