2002 Behrens & Hitchcock "Beckstoffer To Kalon" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1031821 96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 A noble expression of premier grand cru Cabernet Sauvignon that could easily compete with some of the finest Bordeaux is the 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer-To Kalon Vineyard. 2002 was obviously a great vintage for this famed vineyard situated in the Oakville corridor. This offering possesses an inky/purple color as well as a glorious perfume of graphite, smoked herbs, creme de cassis, and new saddle leather. Full-bodied, with magnificent concentration and purity, low acidity, and high but well-integrated tannin, this wine can be approached now, but promises to hit its stride in 4-5 years, and last for 15-20. It is the most profound Cabernet Sauvignon the B & H consortium has yet produced. (RP)  (2/2005)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (blended with 9% Merlot) Good ruby color. Vibrant aromas of black raspberry, bitter chocolate and violet. Lush and thick but suave and juicy, with a texture completely different from the Kenefick and Ink bottlings. The wine's minerality gives it a lightness and contributes grip. But the flavors of black fruits and licorice are flamboyantly ripe and very deep. Finishes with substantial, thoroughly ripe tannins. Serious California Cabernet with the balance and structure for a decade or more of development in bottle. 92+ (ST)  (6/2005)

K&L Notes

Quoting Robert Parker: "I can’t say enough good things about Behrens and Hitchcock. This is the type of winery operation that gives hope to aspiring home winemakers who want to make it in the big time. They have followed their dreams, unearthed top vineyards that were available to everybody, and are making non-interventionalistic wines of extraordinary personality and character." (02/2005)

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Price: $109.99

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Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.