Fresh Off the Truck: 2018 Halpin Reserve Napa Cab

Sunday, May 9, 2021

The 2018 Halpin Reserve Napa Cab I wrote about recently arrived and I cracked a bottle open to compare it to the highly regarded 2018 Yesterday Reserve Napa Cab it was alluded to be equivalent to.

Is This 2018 Halpin Reserve the same as the 2018 Yesterday Reserve?

I thought pictures might be useful here since tasting notes and ratings are so subjective. And you can tell a lot from photos. The opacity of the wine in the glass, how stained the cork ends are, how the wine clings to the glass...

Visually, I think these wines look absolutely the same.

Do They Taste the Same?

Looking back, here is my tasting note on the 2018 Yesterday Reserve:

2018 Yesterday Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley [currently sold out, affiliate link]

Decanted for two hours.
80% opaque in an appealing ruby hue that thins on the edges.

Serious and subdued aromatically with cedar notes dominant over supporting fruit.

The experience improves dramatically on the palate.
Lands with mouth-filling authority and dazzles with vibrant appeal.
Gives way to energetic silty tannins and a long satisfying finish.


94/100 WWP: Outstanding

Here's what I think about the Halpin:

2018 Halpin Reseve Napa Cab [currently sold out, affiliate link]

Pop and pour, but tasted over the course of four hours.

Aromas of ripe plums, dark cherries, and a hint of savory green herbal mint in the background.

On the palate it envelopes and delights with a blanket of luscious and weighty velvet liquid.

The tannins in these NDA wines are consistently notable. This one, like others, displays almost chewy/sweet lipid molecules of tannins that dissolve in your mouth. I can't wait to see how they evolve and integrate over time. But for now they provide an interesting finish and invite another sip.

These wines are young but you can tell a lot about a wine by how it shows the next day. By this standard, this wine shows very well with gorgeous milk chocolate and black currant preserves the next night. Almost Insignia-like.

92 the first night, 94 the second.

92-94/100 WWP: Outstanding

Bottom Line

For what it's worth, the 2018 Yesterday Reserve comparison bottle I opened alongside the Halpin trended exactly the same: Better on the second day than the first with strikingly similar tendencies along the way.

I really think the Halpin is the same wine as the Yesterday Reserve. Unfortunately both are currently sold out.

Looking for another outstanding Wine Access NDA Napa Cab that's still in stock? Check out this one from St. Helena.


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