2015 promontory, napa valley
Why We're Buying
Promontory by Will Harlan is the latest blockbuster cabernet sauvignon from Napa Valley. It's a painstaking testament to one man's passion for creating the perfect wine. The Promontory team makes up to 70 passes through the vineyards to pick grapes, dividing the fruit into 30+ components. The result is a transcendent wine that approaches four digits in price.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2015 Promontory has recently been released in the domestic market and is due for international release in spring 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.
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.
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. Drinking window: 2023 - 2040. Rating: 97+
You feel the width and depth of great Napa arriving with this wine, and there is a purity of expression that is hard not to be seduced by. Clear power and punch, with a sleek character of damson, graphite, olive tapenade and pencil lead, along with crème de cassis that reflects the trace of heat on the finish. A kick of black pepper and nutmeg spice brings focus. As it opens, the freshly cut herbs of a Napa mountain wine become clear, and it is heady and confident. Still young at six years old, it will benefit from a few more years in bottle. First vintage 2009, distributed partly through the Place de Bordeaux since the 2012 vintage.