Napa pioneer Dr. George Belden Crane originally planted Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard in 1858. During the 1920’s the Chinatown of the City of St. Helena was located on the site. Acquired by Beckstoffer Vineyards in 1997, the vineyard’s gravelly loam soils were replanted in 1998 to multiple clones of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc.
The 2019 Dr. Crane Cabernet, our first ever, was fermented in a single 4 ton closed top tank for 20 days. After basket pressing it was put straight into a combination of Taransaud, Darnajou, and Sylvain barrels. From that point until bottling 20 months later it was racked a total of 4 times before being bottled unfined and unfiltered.
The first Dr. Crane from Tor shows just why wineries clamor for the best sites within this small old quarry site in St Helena. Right out of the gate this shows the classic hot rocks/wet earth profile that it has become known for. This has loads of espresso, dark chocolate, cloves and juniper berries. As rich as this is it has a remarkable mid palate freshness that just carries the wine through to an almost endless finish.
After a good wet spring, the 2019 growing season fell into its typical dry and sunny summer, unmarked by any extremes. Consistent temps helped to preserve freshness and finesse in the fruit with abundant hang time teasing out great color, structure and soft tannins. The fruit set was lighter than 2018, clusters tight and concentrated. 2019 were slow to come around in barrel, but once in bottle showed very precocious, more so than 2018. This is a vintage that is going to make a lot of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon lovers very happy. An outstanding Napa Valley vintage with very accessible wines that will age well.