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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 geologic underpinnings. These disparate facets in symphony provide a natural balance of freshness, energy, and tannin. We believe these traits, in wine, are the building blocks of great vitality and long life.
In an unmarked territory, concealed in the southwestern hills bordering Oakville, lies PROMONTORY - remote, raw, and replete with uncharted potential.
The quiet quest of a quarter century, the lands of Promontory manifest the hallmarks of an unparalleled winegrowing estate, diversity of soil, elevation, exposition and climate, all within a single and dramatic expanse.
The 2017 Promontory shares with predecessors an elusive scent of wet stones—though here, a minty, herbal note also rises from this mist. Subtle hints of red fruit cloak the wine’s finely articulated structure, overlaying a spine of acidity and chiseled tension. Energy livens the midpalate, almost like an electrical impulse, as the tannin—tightly coiled at first—gradually unwinds to reveal on the finish the delicate complexity of its many component strands. Although the 2017 is among the more introverted vintages to date, the patient listener is soon drawn into the entrancing interplay of the wine’s translucent layers.
The year began with a generous amount of rain during the months of January and February, bringing welcome moisture that led to an even budbreak on March 31st. The season progressed regularly through the weeks of May; however, between mid-June and the beginning of July, the first and milder of two warming events took place. The cooler conditions that naturally prevail in the territory enabled the vines to weather this first occurrence easily. The September warm spell, which emerged around Labor Day, was more significant, given the proximity to harvest. The vines transpired a significant amount of water, with a consequent increase of sugar concentration in the berries. This circumstance, though one of concern, proved—like so many others—a learning experience for the winegrowing team. During the next 10 to 14 days after the temperature spike, the vines recovered their natural physiology with an unusual regression of the sugar levels, while preserving a brighter-than-expected acidity. Impressed by this fresh balance, we began harvesting on September 14th and continued until October 8th, when wildfire interrupted our work. At that time, 75 percent of the fruit, comprising 52 passes, had arrived safely at the winery; none collected after that date was considered for inclusion, resulting in an overall smaller vintage.