Beckstoffer To Kalon is possibly Napa Valley’s most iconic vineyard, in part due to the number of 100-point wines that have carried its vineyard designation. Napa pioneer Hamilton Crabb first planted the historical vineyard in 1868, and it was acquired by Andy Beckstoffer in 1993, who championed the concept of vineyard designated wines. The rest is history.
The vineyard lies on the western boundary of the Oakville Appellation. Running through the middle and west side of the vineyard are remnants of ancient streambeds riddled with rock, which provides exceptional drainage – ideal habitat for Cabernet Sauvignon. Over the last two decades, we have accumulated ten blocks in this coveted vineyard, with two rare blocks of Cabernet Franc. We consider each block Grand Cru quality.
This wine may be the only time the blocks that bookend this iconic vineyard will be exclusively blended together in a complete wine. A Block is on the eastern corner, F Block the farthest west. Both were fermented separately, and in our early blending sessions showed a great affinity for each other in 2021. Both were aged in Darnajou French oak, with a little Taransaud T5 spice rack and aged 20 months in this cooperage. During this period, we did a rigid barrel selection to make this rare, most probably first ever “bookends” bottling of Beckstoffer To Kalon. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.
“The 2021 To Kalon FnA is aromatically a mix of blackberries, tar, and forest floor. On the palate this wine is very supple, with purity of fruit, spice, and less obvious structure than the other To Kalon‘s of this vintage. This wine shows tremendous breadth on the palate, length on the finish, and of the three To Kalon‘s from this Vintage, this bottling will be the most approachable at a younger age.”
The 2021 growing season began with January, February, and March rains totaling close to eight inches. The groundwater led to more canopy than the previous warm 2020, but all our sites are well drained and did not require significant canopy management. The summer was dry and uneventful. By harvest, the clusters were uniformly small, providing high skin to juice ratio, giving us wines with structure wrapped around a core of dense fruit. In the barrel, these wines evolved slowly gaining momentum and complexity over the 20-month elevage. It is an outstanding vintage from any vantage point.