Berry Bros – New Release – 2015 Promontory stunning wines

Since 1984, Bill Harlan and family have been making wines of true class from the Napa Valley. Harlan Family, Bond and now Promontory, is a story of family, Napa Valley and excellence in winemaking.

Within a secluded canyon, west of Oakville you find the Promontory winery. First discovered by H. William Harlan on a hike in the 1980’s. The property was purchased in 2008 and today less than 10% of the property is under vine, a patchwork of small vineyards among the expanse of forest and woodlands. Wines from hillsides of Promontory reflect the many aspects of the territory: the native forests, the moisture of the ephemeral fog, and the minerality of the geology.

Produced by Bill Harlan’s son, Will, the wines represent a new generational dynamism. The concerted move by the Harlan family to change their distribution model, with the export of Promontory, will enable the family to tell their story to a far wider audience than to just those at the Cellar Door. There is nothing like this anywhere in the Napa Valley.

The 2015 vintage had a dry and unusually warm winter. Budbreak occurred in the third week of March. Cold weather during flowering led to lower fruit set, which along with minimal rainfall in the previous three years, resulted in small yields. Harvest began September 8th and after nearly 54 passes in the vineyard, finished 4 weeks later.

In the words of Robert Parker, “…. probably the best way to compare them to the wines of Harlan Estate or the Bond single-vineyard projects is to describe them as more like a Napa version of a great St-Estèphe such as Château Montrose thanks to their spicy, earthy characteristics….”. 

2015 Promontory Napa Valley – £1860 GBP per 3 bottle case in bond

“Quickly becoming one of Napa ‘must buy’ wines, Promontory are continuing their routine of making world class wine year upon year with this new release 2015. Expressive style which is unique for Promontory when young. The wine oozes freshness with its mineral style of Cabernet but also backed up with deep dark fruit on the nose with notes of graphite, blackberry and blueberry fruit, some charcoal, and lots of spice. Serious depth and focus here with incredible length – An outstanding offering. Secure a case if you get the chance, This is the best yet!”
Felix Stubbings, BBR Private Account Manager

“This is quite simply an absolutely stunning wine for those lucky enough to lay their hands on some. The nose offers an abundance of multi layered complexity in the form of black cherries, blueberry compote, chocolate, leather, tobacco, spice and aromatic menthol qualities. The palate is hedonistic; medium-full bodied with exceptional balance, freshness and elegance. The super fine tannins are exquisitely interwoven into the primary fruit. Plenty of red and black cherries, crushed rocks and superb structure all lead into a sublime finish. It really is amazing how much freshness has been retained in this vintage. In conclusion, with the correct amount of time in the cellar (at least 10 years in my opinion) this could be very close to perfection. Drink 2025-2040+.”
Daniel Martin, Private Account Manager

“Usually an exotic wine, the 2015 Promontory comes across as much more laid back today. Time seems to be bringing out more freshness, aromatic lift and brightness in its fruit, which I don’t really know how to explain given the intense heat of the year. It will be interesting to see where the 2015 goes from here. Today, it certainly appears to have a very bright future, although it does appear to be going through some sort of transitional phase. 2023-2040.”
97+ points, Antonio Galloni – Vinous Jan 2021

“Deep garnet-purple in color, it has sprung to life since I last tasted it, prancing out of the glass with showy red currant jelly, black cherry compote and warm cassis notes plus hints of cinnamon toast, wilted roses, unsmoked cigars, and fragrant earth. Full-bodied, the palate is rich and impactful, featuring layer upon layer of red and black fruits with loads of mineral sparks. The structure is rock-solid with firm, rugged tannins that are beginning to come into line with the flamboyant fruit, finishing with great length and a lively lift. Drink 2022 – 2053.”
98 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW – The Wine Advocate Jan. 2021

“I was lucky enough to be able to taste a small vertical for this report. Starting with the 2015 Estate, this is still youthful and unevolved, but wow, it’s nevertheless a brilliant wine. Gorgeous notes of currants, mulberries, and black cherry fruits as well as lots of tapenade and leafy herb notes define the bouquet, and it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, sweet, polished tannins, and a great finish. It can be enjoyed today but won’t hit prime time for another 3-4 years. It should evolve for decades.”
98 points, Jeb Dunnuck Jan. 2021

 

Kind regards,
Ian

 

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