LCBO Vintages Classics Release
Pioneering vintner H.W. Crabb planted his vineyard in the mid-19th century. Well-regarded for its superlative fruit, he named it To Kalon, Greek for “highest good”. In the 20th century, To Kalon found new glory as the source of the legendary Georges de Latour wines made by Andre Tchelistcheff.
Re-planted in 1994, the Beckstoffer To Kalon vineyard is a winemaker’s dream for growing Cabernet Sauvignon. The unique exposure ensures optimal sunlight for fruit ripening. Warm by day and cooled in the late afternoon by Pacific breezes coming in over the Mayacamas Mountains, this microclimate experiences a diurnal temperature swing that increases acidity and complexity in the fruit. The bale loam and bale clay loam soils provide good drainage.
A classic vintage with few seasonal extremes, 2014 set the stage for superior quality. An excellent bud burst and fruit set period were followed by a warm summer, lacking any significant heat spikes. Even ripening gave way to a slightly early harvest. The resulting wines boast a great expression of To Kalon’s terroir, showing depth and distinction.
Fruit was harvested and sorted by hand while still cold from the field to ensure that only the best grapes were used. They were fermented in small, stainless steel tanks by indigenous yeast. The wine went through spontaneous malolactic fermentation after being racked to barrels. Following 20 months maturation in new French oak, the wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered.
The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon from the Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard shows beautifully in the glass with its densely saturated garnet colour. The nose is elegant and complex with aromas of crushed graphite, cedar, sage, and cigar box. The palate shows flavours of black cherry, blackberry, and currant. The full mouthfeel, weight, and round texture is offset by silky yet pronounced tannins.
“The first-growth 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard flirts again with a potential perfect score when it is finally in bottle. Opaque purple in color, with notes of charcoal, graphite, incense, blueberry and blackberry fruit, and a touch of new oak followed by a full-bodied, massively concentrated mouthfeel. This is an amazing wine for a 2014, and the good news is that there are 800 cases of it, compared to only 638 in 2013. It should drink well for 20 or more years.”
(96-100) points, Robert Parker, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, March 2016
“Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard reveals notes of blackberry preserves and blueberry compote with chocolate box, star anise, sandalwood, dried meat and black loam nuances. The full-bodied palate is earthy and muscular, with a solid frame of ripe, grainy tannins and just enough freshness to support the taut earthy and savory flavors, finishing on a lingering spicy note. 840 cases were made.”
98 + points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, Oct 2017