Lisa Perotti-Brown on Pym-Rae: “Having tried this 2018 vintage for the third time recently, I’m impressed how each year brings out the singular nature of this remote site, yet the wine’s earthy restraint speaks clearly of Mount Veeder. Napa Valley wine lovers will want to keep their eyes out for offers in early September. (…) The 2016 and 2017 vintages I tasted for Robert Parker Wine Advocate were sympathetically crafted, evocative expressions of this place. Harvested from September 20 to October 24, 2018, taking full advantage of this more extended, cooler growing season and slow evolution of flavor ripeness, this vintage kicks the layers up a notch.“
The 2018 Pym-Rae can be thought of as a hypothetical mix of the 2016 and 2017, with more sexiness and opulence than the 2017 and a touch more elegance and precision than the 2016. Wonderful cassis, violets, tobacco, lead pencil, and chocolate notes define this beauty, and it's full-bodied, with a gorgeous sense of elegance and purity, perfect tannins, and an incredible finish. This stunningly majestic, flawlessly balanced Mountain Cabernet already offers pleasure yet will benefit from 4-5 years of bottle age, and it should be a 50-year wine. Bravo!
The 2018 Pym-Rae reveals a deep garnet-purple color and a slightly reticent, slowly emerging nose of freshly crushed blackcurrants, ripe blackberries and wild blueberries with suggestions of garrigue, red currant jelly, mossy tree bark and truffles plus wafts of bouquet garni and Sichuan pepper. The palate is full-bodied and fantastically concentrated with tightly wound layers of black and red berry notions, framed by very firm yet beautifully ripe tannins and amazing tension, finishing with epic length and loads of mineral sparks.
This is extremely aromatic with blackberries, black pepper and spice. Dried flowers, too. Full-bodied with very tight, fine tannins and a racy, refined finish. Raspberries and currants at the end. Very fine and polished. The center fruit is so pure. Aged in 60% new wood barrels and 40% concrete. Drink in 2023 and onwards.