Promontory Napa Valley 2018
Promontory Napa Valley 2018, was growing fruit that went unmarked into other Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons. After serious scrutiny, extensive soil studies, and minimal but high-tech viticulture, that parcel’s steward, Will Harlan, now has confidence that the land can produce—in fact, is producing—the valley’s next bar-setting Cabernet blend. What’s more, he has built a winery complex on a grand scale not only to vinify and age his wines but also to welcome collectors and enthusiasts to come taste them—a surprising move for a member of a family whose vineyard properties have rarely opened their gates to visitors.
Through the early 1980s, in pursuit of a plot of land capable of producing a markedly distinctive, exceptional wine akin to the first growths of Bordeaux, Harlan’s father, Bill, hiked the western hills of the valley, kicking the dirt and letting instinct reign. On these rambles, a large expanse to the south of where he eventually established Harlan Estates caught his eye, visible from a promontory he frequented—but it was not for sale. Twenty-odd years later, the 840 acres became available. Intuition prompted him to buy.
Both vineyard and winery are now in the hands of the second generation. Having launched his own label, the Mascot, within the family portfolio, Will Harlan was well prepared to manage and champion this newest venture, building on the aggregate experience and quality of his father’s work while at the same time establishing an entirely distinct style.
Promontory spends five years in these casks. Empting and Will Harlan were concerned that such long wood ageing could dry out the wine, but that has not proved to be the case. As Bill Harlan suspected all along, Promontory has a strong personality of its own, which the team is keen to preserve. The aim is to retain both focus and freshness. The wine (Cabernet Sauvignon dominant) is neither fined nor filtered before bottling. Production at present is about 25,000 bottles.