Tesseron Estate 'Pym-Rae' Bordeaux blend California Napa 2016

Tesseron Estate 'Pym-Rae' Bordeaux blend California Napa 2016

Regular price $359.00

Only 3 left.

2020 - 2048

Lisa Perrotti-Brown

A blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot and 7% Cabernet Franc, the 2016 Pym-Rae displays a deep garnet-purple color and reveals wonderfully fragrant notes of candied violets, wilted roses, damp soil and black tea over a core of red and black currants, black cherries and warm blackberries plus touches of cigar box and camphor. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is evocatively singular, offering that rock-solid structure of mountain fruit, yet these are wonderfully ripe, silt-like tannins that beautifully support the elegant red and black fruit layers, finishing very long and very perfumed.

This is the first vintage off this estate following the purchase of the old Robin Williams vineyard and house by Chateau Pontet-Canet proprietor Alfred Tesseron back in 2016. The estate includes just under 20 acres of mature Cabernet Sauvignon (75%), Merlot (18%) and Cabernet Franc (7%) vines, planted in 1990. Now officially dubbed “Pym-Rae,” in respect for the original name given to the vineyard by Robin Williams (Pym and Rae are the middle names of two of Williams’s children), the site is perched at an average altitude of 1,500 feet (500 meters) on Mount Veeder. This first vintage off this vineyard is nothing like other wines I have tasted from Mount Veeder. And this makes sense, because to visit the property is to grasp how remote this side of the mountain is, and although this and other vineyards around it have long been in production, until now the fruit has been sold to large wineries and blended away in Napa Valley AVA wines. Currently, the wines are made at a winery facility up on Howell Mountain, one that I have visited and at which I witnessed the 2016 vintage in production. Tesseron’s number-one demand of a temporary facility to produce his first Napa wine was simple: absolute control. Here he has it, at least until his winery on Mount Veeder has been completed (currently in the planning stages). Thomas Comme, the son of Jean-Michel Comme, the winemaker at Chateau Pontet-Canet, is winemaker and has lived at the estate since 2016. This first 2016 vintage is truly exciting—a sympathetically crafted, evocative expression of this place that is a must-try for readers who are as passionate as I am in discovering another unique expression of this incredibly multifaceted region for the highest quality Bordeaux blends.