Join us for this rare single-bottle vertical of one of Napa Valley’s most coveted wines – Bryant Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. We have this evening one of my favourite kinds of verticals – one where all the vintages are consecutive, as it allows for a very close look at style and quality evolution, and how the estate and the team respond to the full spectrum of seasons each decade brings.
Indeed tonight’s selection takes us back to the beginning (another favourite thing to do!) – the 1992 vintage, when Helen Turley joined the Bryants as winemaker, and through the first 13 vintages. It’s a pretty remarkable collection of bottles when you consider that that initial production was only 300 cases per year.
My interest was piqued recently when I tasted the 1994 Bryant amongst a range of several other high level 1994 California Cabernets at dinners we hosted in Hong Kong and Singapore. Here’s my Hong Kong note on that wine –
Fine and sweet and very fine on the nose; sweet, opulent, seamless and very fine on the palate, definitely Napa in expression, but does this with finesse, with a liquorious feel, yet somehow without any obvious heat from alcohol, just opulence. This has very fine flow on the palate with natural concentration. Brilliant wine. 96
I’m really intrigued by what we might discover from 13 vintages in one evening. Stephen Tanzer, who conducted a reasonably complete vertical in 2017 gives us some reason to be hopeful – ‘Of the many extensive vertical tastings I’ve conducted in California and elsewhere in recent years, the Bryant flagship wine stands out for the consistency of its high quality—clear proof of the supremacy of the site’, he wrote at Vinous.
Clearly there is something in this 13 acre volcanic loamy site, perched up Pritchard Hill, overlooking Lake Hennessey. It’s a warm site, and made by (the most highly skilled) practitioners of the modern Napa style, so don’t expect lean, acid-driven wines!
This is a special line up, and opportunity, which I look forward to sharing with you alongside the superb cuisine, setting, and service of China Tang in Central, Hong Kong on Wednesday, 18th March.
Dinner Menu and Wine Pairing
唐 • 拼 Appetizer Delight
Barbecued Pork, Honey Sauce
Chilled Baby Spinach, Sesame Sauce
Baked Cauliflower, Black Truffle Sauce
Marinated Duck, Soy Sauce, Hangzhou Style
1992, 1993, 1994 Bryant Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
熱菜 Hot Dish
Crispy Bean Curd, Minced Wagyu Beef
1995, 1996, 1997 Bryant Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Pan-fried Scallop, Okra, Lily Bulb
Simmered Chicken Fillet, Wild Mushroom, Black Truffle
1998, 1999, 2000 Bryant Family Cabernet Sauvignon
Wok-fried Sliced Lamb, Peking Scallion, Black Garlic
2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004 Bryant Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Braised Rice in Pot, Abalone, Diced Chicken
Chilled Rose Jelly
美點 Chinese Petit Four
Signature Baked Molten Custard Bun
Steamed Dark Sugar Cane Sponge Cake