This is one explosive, fruit-bomb of a wine with mountainous richness – rock-solid and yet wonderfully plush. Great wine is all about keeping the elements in balance and this Lithology is like a towering cairn, each layer supporting the next from the crushed blackberries to the truffles to the red roses. With 2-3 decades of multi-dimensional drinking in its future, this needs to be a big part of YOUR future!
When he decided to establish a family domaine in his own name in the Napa Valley, international wine entrepreneur Alejandro Bulgheroni did everything right. The details are simply dizzying. First, he bought a vineyard and winery just south of Meadowood Resort in St. Helena, where Bill Harlan and his team made some of their wines before he moved into new facilities on the west side of Oakville. He hired Jim Barbour, a Rutherford native and veteran of over 40 Napa Valley harvests to manage this Alejandro Bulgheroni Estate Vineyard. Barbour has also been responsible for tending the vines of such luminaries as Hundred Acre, Checkerboard, Gandona, Blankiet, and Grace Family.There would be no question that Bulgheroni would also purchase fruit from Andy Beckstoffer’s jewel box vineyards, such as To Kalon in Oakville, and Las Piedras and Dr. Crane in St. Helena. The winemaking team had to be the best in the world. Bulgheroni hired superstar winemaker Philippe Melka [Dominus, Pétrus] and his onetime mentor Michel Rolland to oversee oenology. Day to day winemaking is handled by Matt Sands, an alum of harvests at Screaming Eagle and Bryant Family. Critical acclaim inevitably followed. In December of last year, Robert Parker scored every 2015 and 2016 Bulgheroni wine above 95, with the 2016 Lithology Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon scoring a potential 100 points.
Pure perfection, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Lithology Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard is a nuclear fruit bomb of a wine, offering massive richness and depth while being as graceful as a ballerina, with no sensation of weight or heaviness. Classic To Kalon crème de cassis, black raspberries, flowery incense, spice, and tobacco notes all define the bouquet, and it’s full-bodied, with a layered, multi-dimensional texture, ultra-fine tannins, and a great finish. It has another 2-3 decades of prime drinking ahead of it. This cuvée is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, sourced from four blocks in To-Kalon, aged 20 months in 82% new French oak.WA98
With an opaque purple-black color, the 2018 Lithology Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard strides confidently out of the glass with classic notions of cassis, baked plums and cedar chest, plus suggestions of dusty soil, bouquet garni, cinnamon stick and dried lavender. The full-bodied-palate is laden with hedonic black fruit preserves and fragrant spices, framed by plush, well-managed tannins and just enough freshness, finishing long and perfumed.JS98
This is really fantastic with a terra-cotta and cement texture and flavor, as well as violets and other flowers. Full and very refined with great length. Hints of salinity. Better in a two or three years, but gorgeous even now.VN96
The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Lithology Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard is laced with the essence of crème de cassis, blackberry jam, chocolate, grilled herbs and licorice. This powerful, virile Cabernet needs a few years to soften, but it has a ton to offer. The natural breadth and resonance of To Kalon are very much on display.