You are cordially invited to join our very unique tasting of Napa Valley’s Perliss Estate Vineyards.
Recently introduced to us by a friend and client of G+C we are very excited to be able to bring to Hong Kong for the first time these highly sought-after wines. Perliss Vineyards has been quietly building a loyal following in the US amongst collectors and a handful of top restaurants across the country. Anthony Perliss is a man dedicated to his pursuit of making something special with his small but blessed piece of terroir in the Northern Napa Valley. When I say small, I mean that his wines are limited to less than 1000 bottles per cuvee and sold almost exclusively by mailing list. We are delighted to be receiving a small allocation for the Asian market. We look forward to sharing this exciting new project with you.
Perliss Vineyards The Ravens 2013 $1,150
Nose: Black currant, cherry, cedar, toffee, roasted almonds, cocoa, rosemary, lavender, beef stock,
Palate: Very big bright attack, juicy core of roast meats, toffee, perfect acidity balance with a brilliant complex interplay of sweet and savory, light and dark, meaty and fruity.
Finish: Mint, currants, chocolate and roast beef in a mushroom reduction sauce.
Visual: Jan Van Eyck's "Arnolfini Wedding Portrait"
Very complex, with great balance, seemingly dark and serious but upon closer inspection light and pregnant with possibility...
Perliss Vineyards The Ravens $1,250
Nose: Cherry, malted chocolate, nutmeg, plum, toffee, violets, clove, vanilla, smoked duck, cedar, sandalwood, eucalyptus.
Palate: Big attack with very ripe stone fruits, candied citrus, cherry, cocoa, cranberry, red currants, pomegranate, forest humus.
Finish: Everything in place, note of umeboshi salted plum. Great concentration and complexity this vintage, even a bit of flashiness.
Visual: "Svayambhu" by Anish Kapoor: A silently dynamic and powerfully mysterious experience of scale, depth, and volume.
Should be decanted 30 minutes to 1 hour before drinking.
On the northernmost end of Napa Valley sits 2.6 acres of breathtaking natural beauty. A little knoll of Cabernet Sauvignon vines breaches over groves of oaks, manzanitas, and madrones. Mount St. Helena shades it and provides a picturesque backdrop to it. This gem is Perliss Estate Vineyards, where the Perliss Family and Winemaker Aaron Potts tend their vineyards amongst turkey vultures, hawks, and ravens. Their process is wholly organic and hands-on. The vines are cane-pruned, the grapes are hand-picked, and ladybugs are the estate’s pesticide of choice. It all adds up to a natural grape growing environment at the Perliss Estate Vineyards. That care in the vineyard translates into the high quality on offer at Perliss. Low-vigor rootstock was planted in 2008 with the See clone grafted the following year.
Perliss age some of their wine in amphorae. These clay vessels aren’t widely used in New World winemaking. They allow for air penetration without adding the tannins and flavors you get when aging wine in oak.
The result of their labors is wines named after classical allusions. Their Cabernet Sauvignons are justly called The Ravens, with noses of blackberry, malted chocolate, cherry and other rich flavors. Their one white is The Serpents, made of Semillon from the Knights Valley and containing notes of honey and beeswax.
Initially quite closed, but after double decanting, followed with bottle breathing for about 2 hours, beautiful aromas of white flowers, honeysuckle and citrus peel slowly reveals itself. The palate itself is quite restrained but the ageing potential is very evident, with complex peach, citrus, spice and beeswax characters that is so typical of great Semillon. This is reminiscent of some of the best Hunter Valley Semillons, and given the price, it delivers excellent value for money. One to keep!
Perliss 'The Ravens' Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 $1,150
After a couple of hours in the decanter, this opened up to a very intense and powerful bouquet of sweet spices, cedar and blackberry fruits. Ripe, fine-grained tannin are balanced with delicate acidity. There is very good concentration of fruit, showing some really nice brambly characters, coupled with black currant, cassis and maraschino cherries. Still very young, but definitely approachable.
Perliss 'The Ravens' Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 $1,250
Quite restrained even after 2 hours decanting – this was equally if not more powerful than the 2013, displaying dark fruits, hawthorn, and forest floor aromas. The palate is very tight and rustic, with complex leathery and black pepper spice being the dominant characteristics. A little young to drink at present, and definitely needs several more years before it will really show it's true characters, but the potential is certainly there. It would be nice to revisit this in 5-10 years' time once the tannins soften up and the ripe fruit profile starts to reveal itself. In the meantime, pair this with a big piece of flame-grilled steak!