This joint venture between 100 pt winemaker Hoefliger and philanthropist and wine lover Rob McKay has received the kind of press in The Wine Advocate that many wineries can only dream about.The duo works closely each year to bring the very best of terroir driven wines. This year featuring 3 single vineyards: To Kalon, Stagecoach, and Sleeping Lady.
See what all the talk is about!
Though it’s a relatively new project, The Debate has had an audacious debut. This joint venture between Hoefliger and philanthropist and wine lover Rob McKay has received the kind of press in The Wine Advocate that many wineries can only dream about.The duo works closely each year with vineyard impresario Andy Beckstoffer to create three distinct expressions of three of the most iconic Napa Valley terroirs: Dr. Crane in Saint Helena (est’d 1858), Missouri Hopper in Yountville (est’d 1877), and To Kalon in Oakville (est’d 1868).
(Sleeping Lady) This vineyard Yountville continues to produce brilliant wines, and the 2017 Cabernet Franc Sleeping Lady is another one to add to the list. Offering a Cheval Blanc-like bouquet of cassis, crushed flowers, spice, and cedary incense, it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, ultra-fine tannins, and a seductive, elegant, sexy texture that keeps you coming back to the glass. It shines just as much for its complexity as its texture and is going to evolve gracefully for 15-20 years. There are a scant 80 cases made. (To Kalon) One of the top expressions of this variety coming from Napa is the 2017 Cabernet Franc To Kolan, which is 100% varietal that was barrel fermented and spent 22 months in 80% new French oak. It offers a wonderful, multi-dimensional, seamless texture as well as full-bodied richness and depth, silky tannins, and complex notes of cassis, toasted bread, and flowery incense. I’d be thrilled to have bottles in the cellar, and it should cruise for 15-20 years. (Stagecoach) Lastly, the 2017 Cabernet Franc Stagecoach comes from a large site and, as with all the wines from The Debate, it’s all varietal and was fermented and aged in 80% new French oak. Revealing a deep purple/ruby hue as well as complex notes of red plums, chocolate, and spicy incense, it’s packed with fruit, hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, has sweet tannins, and a great finish. It’s a classic, beautifully balanced, elegant Cabernet Franc.JS95
(Sleeping Lady) Aromas and flavors of crushed blackberries and currants with chocolate and almonds. Full-bodied, tight and focused. Bordeaux like. Reserved. Drink or hold. (To Kalon) This is very compact and structured with intense tannins that show muscular strength, yet polish and form. Full-bodied, driven and focused. Needs four or five years to realize its potential. Drink after 2021. (Stagecoach) Very perfumed with blackberry, blueberry and lavender aromas and flavors. Medium-to full-bodied, tight and focused. Plenty of blue fruit and polished, chewy tannins. Drink after 2021.WA93
Gregarious scents of baked red and black currants, blackberries, raspberry preserves and red roses with hints of pencil shavings, fragrant earth and fried herbs plus waft of chargrill. Full-bodied with a rock-solid, grainy texture, the palate possesses loads of freshness and impressive intensity, finishing long and perfumed.