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Realm Beckstoffer To Kalon Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
  • JS98
  • RP97
0% ABV
  • JS100
  • RP99
  • JS100
  • RP98
  • WS94
  • RP97
  • WS93
  • WS94
  • RP94
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Winemaker Notes

To Kalon: \TO ka·lon\ noun: the ideal of physical and moral beauty especially as conceived by the philosophers of classical Greece.

It was also the ancient Greeks who first said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If that is true, then To Kalon Vineyard is aptly named, considered by countless people over many decades as the preeminent vineyard of Napa Valley. Realm Cellars has been fortunate to work with grapes from Beckstoffer To Kalon since they began making wine in 2002. Comprised of a portion of the historical To Kalon vineyard planted in 1868, the 89-acre parcel was acquired by Andy Beckstoffer in 1993 and replanted to multiple clones of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Sitting on the west side of the Napa Valley’s Oakville appellation, Beckstoffer To Kalon grapes are only made available to a small number of boutique wine producers, who, quite simply, fashion them into some of the highest quality wines Napa Valley has to offer. "The wines from To Kalon are so dense, so opulent," says Winemaker Benoit Touquette. "When you look at it, it’s hard to put a finger on what makes this vineyard so special. But in the wine, its beauty is unmistakable." Realm’s Beckstoffer To Kalon Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from several blocks planted to Clones 4 and 337.

Critical Acclaim

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JS 98
James Suckling
Intense stone and blackberry character. A kaleidoscope of flowers and berries. Herbs, too. Blueberries, blackberries and licorice. Lead pencil, too. Medium-to full-bodied, savory and juicy with big tannins. Gorgeous. To Kalon grandeur. Yes! Give it three to four years.
RP 97
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Another 100% Cabernet Sauvignon is the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer to Kalon Vineyard, coming from clones 4 and 337 from that famous first-growth Oakville vineyard of 90 acres. Remarkably, the Robert Mondavi winery still owns even larger portion of the To Kalon Vineyard, but certainly doesn’t exploit it to the extent that most purchasers of Beckstoffer To Kalon fruit do. This cuvée of 450 cases is closer to a Château Latour in a great vintage than you might believe, since it’s from Napa Valley. Notes of graphite, charcoal, blackcurrant liqueur and cedar wood are followed by a muscular, full-bodied wine with fabulous purity, a skyscraper-like texture and a long, long finish, with moderately sweet, ripe tannin. Give it several years of cellaring and drink it over the following three decades, as it is a fabulous effort.

Rating:97+

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Realm
Realm, Oakville, Napa Valley, California
Realm Cellars was founded in 2002 with a simple mission - to produce superior quality Bordeaux varietals in limited quantities from the fiest fruit sources in Napa Valley. Together with winemaker Benoit Touquette and consulting enologist, Michel Rolland, the winemaking philosophy at Realm Cellars has remained consistent with the goal of producing singular wines that represent intense and delicious portraits of the vineyard sources from which they are derived.

Oakville

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Home to some of the most sought-after Cabernet Sauvignon in America, Napa Valley’s Oakville district stretches across the center of Napa's valley floor and foothills between the Vaca and Mayacamas Mountains. This AVA is home to the legendary To Kalon Vineyard and Martha's Vineyard, as well as many powerhouse wineries including Screaming Eagle, Silver Oak, Robert Mondavi, Opus One, Far Niente and Groth.

The climate is generally warm and agreeable. Summer days see a gentle tug of war between warmer inland air and the cool air coming in from the San Pablo Bay. The diverse soils, namely ancient sea bedrock, clay and gravel, are well-drained, resulting in year after year of favorable vintages.

Cabernet here is often bottled varietally but is also popular in Bordeaux blends. Oakville wines are known for their silky, sensual textures, structured tannins, dark and brooding fruit and lovely aromatics. These age-worthy and prestigious wines are favored by collectors throughout the world.

Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is sometimes referred to as the “king” of red grapes. It can be somewhat unapproachable early in its youth but has the potential to age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more at its best. Small berries and tough skins provide its trademark firm tannic grip, while high acidity helps to keep the wine fresh for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region (and in St-Emillion and Pomerol, where it plays a supporting role to Merlot). The top Médoc producers use Cabernet Sauvignon for their wine’s backbone, blending it with Merlot and smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot. On its own, Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed great success throughout the world, particularly in the Napa Valley, and is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and sought-after “cult” wines.

In the Glass

High in color, tannin, and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice, and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it's typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.

Perfect Pairings

Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb, and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.

Sommelier Secrets

Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

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