From the first-growth vineyard of Beckstoffer To-Kalon, the 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon finished at 14.9% natural alcohol. It boasts a nearly impenetrable looking blue/purple color, not quite the weight and majesty of the perfect 2002, but gorgeous purity and creme de cassis, floral and spice box notes. The wine starts off somewhat restrained by To-Kalon standards, but it opens and builds dramatically and impressively on the palate. Full-bodied with velvety, well-integrated tannins and wood, adequate acidity, and a fleshy, succulent personality, it is another hedonistic and intellectual turn-on. As we have come to expect from anybody who deals with fruit from this vineyard, this is sensational stuff. I often wonder if grower Andy Beckstoffer’s greatest talent is not in growing grapes, but choosing to whom he sells them? This 2003 should drink well for 15-20 more years. (RP)
Ruby-red. Brooding aromas of cassis, violet and bitter chocolate. Sweet but tightly wound, with a flavor of crystallized dark berries framed by juicy acidity. Finishes with very fine, noble tannins and enticing lingering sweetness. 92(+?) points
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