The Beckstoffer fruit was handled with kid gloves by the Cliff Lede team, hand-picked in the dark of night into small bins to protect the grapes. Six-week maceration upped the extraction and allowed them to fine-tune the tannins before the wine found its way into 92% New French Oak for nearly two years. The payoff is perfection, with a flamboyant bouquet of blackberries and violets, a voluptuous entry with licorice and Mexican chocolate, and a fabulously complex finish with mineral and loam. It’s just a gorgeous expression of that famous To Kalon terroir from a spectacular vintage.
Since founding his namesake winery in 2002, Cliff Lede has put every emphasis on creating a world-class wine estate. With 60 acres under vine throughout the Stags Leap District, a state-of-the-art winemaking facility and a team that includes famed viticulturist David Abreu and winemaker Chris Tynan, every detail has been considered in an attempt to take Bordeaux varietals to a whole new level. A rock and roll attitude that harnesses the energy and spark of the New World while channeling values of the great Old World winemaking properties, his wines are intrinsically connected to the land with a fresh view point that is both progressive and timely. The wine world is changing, and Cliff Lede and his team are at the forefront of the movement.
Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon sports a deep garnet-purple color, bursting from the glass with bold, flamboyant notions of boysenberries, blackcurrant pastilles, stewed plums and violets plus suggestions of allspice, cumin seed, forest floor and unsmoked cigars with a waft of potpourri. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is an elegant powerhouse, quaking with the latent energy of restrained black fruit and earthy layers. It possesses seamless freshness and a fantastically long, fragrant earth and floral perfumed finish. It will require a good 3-5 years in cellar, but it will be well worth the wait.
The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard is a powerhouse. Readers will find a virile Cabernet that shows the more imposing, brooding side of To Kalon. Inky dark fruit, gravel, spice, menthol and new leather all open over time. The tannins are forbidding, though, patience is essential.