are just under 1000 cases of this extraordinary Cabernet Sauvignon produced from
a vineyard on Pritchard Hill, a viticultural area most associated with one of
Napa Valley's most conspicuous underachievers, Chappellet. Production of Bryant's
Cabernet Sauvignon will drop to just over 600 cases in 1995 as one-third of the
vineyard was recently replanted.
Bryant's opaque black/purple-colored Cabernets are fermented with wild yeast and
bottled without any clarification techniques such as filtration. They also receive
a pre-fermentation five day cold maceration, This technique is used by consultant
Helen Turley for all the Cabernet Sauvignons she makes. The enormously promising,
potentially perfect 1994 Cabernet Sauvignon is one of those rare wines that possesses
awesome aromatic, flavor, and texture dimensions. Totally dry, it comes across
as sweet because of its highly extracted, ripe fruit. Opaque purple/black-colored,
with a knock-out nose of black fruit (cassis and black-raspberries), this wine
hits the palate with phenomenal concentration that brilliantly manages to be neither
heavy nor overbearing. Plenty of velvety tannin is concealed behind the fruit's
remarkable intensity. The wine's purity, presence, and finish are unbelievable.
I predict this wine will turn out to be a legend!
The 1993 Cabernet Sauvignon has turned out even better than I predicted last year
(and I thought it was an amazing wine from barrel). It exhibits an opaque purple/black
color, and a huge, fragrant, penetrating bouquet of minerals, licorice, toast,
and remarkable layers of black fruits. Although extremely full-bodied, the wine's
hugeness and massive concentration come across as beautifully poised, balanced,
and delineated. The tannin is not as sweet as in the 1994, but it is ripe. The
quantity of tannin should ensure this wine's graceful evolution for another 20-25
years, although it will be easy to drink within 2-3 years.
Robert Parker Jr. - The Wine Advocate
Bryant Family Vineyard / P.O. Box 332 / Calistoga CA 94515