TOR Melanson Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
|California, Napa Valley, Pritchard Hill
Pritchard Hill is not an official appellation, but many great wines claim and champion the name. It’s neighbor on this legendary hill is Colgin. Greg Melanson’s vineyard is very steep with rows running up and down the hill. Its rocky face looks down at Napa Valley’s floor. Higher elevation and afternoon breezes coming from the Pacific cool the vineyard in the warm afternoons. Ideal real estate for world class Cabernet. The mountain site is rugged, its Sobrante loam soil studded with volcanic rock. At an average elevation of 1,200 feet, the vineyard sits above the fog line and benefits from maximum sun exposure all day.
The 2019 Melanson Cabernet is certainly one of the most plush/round Melasnon's we have made since we first started from here in 2013. There is the typical tannin structure off of Pritchard Hill but this year the perception of the tannin is more supple and smooth. There is roast beef, tobacco, menthol, dried herbs, vineyard dust and currants. As approachable as this is right now I would expect a comfortable 10-15 years of graceful development.
94 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: 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.
International Wine Report
Melanson Vineyard is a breathtaking site that is located high atop Pritchard Hill, overlooking some of the most iconic vineyards. The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon is a drop-dead stunning wine that is impressive for its density and bold characteristics. It immediately impresses with its seductive aromas of ripe blackcurrants, black cherries, and boysenberries which are joined by exotic spices, violets, loam, and crushed gravel that all burst from the glass. On the palate, this displays a gorgeous full body that is dense and concentrated. It continues to impress with its beautiful polished frame and mouth-watering supple texture that delivers plush layers of delicious ripe dark fruits through the long, mouth coating finish. There is an incredible sense of purity and freshness that leave a lasting impression on this stunning wine. The Melanson Vineyard is a total gem in this vintage and should not be missed.
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.
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.
There are six barrels of the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Melanson Vineyard, a 100% varietal from a great site on Pritchard Hill, just across the valley from Colgin. Its saturated purple hue is followed by a beautiful perfume of cassis and blackberry fruits as well as tobacco, scorched earth, and graphite, with an almost Graves-like gravelly earth character emerging with time in the glass. It is rich, full-bodied, and powerful, with lots of ripe tannins, terrific overall balance, and a serious, age-worthy style that still offers pleasure even today. It's worth giving bottles 2-4 years in the cellar, and it's going to shine for over two decades.