Just received the email for their release tomorrow afternoon. Anyone have any experience with these wines and how they compare to others at the same price point? Thanks!
In the same boat. Looking forward to answers from those in the know.
I bought the 3-pack 2016s and large format 2018s earlier this year. People I’ve spoken with are all really into what Rob has been doing with this small piece of land in Rutherford with great neighbors (J Phelps, Cakebread, Inglenook, and a little bit further NW JJ Cohn’s Scarecrow). I think i will pull the trigger to make sure i get the '18s, if nothing else.
I’ve been on the mailing list since the 2008 vintage (which may have been their first commercial vintage?), and I have found Greer to be consistently outstanding. I look forward to this release every year.
I’ve had 2 bottles of the 2016 so far, and they’ve been fabulous–serious Cabernet Sauvignon! The first bottle I double decanted and served 3 hours later, the second bottle I popped and poured and enjoyed over dinner and over a few hours (alternating with another wine)–I really liked this approach to track the evolution.
At any rate, here is the release email, and I’ll be in for 3 (I think that is the minimum order) this time:
Vintage 2017 - Upcoming 750ml Release
I am pleased to announce the imminent release of Vintage 2017, which will begin tomorrow evening, Wednesday, September 16th, and will remain open until Tuesday night, September 22nd.
We are particularly proud of our Vintage 2017. In a year considered by most as challenging, with varying results thoughout Napa and Sonoma valleys, our vineyard and winemaker produced another excellent wine. In separate, complete ‘Greerticals,’ 2017 held its own with our past vintages, displaying the qualities we strive to achieve – purity of fruit, impeccable balance, luminous color. In a word: Elegance.
The price per 750ml bottle remains at $175.
I bought from 08-12. Only stopped because I backed off most of the Napa lists. I still have most of my bottles as I’ve only tried the 08/09. Those earlier vintages were made in a classic style and I loved them. They need a lot of air if you try them young. Aaron Pott was the winemaker then. I’m not sure if he still is. Greer was a board darling from the beginning. Rob is a great guy to taste with and has a gem of a vineyard. I think I paid $150 back in 2012.
Good reminder for me to tee up the the last 08 for the fall. I’ll be sure to post notes.
I did a Greer vertical in 2018. Notes posted below. In 2019, we went back and did a full vertical of every vintage from 2007 through 2018 barrel sample with Rob and Aaron Pott (who is still the winemaker). The 2017 was late in the night, so had stopped taking notes, and all i wrote down was “acidic,” which I assume was a comparative statement! That night, my favorites were the '09, '13, and '15. The '16 was great, but so young and tight it was impossible to get into much detail. I expect it will be the best to date.
These are the notes from the 2018 tasting:
As part of a week-long Napa trip, we brought together Rob Greer, Roy Piper, Alex MacDonald, and three of my LA drinking friends for a Greer vertical: 08, 10, 11, 12, 14, and 15. Location: Mustard’s Grill in Napa.
In retrospect, I wish I had brought an ’07 and ’13 (which are probably in competition for the best Greers ever produced), but I just screwed up.
We basically drank them in 2 flights, though there was some back and forth once we got through the initial flights:
Flight 1: ’08, ’11, and ’12. For various reasons, these were the ones we expected to be most drinkable tonight.
Flight 2: ’10, ’14, and ‘15.
2008: Rob told us an interesting story about the ’08, and it explained a lot. Apparently, when the grapes were picked, there were a lot of raisins, and rather than tossing them, Aaron Pott fermented them separately from the rest of the berries. After testing various options, he decided to include the raisin juice in the blend. So, the ’08 has a very distinctive Amarone-like nose and taste. I have had the ’08 several times since release, and never noticed that, but tonight it was totally apparent right from the start. It was still delicious, but especially when tasting them side by side, this wine was dramatically different from the others.
2011: It was hard not to bring expectations about the vintage to the table. Interestingly, the ’11 started off richer than the ’12. But as each of them went to their natural resting place over the next couple of hours, the ’11 really did behave exactly as expected: acid and spice, a lot of freshness, but by far the least opulent of the bunch.
2012: Of all the wines, this one evolved the most over the course of the dinner. Everyone at the table was surprised at the structure of this vintage. Initially, it was pretty closed (popped and poured), but over time, it became far more approachable, with lots of rich chocolate notes. This was a freakin’ delicious wine.
2010: We only had two decanters at the table and chose to use one for this vintage. That was a good plan. It was the most structured and tannic wine of the night. I thought it was the most earthy wine of the night, the only one that I might have mistaken for an old world wine. A very balanced wine, this was clearly nowhere near its peak.
2014: Upon opening, the 2014 was easily the most approachable wine of the night. Every sip from start to finish went down easy. A beautiful, perfectly balanced wine.
2015: While all of these wines are as dark as can be, the ’15 was at the far end of the scale. I loved this wine. Very structured, but surprisingly drinkable, given its age and the fact that we didn’t decant it.
At the end of the night, we asked for a vote on two questions: which one did you most want to drink now, and which one did you most want to collect? The results, both by wide margins:
Drink now: 2012 (runner up: 2008)
Collect: 2015 (runner up: 2008)
Great notes. I love these wines and this is one list I would never consider not ordering from. Usually get 6 bottles. May do just 3 this year as I’m trying to scale back. Tasted with Rob in the barn years back. Memorable experience. If critic tasted these wines they’d be quite hard to get.
How long would you suggest for decanting the 2012?
Can’t go wrong with any producer where Aaron Pott is the winemaker. Might have to join this mailing list.
Great notes, thanks for posting! I have one 2008 left, and 2015 in magnum. Greer is awesome.
anyone looking to buy these/take my release, pm me.
I did not know this was going on sale until this morning.
I had the 2017 Greer two weeks ago.
Since everyone is going to wonder, the 17 fires broke out the night before their scheduled pick, so they had to push out a handful of days. But as we learned in 2017 and in 2020, a week or so of smoke, as long as the fire is not right up against you, is nothing. You get less smokiness from 50% new oak than that. I did not detect any flaw with Greer at all.
The 17 is prototypical Rutherford with its brambly red cherry and blackberry, along with the slight underbrush note that leads to the dusty finish the AVA is known for.
Medium-full body, moderate acid and moderate tannin. I think you can have it now if you like the raw up-front nature of young wine, or wait 5-7 years. It should age 15-20 with ease.
For those of you not as familiar, Greer is surrounded by the main vineyard that goes into Insignia on the East, Bella Oaks to the south, Moresoli to the north and Staglin to the west, along with Scarecrow, this vineyard is ground zero for what Rutherford is. It’s hard to go wrong in any vintage.
Aaron Pott makes the wine and for several years made his own SVD, “Arsenal,” from it. He called it that because Arsenal was Rob Greer’s favorite soccer club.
Thanks Roy. That is very useful info.
I was on the fence for the offering, and even though I have loved Greer throughout the years, paused a bit because of the vintage and price (which I think is still a good “value” for high end Napa cabs, but I’m just trying to cut down at some of these price points).
Planning to place an order now.
Thank you for your insight Roy. Looking forward to the release late today.
Interestingly, in both the 2018 and 2019 tasting, the 2012 had more structure than we expected for that vintage. I would recommend at least 2 hours, and maybe more. I know Rob likes to do a cold decant, which might slow the process a bit.
Thanks for the notes Roy! Can you please share insight on Pott’s former Arsenal wine? I still have a couple Arsenal mags from 2012 and 2013, but didn’t get on the Greer train until 2015. While I’ve tried the Arensals, I haven’t popped any Greer yet. Stylistically, is Greer similar to Pott’s Arsenal in those vintages?
Thanks! Stay safe!!!
Rob’s an Arsenal fan? Gross. I was on the fence for this vintage, but with that nugget of info, I am out. C’mon Manchester City!
And Aaron Pott is a huge Liverpool fan! Another reason not to pull the trigger!