There is no mistaking Melanson in the impressive TOR lineup. This stunning wine sings of Pritchard Hill perfection with its intense, mountain-driven character and bright, red fruit. The 2019 is a touch darker, capturing the riveting beauty of the vintage with vibrancy and energy for days. Give this bottle a place of pride in the cellar for a couple of years and then let it impress you for the next two decades.
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.
The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Melanson Vineyard is one of the clear highlights in this range from Tor. Rich and creamy in the glass, the 2019 is endowed with tremendous purity of fruit matched with tannins that are unusually silky for this rugged hillside site. Nothing in particular stands out. Instead, it is the wine's stunning balance that makes the deepest impression. Time brings out gorgeous inner perfume and aromatic presence. Superb. Best After 2026
There are six barrels of the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Melanson Vineyard, a 100% varietal from a great site on Pritchard Hill, just across the valley from Colgin. Its saturated purple hue is followed by a beautiful perfume of cassis and blackberry fruits as well as tobacco, scorched earth, and graphite, with an almost Graves-like gravelly earth character emerging with time in the glass. It is rich, full-bodied, and powerful, with lots of ripe tannins, terrific overall balance, and a serious, age-worthy style that still offers pleasure even today. It's worth giving bottles 2-4 years in the cellar, and it's going to shine for over two decades. Best After 2022