In 2015 Tor decided to cull out the best barrels from the upper blocks of Tierra Roja, just below Dalla Valle. This magical terroir floored us with its sheer intensity. Here are our notes: “Whoa. Very ripe and intense. Has it all. Great balance. Gorgeous cherry liqueur. Amaro and deep black chocolate. 3 stars.” Jeb Dunnuck agreed, calling it “a tour de force! Its deep purple color is followed by a deep, sensational bouquet of blackcurrants, black cherries, scorched earth, flowers, and loads of rock minerality. Possessing full-bodied richness, impeccable balance, and plenty of depth, it’s the purity, nuance, and elegance that set this beauty apart.”
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.
Fantastic aromas of dried flowers and dark fruits, which turn into rose petals. Full body and firms, linear tannins. Yet, focused and very long. More nerve. Compacted and so pretty. Drink in 2020.