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Tasting Notes


The 2010 Promontory appears to be a killer wine. It ratchets up the level of concentration, but does not reveal as much of the La Mission Haut-Brion personality as the 2009. It exhibits more creme de cassis, sweet earth, truffle, new saddle leather and background vanilla and barbecue notes. Full-bodied, rich, pure and multidimensional, this wine is a kissing cousin of the great Harlan Estate located five to six miles due north on a similar latitude in the lower Mayacamas Mountains overlooking the Oakville Corridor, whereas Promontory overlooks Yountville. This is another 25-30-year wine from the winemaking team of Harlan Estate and Bond.


A big, explosive wine, the 2010 opens with a captivating mélange of graphite, smoke, licorice, gravel and crushed rocks. Firm, incisive tannins give the 2010 much of its sense of gravitas and pure, unbridled energy. The 2010 still needs a few years to soften, as it remains massively structured and tannic, but it has long been a personal favorite.

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Promontory brand image

The Winery


They are nearly all Cabernet Sauvignon with touches of Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot in them, and probably the best way to compare them to the wines of Harlan Estate or the Bond single-vineyard projects is to describe them as more like a Napa version of a great St-Estèphe such as Château Montrose thanks to their spicy, earthy characteristics, although I’m not suggesting there is any of the rusticity that one might expect from these mountain terroirs.
-Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate

No one was surprised when one of the most historic vintners in Napa Valley, Bill Harlan, launched a new winery in 2009. When he discovered a unique piece of property in the mid-1980s in between Oakville and Yountville, Harlan became mesmerized with this isolated location and knew it would eventually become Promontory. By 2010, Harlan purchased just under 900 acres of land as part of his ‘200 year plan.’ Taking points from some of Europe’s most successful long running wine families, the Harlans were inspired to create several unique experiences at their wineries and to pass on leadership and wisdom to future generations within the family. With that being said Bill’s son, Will Harlan, is the Estate Director for Promontory and oversees everything from farming methods to hospitality in the tasting room. These wines reflect the uncompromising quality of Napa Valley established through tradition and a revolution of an entire family’s philosophy.

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