2018 Tor 'Vine Hill Ranch' Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville

(Net Item - no discounts apply)

Dunnuck says “this site in Oakville has been firing on all cylinders” and this gorgeous Cabernet is a fine example. From the rockiest section of the vineyard comes a stunner with a rich, gravelly bouquet and the full-bodied structure to go for miles in the cellar. Blackcurrants, blueberries and tea leaves travel on a smooth, creamy palate towards a long, persistent finish. Give it a few years before you crack the seal, then dive on in.

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.

Cabernet Sauvignon
Jeff Ames
20 months
Oak Treatment:
French oak barrels
Napa Valley
Vine Hill Ranch
Total Varietal Composition %:
100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Alcohol %:
SKU #:
750 ml Bottle

Jeb Dunnuck

This site in Oakville has been firing on all cylinders recently, and the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Vine Hill Ranch (100% Cabernet From the rockiest section in the vineyard) is just another example of the incredible quality from the vineyard. Inky purple, its stunning bouquet of crème de cassis, graphite, lead pencil shaving, tobacco, and gravelly earth notes give way to a full-bodied, structured wine that reminds me a great vintage of Smith Haut Lafitte with its incredible earthy minerality as well as finesse and elegance. It needs 4-5 years of bottle age and will keep for 20-30 years.


James Suckling

Amazing aromas of blackcurrants, raspberries, blueberries, meat and black tea leaves. Medium to full body and compact, polished tannins. Creamy, velvety-textured palate that is long and persistent. Precise wine. Shows great potential for the future.



The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Vine Hill Ranch Vineyard is positively stunning. The wine's volume and breadth captures all of the pedigree of this site. Succulent black cherry, chocolate, licorice, menthol, savory herbs, leather and spice are some of the many notes that flesh out in the glass. The 2018 is rich, heady and exotically beautiful. There is so much to discover in this breathtakingly beautiful Cabernet Sauvignon. The old-school Cabernet aromatics and structure are superb. The Tor Vine Hill Ranch emerges from Block 7. (AG)


Wine Advocate

The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Vine Hill Ranch comes from Block 7, which has 20-year-old vines and a gravelly soil type. It spent about three weeks on the skins during and after fermentation and was matured in small French oak barrels for 20 months. Deep garnet-purple in color, it opens with opulent scents of kirsch, black raspberries, black currant cordial and Black Forest cake with hints of dried mint, tilled soil and black truffles. Medium to full-bodied, the wine completely coats the mouth with red and black fruit preserves layers, supported by firm grainy tannins and bold freshness, finishing with a lively lift. (LPB)