Utterly profound, exquisite red wine from To Kalon and Vine Hill (just south of Harlan). Here comes the wet stone, violet perfume, crushed blackberry, and blackcurrant juice – the eternal essence of Oakville! 44% Cabernet Franc, 44% Petit Verdot, and 12% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Proprietor Tor Kenward and his winemaking team, led by Jeff Ames, have been crafting world-class wines at this eponymous estate from its inception. Tor’s 30+ years in the Napa wine business have afforded him relationships with the sort of growers who have lines behind golden velvet ropes begging for their grapes. It pays to know where the valley’s greatest terroirs are in the Napa Valley. Robert Mondavi sited his winery smack in the middle of To Kalon because he, father Cesare, and brother Peter all knew how great the grapes were for Charles Krug in the 1950s. Starting in the 1970s, Andy Beckstoffer began studying and acquiring the finest terroirs in the valley, and strongly advocating for vineyard designation. And of course Tor Kenward, as an executive for Beringer, knew which sites were the most powerful contributors to Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet. Tor has an insider’s knowledge and a rolodex that newcomers simply can’t buy. This is why the wines of TOR are so important to us, and why they demand your attention.
The 2014 Proprietary Red from Oakville is 44% Cabernet Franc, 44% Petit Verdot and 12% Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a fabulous wine and a creative blend from Kenward. With a fabulous nose of forest floor, white flowers, licorice, incense, blackcurrant and blueberry fruit, this deep, sumptuous, full-bodied wine has fabulous intensity, low acidity and finely grained, integrated tannins. There is not much of it, but it is a beauty. It can be drunk now or cellared for another two decades.