TOR’s All-Star Showdown at Cindy’s
Until today, we’ve never offered one of Tor Kenward’s stunning single-vineyard Cabernets. But I met with Tor for lunch at Cindy's Backstreet in St. Helena, where he prepped me with some of the stars of his cellar — 1986 Foreman Cabernet, 1978 Phelps Backus Vineyard Cabernet, 1980 Beringer Lemmon-Chabot Cabernet, and 1974 Heitz — before serving the true star of the show, a current release 2014 TOR Cabernet Sauvignon Tierra Roja Vineyard Oakville Napa Valley. Streaming from the decanter to my glass, purple-black in color, it was stunning: incredibly layered with fantastic structure — a true modern classic, far superior in outright quality and destined to surpass those great wines with careful cellaring. Robert Parker called this latest 95-point masterpiece from the terraced, 4-acre jewel Tierra Roja Vineyard, “a sexy, beautiful, fragrant wine,” with the depth to evolve for 20-25 years in the cellar. I’m pleased to be able to offer 420 bottles, which Tor held back especially for Wine Access clients. Not to be missed — the 2015 release is already sold out!
Wine Access clients are no strangers to Tor Kenward’s world-class offerings, having snapped up allocations of the 96-point Proprietary Red, the 95-point Napa Valley Cabernet, and the 95-point Torchiana Chardonnay. Neither is Robert Parker, who has offered “kudos to Tor Kenward, who is pushing the envelope in a dramatic and brilliant manner,” and has described the portfolio as offering “wines with sensational quality.”
Never before have we offered one of Tor’s stunning single-vineyard Cabernets, however, which hail from some of the Valley’s greatest sources: Beckstoffer’s To Kalon, Melanson, Herb Lamb, and Linda Neal’s Tierra Roja.
The earth beneath Neal’s meticulously farmed hillside vines is, as you might expect, red and rocky. Four acres of volcanic soil ideally suited to Cabernet Sauvignon yield dark, aromatic, beautiful wines produced in extremely limited quantities. It took Tor years of knocking on Neal’s door to get access to this incredible fruit, but today he holds the lone contract to Tierra Roja.
Since 2010, the year of Tor’s first Tierra Roja release, four out of the last five vintages have received at least 95 points from Robert Parker, including the magnificent 2014.
Alongside winemaker Jeff Ames — named “one of Napa’s rising stars” by Wine Spectator — Tor Kenward has produced an absolute gem. Secure your share of the highly allocated and highly collectible 2014 Tierra Roja now.
Matt Deller MW
Master of Wine