Promontory Penultimate 2013-2015 3-Pack OWC 750mL


The 2013 Penultimate is a dark, brooding beauty that captures all the qualities of the Grand Vin, if I can use that phrase, but in a slightly more accessible style that can be enjoyed with just a few years in bottle. Iron, incense, tar, espresso, licorice and dark fruit all meld together in a powerhouse Cabernet Sauvignon that expresses the essence of place and the year in its muscular personality. Time brings out the wine’s natural power, but intense saline and mineral underpinnings remain constants. This is a super-impressive debut. The 2014 Penultimate is a wine of magnificent finesse and nuance, the same qualities that make Promontory so special in this vintage. There is a feeling of translucence that runs through the 2014 that is so compelling. Dried herbs, mint, leather, smoke, tobacco and wild dark cherry are some of the many notes that flesh out with time in the glass. I especially admire the wine’s tension, vibrancy and phenomenal finish. The 2014 is so impressive upon opening, but then shuts down quickly in the glass. A few more years in bottle will help soften the noble mountain tannins. Although the 2015 Penultimate is the youngest wine in this tasting, it is also the most approachable because of the warmth of the year. Exotic and ripe, the 2015 has an extra kick of mid-palate sweetness that makes it a total pleasure to taste today. Inky dark fruit, spice, dried herbs, crushed rocks and licorice capture the interplay of richness and savoriness that is a signature of warmer years here. The growing season had plenty of challenges, starting with cold weather early on and significant shatter that lowered yields considerably. A blast of heat at the end of the season accelerated ripening and led to a harvest that was a good week earlier than normal. The 2015 is a thrilling, hedonistic wine that hits all the right notes.

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