Combining old school Napa pedigree with a very contemporary passion for terroir and individual vineyard expression, we have been enamoured by Tor Kenward’s wines since some of the team first encountered them in New York City last year. 2019 was an outstanding vintage in the Napa Valley – together with 2018 achieving back-to-back quality at a level rarely seen in living memory. Today we are thrilled to offer the last of our allocation of TOR 2019.
I was absolutely blown away by the wines I tasted this year from Tor Kenward and winemaker Jeff Ames…Wine after wine, I was so impressed with what I tasted, especially the 2018 and 2019s Cabernet-based wines
– Antonio Galloni / Vinous
The winery’s focus is on the highest quality Chardonnay and Cabernet, from some of Napa’s most prestigious vineyard sites, but the pioneering spirit still drives TOR and 2019 saw a new wine from Paso Robles. Mid-way between San Francisco and Los Angeles, Paso Robles is a rugged, coastal landscape with vineyards planted mostly to Rhone varieties. TOR’s Chasing Windmills is a blend of Syrah and Grenache from this hot bed of new wine talent, currently one of the most exciting sources of wine in all California.
In addition, we are able to offer two of TOR’s classic Napa Cabernets.
A new wine, the 2019 Chasing Windmills Fulldraw Vineyard was made and bottled in Paso Robles. A blend of 59% Syrah and 41% Grenache, aged in 20% new French oak (mainly puncheons), it offers up scents of asphalt, crushed stone, black olives, ripe cherries and espresso. Full-bodied and not particularly tannic, it’s supple across the palate, then tart and mouthwatering on the finish.
91/100 – Joe Czerwinski / Robert Parker
Tor’s 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Tierra Roja Vineyard—from an Oakville site on the eastern edge of the valley, just below Dalla Valle—delivers charming notes of cherries, redcurrants and cassis. It’s full-bodied, supple, silky and long on the finish, with a touch of mocha, gentle herbal shadings and an overall sense of elegance.
96/100 – Joe Czerwinski
The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Tierra Roja Vineyard is bright and energetic, all in a mid-weight style that is quite attractive. Lifted floral accents, orange peel, spice, crushed rocks and earthy tones add an attractive aromatic upper register. This is an especially gracious wine from Tierra Roja. The 2019 is very nicely done.
93/100 – Antonio Galloni / Vinous
Aromas of tile, dust, terra cotta and red fruit follow through to a full-bodied palate with clearly defined tannins that are layered and fresh. So drinkable and pretty. Drink or hold.
96/100 – James Suckling
The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Melanson Vineyard is one of the clear highlights in this range from Tor. Rich and creamy in the glass, the 2019 is endowed with tremendous purity of fruit matched with tannins that are unusually silky for this rugged hillside site. Nothing in particular stands out. Instead, it is the wine’s stunning balance that makes the deepest impression. Time brings out gorgeous inner perfume and aromatic presence. Superb.
97/100 – Antonio Galloni
From a steep, rocky site on Pritchard Hill, the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Melanson Vineyard features scents of dried herbs and crushed stone overlaid on a bed of ripe cassis and black cherries. Showing considerably more structure and tannin than most of the other Cabernets from Tor, it’s full-bodied and firm, with a fresh, crisp finish. Put it away for several years.
94/100 – Joe Czerwinski
Crushed stone and blackberries with some black pepper. Granite and pine cone, too. Medium-to full-bodied, firm and racy with a long finish. Wonderful typicity. Drink after 2025.
98/100 – James Suckling