September 12, 2021 - Smooth and elegant. Nice control of the tannins at this young age. Red and black fruit with some spice and herbal notes in the background. Lots of potential to improve with time. Delicious!
August 28, 2021 - This raw and layered Cabernet still needs a few more years to settle down, but it has the density and balance to be something special (even in a vintage that produced very few special wines). I've never tasted such density and character from this vineyard, but this bottle needs a lot of air if opening now (i.e., double-decanted 12 hours beforehand, followed by two hours of traditional decanting).
Dark red in color and full in body, the wine offers aromas of sour cherry, anise, and spice cake. Flavors of boysenberry, gravel, and graphite, with a layered and grainy finish. 14.8% alcohol. 94 on the first day, and 95 on the second, when it seemed to improve on every front: more floral in aromas, more silky in mouthfeel, and more integrated in flavor, with new notes of pie cherry, leather, and eucalyptus. This has tremendous upside in 2024 or later, with the greatest potential of any Napa 2017 I've tasted.
This wine had far more class and balance than two 2017 LPVs tasted at the same time (Fait-Main and Memento Mori), wines that came across as sweet and empty in comparison. To elevate this vineyard in this vintage is a tremendous accomplishment, which is one of the many reasons why Kinsman Eades is the most exciting young project I've come across in the last few years in Napa.
June 2, 2021 - Update from last night’s bottle (24 hours in But I did decant initially so it’s not a slow ox 24 which for sure had an impact). Little less than half bottle re-corked, no gas... I should have drank more night one. Drank outside MonkeyPod due to no Rez long wait. Oh well I have certainly drank in worse places... anywhoo wine still had a great mouthfeel (not as voluptuous as night one 2+ hours in) less straight cassis frontal allowing for more nuances (earth and mineral) but... the more nuances offsets last night’s blunt presentation which in this instance I prefer (not always the case). So my prognosis for my preferred window would be 2-3 more years before opening (‘16 will out live the ‘17) based on this haphazard experiment/tasting.
June 1, 2021 - What wine does one open for the first night in HI from a BMF selection... well can’t choose a 10 year old wine due to the blender like conditions from being stored at the bottom of the plane so... something 2016 or more recent it is.
I brought a wine from a new favorite winery albeit a vineyard and vintage that is not up there with my favorites- so it will be harder to be disappointed if all doesn’t go as planned.
No notes as kids were way over tired and a long travel day but impressions will have to do. 30 minute decant and then back in the bottle to take to an Italian restaurant on Maui. First 30 minutes (assume an hour decant by then) was just like a typical 2017 from the winemakers I enjoy- linear, boring, no where close to the price point but... this wine came off with more density than others I have had from the same vineyard which was a plus (for my palate anyway). I actually just left it in my glass for another 30 minutes (now going on 1.5 - 2 hours) more from a ‘lost interest kids and wife driving me nuts’ than from a ‘can’t wait to see what this will become with some more air’ - but when I did reach for the glass more to drown out my sorrows than looking forward to a great glass of wine- I must have done what could only have been described as whiplash from the other patrons. It went from a 89 typical boring 2017 to something delicious! The wine grew in depth with wonderful concentration of cassis and other goodness even if lacking a bit of structure (I assume a result of the vintage). now I look forward to paying more attention and enjoying again tomorrow (which is a surprise as I have some gems I am really looking forward to but they will have to wait).
I will add this to my handful of yummy 2017 which I can still count on one hand (La Pelle, Kinsman Eades and Maxem (not sure if that counts since non-cab but it’s my list so I guess I can do what I want).
May 23, 2021 - Beautiful wine. Elegant and refined. I agree that this will certainly get better but I see no reason not to have one now. I loved it with a 4.5 hour splash decant.
May 21, 2021 - Amangiri trip to celebrate a friends 40th. Decided to pull this baby along side some other prized wines. This wine was opened along side a VHR 09 and was a great contrast of terror and vintage.
PNP-Teeth staining purple in the glass with ruby rims. This wine is sexy as hell poured from the bottle. Might as well have been a barrel sample. Totally stunning but painfully youthfully. Blackberry preserves and unsweetened dark chocolate with super fine tannins on edge of the donut. Shae told me Anjea needs time so cork back in the bottle while we sip on the VHR 09.
24 hours in this wine has budged an inch but still is fun to drink. Super long finish but most of the complexity is hidden behind the tannins. Might have to bring the rest back to the Houston to sample a full 3-5 days. 96+
Will report back soon.
Wine didn't make it back to Houston. We finished it over lunch before heading out to head home. Tannins has subsided and it was all youthful enjoyment at this stage. No harm in opening this wine early but for those who like aged wine we might easy have to wait 10+ years.
Updating this to a 97 Had a touch of this left in the bottle after three days open. Bravo Nige and Shae
April 4, 2021 - Easter dinner with a tomahawk steak. Decanted for about 7 hours and drank over the remaining 4 hours of the day. I opened a 2018 Memento Mori alongside this. This bottle was the winner but the MM was no slouch.
2017 be damned, this was a good AF wine. It still had some grippy tannins, but the steak really helped. Dark, dark purple fruit that was mouth/lip staining. As Cristal said so eloquently, there's everything here - quality fruit, earth, minerality. It's a bottle that makes you want to keep sipping for it to reveal more layers and tell you more stories.
I think there's no shame in enjoying a bottle now, but this clearly has a lengthy life ahead of it.
February 27, 2021 - This is a world beating 2017. It is right there with the 17 MacDonald as the best wine I've had from the vintage. First Kinsman, and it's just an utterly unique wine. There is a personalized stamp on it. The nose is off the hook amazing, with huge floral notes complimented by flirty dark fruit and lots of amazing deep earthy elements. Impossible to fully describe. I've had plenty of 17's where the aromas were great and the palate fell flat, but thankfully this was not one of them. It is magically seamless and rich at the same time, with sweet fully integrated tannins, a ridiculous interplay of earth, fruit and mineral driven flavors that allows it to dance around and truly envelope you in the experience. There is so much dang flavor involved with this wine. Unbelievable given the challenges of 2017. The key word here is personality, because this wine has it in spades. She ain't just gorgeous, but fun, captivating and makes you feel better about yourself. Enjoy it if you can get it.