2011 TOR Kenward "Tierra Roja" Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1168358 96 points James Suckling

 This is gorgeous wine with terracotta, roses, light iron and strawberries. Very perfumed. Full body with super-integrated tannins and a long, long, bright finish. From a favorite vineyard. Drink now or hold.  (5/2014)

94 points Vinous

 Tor's 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Tierra Roja Vineyard will challenge readers' perceptions about the year. It boasts striking depth and intensity supported by beams of minerality. Constantly changing in the glass, the 2011 Tierra Roja is dark, powerful and built for cellaring. The impeccable, polished finish makes it impossible to resist a second taste. This is another drop-dead gorgeous effort from Tor. Yields were just 1.5 tons per acre. (AG)  (11/2013)

93 points Wine Spectator

 Enticingly graceful and polished, presenting a rich core of blackberry, plum and wild berry notes, with shades of black licorice, anise and mocha woven within. Ends with ample tannic weight and presence, bolstered by sustained fruit and oak flavors. Best from 2015 through 2023. (JL)  (11/2014)

91-93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Tierra Roja Vineyard (150 cases produced versus twice that much in 2010) is made in a lighter, easygoing, consumer-friendly style with lots of black currant, bouquet garni and tobacco leaf characteristics, medium body, outstanding ripeness as the alcohols are relatively elevated, soft tannins and low acidity. This will be an endearing 2011 to enjoy over the next 7-8 years. (RP)  (10/2013)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (from red soil rich in iron, on steep, terraced vineyards just east of the Oakville Crossroad; a bit of petit verdot was co-fermented with the cabernet): Bright red-ruby. Highly distinctive nose of red fruits, iron, fresh blood, hot rocks and musky mocha. Plush, sweet and truffley on the palate, offering sexy red berry and loamy soil flavors complicated by licorice and wild herbs. Has the concentration to buffer its dusty, building tannins but this wine will need at least a few years to harmonize in bottle. (ST) 92+  (6/2014)

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Price: $119.99

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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 M├ędoc 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.