2021 Beckstoffer Vineyards Heritage Wines

Overall, the 2021 vintage was one of…power and depth.  And our 2021 Heritage Collection of wines made from Andy Beckstoffer’s six Heritage vineyards exemplifies that statement to a tee!

B Cellars is especially proud of its long-term partnership with legendary and pioneering grower, Andy Beckstoffer. With a portfolio of seven single-vineyard heritage wines, the B Cellars – Beckstoffer partnership offers some of the region’s best wines, produced from the most sought-after vineyards in Napa Valley. We have nurtured our partnership with Beckstoffer Vineyards since our founding in 2003 and continue to be the first of only two wineries in the Napa Valley that produce a wine from each of these historic Napa Valley Vineyards.

Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper Cabernet Bottle

Missouri Hopper Vineyard has become synonymous with world class wine. This historic vineyard is located on the western alluvial fan just north of the town of Yountville–at the southern edge of the Oakville wine growing region. Oakville has a long- standing reputation for producing cellar-worthy wines of incredible depth, gravitas, and character.  We pick several rows from the “C” and “D” blocks, located a short distance west from the highway as the ground slowly rises toward the Mayacamas.  Of the Heritage vineyards, this Cabernet Sauvignon is the showiest in the glass, known for show-stopping aromatics of perfumed fruit and a chef’s delight of spicy notes, and the 2021 vintage is no exception.  The heady aromas are followed by the weighty mouthfeel and full palate of fruit and earth that defines Oakville, finished with the silkiest of tannins.

To Kalon, the granddaddy of them all.  Heralded far and wide since the middle-1800’s for producing wines of distinction, this may be the most storied vineyard in the Valley–and it’s worthy of the hype.  We pick from 2 rows in each blocks “A1,” “B1,” and “D1,” giving us an array of flavors from diverse clonal stock and vine age.  The soils on this famed alluvial fan run from cobble-pitted loams at the base of the Mayacamas to finer-grained silt toward the highway where the bench levels out towards the Napa River.  The flavors are quintessentially Oakville and tell the story of the Napa Valley.  Deep, dark, and fully ripened berries, redolent with compote and spice, whiffs of cola, tobacco, and espresso bean with the tell tale aroma of black olive.  The body is unmistakeable, dominating the palate and finishing with mouth-coating, long, lingering tannins with just enough bitter to sustain the beauty of the fruit.

To Kalon Cabernet Sauvignon
Beckstoffer Georges III Vineyard Cabernet Bottle

When Andy purchased this vineyard from Beaulieu, it was named simply “Beaulieu No. 3.”  Andy rechristened it after the legendary vintner and founder of BV, Georges de la Tour.  Sitting atop of sprawling array of different soils, bounded by the Silverado Trail, and bisected by Conn Creek, this vineyard is a winemaker’s dreamland of terroir.  We pick from several blocks (“A1a,” “B1b,” “B2c,” and “E”) with soils ranging from clays to cobbles.  The resultant wine is complex and balanced, with generous notes of red berries, a definitively nervy tension throughout the palate, finished with dusty and fine-grained, lingering tannins.  This current vintage is focused and boasts an intensity and purity of fruit throughout the palate that is matched only by its lively and spicy complexity.

William Bowers Bourn II, considered the last Bonanza King of the California Gold Rush, purchased his vineyard in St. Helena in 1872 as a family home, and much of the original vineyard land remains in the care of his descendants to this day. A portion of the original vineyard was purchased by Beckstoffer Vineyards in 2010, making this the most recent addition to the collection of Beckstoffer Heritage vineyards–however, it is possesses the oldest vines in this collection, a plot of gnarly old head-trained Petite Syrah!  (Stay tuned because B Cellars is collaborating with Beckstoffer Vineyards to keep these vines in the ground for as long as possible–starting with this harvest, we will be picking what little fruit these vines produce, bottle, and share a living piece of Napa Valley history!)  The vineyard is located in the narrow middle point of the hourglass-shaped Napa Valley.  The heat of the day builds and ripens the fruit to a signature dark and savory flavor and texture.  The full ripening and intensity of the ’21 vintage is showcased to perfection in this wine.

Beckstoffer Bourn Vineyard Cabernet Bottle
Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard Cabernet Bottle

Planted to vineyards for over 150 years, Beckstoffer Las Piedras traces its history back to the original Mexican land grants. In the 1840’s European settler Edward Bale planted the property, a wedding gift from General Vallejo, to Mission grapes. It became the first vineyard planted in what is now the St. Helena appellation and saw the first wine varietals planted in 1860. In 1983 Beckstoffer Vineyards purchased the property and planted it to two clones of Cabernet Sauvignon. Impressed with the intensely gravely quality of the soils, farmworkers named the vineyard Las Piedras.  Our share of this historic piece of terroir is small and dear, yielding a mere two or three barrels of wine each vintage.  True to the vintage, this 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon is generous with fruit flavors and mouth-filling, textural tannins.  It showcases the gravely soils and the heat of the upper Valley with aromas of graphite and wet slate and an unmistakable palate of blueberry compote and chocolate covered espresso bean.

Napa pioneer Dr. George Belden Crane originally planted Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard in 1858.  Eventually, the vineyard site became surrounded by the town of St Helena. Beckstoffer Vineyards acquired the historic vineyard site in 1997.  In 1998, the vineyard replant was overseen by Dave Michul, who was at the time the new head of vineyard operations for Beckstoffer Vineyards.  Today, Dave is the CEO of Beckstoffer Vineyards and these vines remain healthy and strong, producing some of the most coveted fruit of the entire Napa Valley.  It is difficult to describe with words the balance of pure power and finesse in the wines of Dr. Crane Vineyard.  The 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon explodes with ripe and unctuous fruit and then luxuriously, slowly, seamlessly extends into a descending finish of layer upon layer of spice, wood, earth, and generous tannin.

Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard Cabernet Bottle
Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard Cabernet Franc Bottle

Cabernet Franc is an enigma in the Napa Valley.  While the varietal is by point of family history one of the parents of Cabernet Sauvignon (itself a relatively young addition to the pantheon of the noble grapes and the result of crossing the elder varietals of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc), it tends to play second fiddle as a blending grape, added in small amounts to Cabernet Sauvignon in Napa and across the wine-growing world, and known for its floral aromatics.  However, in certain, very particular and rare terroirs, like Dr. Crane Vineyard, this varietal ripens fully and deeply, into one of the more memorable and compelling combination of flavors and aromas known to enophiles ever.  Here the heady and floral aromas are intensified into more than a suggestion while the oft-times “stemmy” notes on the palate are ripened into flavors of blueberry pie, rhubarb, and blackberry jam.  The tannins are full and round and last long after the bottle has been emptied.