• Producer: Cliff Lede Vineyards - read about the Estate
  • Winemaker: Christopher Tynan
  • Region (AVA): Napa (Oakville)
  • Blend: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Vintage production: 615 cases
  • Winery location: Stags Leap District
  • Owner: Cliff Lede
  • First vintage: 2012
  • Drinking window: 2019-2054


About The Wine:


Situated on the western Oakville bench, the vaunted Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard has gravelly loam soils with high mineral content derived from sedimentary deposits of the volcanic Mayacamas Mountains and the alluvial fan of the Napa River. The vineyard has low organic matter content and thorough drainage, which devigorates the vines and produces small berries that are ideal for wines with intense concentration. The site is warm and sunny throughout the day, but cooled by late afternoon breezes, producing ripe Cabernet Sauvignon with lovely acidity. The blocks that make up CLV's blend represent a diverse array of the Beckstoffer To Kalon terroir and clonal selection, creating a unique and extraordinary wine from this praised site.


In the cool darkness of night, grapes were hand-picked into twenty-five pound bins to minimize crushing. By early morning, the grapes were subjected to rigorous selection by a three-tiered sorting process, which includes CLV's cutting edge optical sorter and a slow, individual berry hand sort. The fruit was gently gravity-delivered to small tanks and wooden cuves by a unique crane system, which kept the berries intact. Cold soaks lasted from five to eight days, and fermentations were managed through a combination of pump overs and délestage.


Extended maceration of up to six weeks ensured exceptional extraction and fine-tuning of tannin profiles. This wine underwent eighteen months of élevage in French oak barrels, 88% of which were new.


The 2016 growing season represented a continuation of exceptional vintages in Napa Valley. Another drought year, 2016 began with a dry winter, followed by a warm, frost-free early spring with just enough rainfall to fill the soil profile, leading to an early budbreak with resources to develop healthy canopies. The vintage progressed at a leisurely pace due to moderate temperatures throughout most of the remaining growing season. Crop levels were slightly below average due to a dry late spring and a cool weather spell during flowering. The dry soils led to small berries, creating very concentrated fruit. With lovely summer weather, grapes were harvested at optimal ripeness and the resulting wines have generous fruit with intensity and vibrancy. 


Cliff Lede Vineyards Beckstoffer To Kalon Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

  • "Leading off the three wines from Cliff Lede, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon is pure perfection in a glass. This extraordinary wine is unquestionably one of the finest in this report and has an awesome, singular style that's hard to believe. Saturated purple in color, it offers a kaleidoscope of gamey blueberries, crushed black cherries, forest floor, leafy herbs, and damp earth. Deep, massively concentrated, and layered on the palate, it has layer upon layer of complexity and texture, building sweet tannins, and a monster finish. This is one of those magical wines that you can't forget. Drink it any time over the coming 3-4 decades."

    100 points, Jeb Dunnuck (Jan. 2019)


    "Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon leaps from the glass with fragrant notes of potpourri, oolong tea, Chinese five spice, hoisin and fallen leaves with a core of warm blackberries, crushed blackcurrants and eucalyptus. Full-bodied and powerfully fruited in the mouth, the black fruit and spicy layers have a firm yet velvety backbone and the finish is long and perfumed."

    98+ points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown (The Wine Advocate, Oct. 2018)

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