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The Story

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.


Wine Information

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.


Vintage 2017

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.


Tasting note

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Written Notes

Promontory 2017 presents a deep and alluring ruby-red color, indicating its depth and concentration. The nose  is a symphony of captivating aromas. It starts with an array of dark fruits, with blackberries, black currants, and plum notes at the forefront. Layers of complexity unfold, revealing hints of violets, dried herbs, and a subtle earthy minerality. Subdued oak nuances add depth and sophistication to the aromatic profile.

 On the palate, Promontory 2017 shines with its exceptional balance and elegance. It's a full-bodied wine that seamlessly integrates its flavors. Dark fruit flavors take center stage, offering a rich blend of blackberry, cassis, and dark cherries. The wine's texture is velvety, and its tannins are finely polished, providing structure without overpowering the palate. Subtle notes of dark chocolate, espresso, and a touch of spice add layers of complexity.

The ending is long and harmonious, with the wine's dark fruit and spice notes lingering on the palate. It leaves a lasting impression of refinement and grace.

 Promontory 2017 is undeniably impressive in its youth, but it also has the capacity to evolve and improve over the next 15-35 years or more.

  • 98p

 Served blind. Vanilla, dark fruits, very rich, blackberries, ripe plums, jammy.
Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, vanilla, blackberries, spicy, big, rich but at least at this state, one dimentional. 

  • 94p

Blackcurrant, tar, lead pencil and dark fruit. Full-bodied with resin, dark-berry and redwood undertones and firm, fine tannins. Salty. Leaner than some, but so long and bright. Vertical elegance here. Needs three to four years to soften and open.

  • 98p

The 2017 Promontory is really starting to come together nicely. The Promontory wines have always benefitted from time in bottle, as the 2017 once again makes clear. In 2017, the red-toned fruit profile is a strong marker. Rose petal, lavender, blood orange and lively acids lend vibrancy throughout. The 2017 is a bit lower in alcohol than most vintages, owing to a freakish reversal in sugar ripeness brought on by very hot days at the end of the season. Winemaker David Cilli gave the 2017 32 months in cask, a bit longer than usual, to help all the elements come together, a choice that has paid off handsomely.

  • 97p
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Oakville, Napa Valley
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