May 4, 2021 - Napa - All my COVID finds; 4/29/2021-5/5/2021 (Napa): Much more balance and layered than the NVD. Silky smooth. I enjoyed this wine a lot.
April 30, 2021 - 3 days in Napa: Arkenstone, Memento Mori, Maxem, The French Laundry, Christopher Tynan, Kinsman, Harlan, Vice Versa, Accendo, Fairchild, Macdonald, and a truckload of others (Napa): Rooti-Tooti-Fresh-And-Fruity, the 2017 Estate pops out of the fold with blossoming red and black cherry flavors that shake out plump money-maker-rump-shaker berry fruit. Veers more toward the red fruit spectrum, with a posh posture and a party-ready delivery of flavor. Medium expansion on the palate, with a moderate degree of depth in proportion to the super fruity profile. Drink or hold for a handful of years to best see how the fruit elements ultimately start to align with the existing scaffolding.
April 22, 2021 - One hour in glass before drinking. Very deep dark magenta color. Poppy seed, dark chocolate, black cherry, red currant, and coffee on the terrific nose. Super smooth, dry palate. Full tannins on the longish finish.
April 3, 2021 - Dream Trip - Napa On A Mission - All My favorites Plus A Few New Ones; 4/1/2021-4/4/2021 (Napa Valley): First off, its not fair to have tasted this wine, or any 2017 for that matter, on a tasting trip of a lifetime AND when no other 2017 was tasted anywhere else. If this wine would have been poured any other day as a standalone perhaps my scrutiny/expectations would have been different. Is this a well made wine, yes. Does this represent the vintage, I believe so. Did Sam pull off a win in a very difficult vintage - yes. Would I drink this at home if I opened it and enjoy drinking it yes. Would I or did I buy it - no as I would rather buy 12-16, 18 and now 19 if they are available simply due to my profile preference alone.
While the ‘17 Estate wasn’t for me, it was well made but the 2019, at this stage based on the finite sample we tasted was outstanding! I want to get some of that bad boy once it is in bottle. Final assessment based on the two limited interactions- another wine to add to my budget next year. My rating reflects my assessment based on the wine I drank outside of the lineup from this trip.
October 14, 2020 - Oh this is a big beauty; just a touch of tar on the nose, with blacker fruits backing it up, the palate gives up a bit of that darkness for dark cherry and blackberry; on PnP the finish is a bit monolithic but long and some mild spice finishing it off. Darker than I remember previous vintages being - really great wine. Can't wait to see what happens with some age. 94+
February 8, 2019 - Sam Kaplan - Arkenstone, Mememto Mori, Maxem, Vangone: Barrel sample. Young and vibrant, with a fruit-forward attack that pushes out blackberry pie, purple plum, black raspberry, and bitter chocolate. Well balanced and mouthwatering, with the fruity compote flavors taking center stage at the moment. Showing less tannins and acid when compared to the gobs of fruit on the delivery. Quite possibly a more accessible Arkenstone Estate this vintage once it hits bottle and has a year to settle in.