Realm Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
"We had half the fruit in at To Kalon when the fires hit in 2017," winemaker Benoit Touquette informed me. "That's all we used." Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard prances out of the glass with classically opulent scents of crème de cassis, baked plums, Morello cherries and mulberries plus nuances of rose oil, spice cake, bouquet garni and dusty soil. Full-bodied, the palate is decadently showy with loads of exotic spice and floral accents lifting the rich, black fruit preserves flavors. It has a well-judged, solid frame of grainy tannins and bold freshness, finishing very long and wonderfully earthy. It seems a more structured style of To Kalon than is typical, so give it another 3-4 years in bottle and enjoy it over the next 30+ years.
The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon is another head-turning wine that defies the vintage. Coming from one of the benchmark sites in all of Napa as well as the world, it sports a deep purple hue as well as awesome notes of ripe black cherries, graphite, flowery incense, and violets. While the vineyard always seems to produce some of the most opulent and extroverted wines in the vintage, this beauty also has considerable elegance, silky tannins, and a great finish. It should continue drinking brilliantly for 20-25+ years or more.
Stylistically, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To-Kalon Vineyard reminds me a bit of the 2014 in its mid-weight structure, but it has more inner perfume and sweetness in its fruit. Dried flowers, mint, pine, graphite and crushed rocks infuse this nuanced, wonderfully vivid Cabernet with tons of complexity. The 2017 naturally still needs time to come together, but it is super-impressive even in the early going. In 2017, only the early, pre-fire picks were used in the blend, which means the finished wine is different from what was originally conceived. For that reason, the 2017 is going to be a fascinating wine to follow in the years to come.