Overview of the Wine
Carte Blanche is Nicholas Allen’s (owner of Haut-Brion and La Mission Haut Brion!) Napa project, utilizing the very best vineyard sites and an elite winemaker, (and one of our all-time favorite people) Helen Keplinger. Nicholas’ family has been in the wine business for nearly a century, since his great grandfather, Clarence Dillon, acquired Chateau Haut-Brion in 1935, and from an early age he gained an exposure and appreciation in wine. Eventually, he was inspired to produce his own boutique label in Napa Valley and he sought out the very best terroir and locked in long-term contracts where he could control the farming.
Located north of the town of Yountville in the Oakville AVA, Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper was originally part of a large piece of land owned by George C. Yount, from whom the town of Yountville takes its name. Purchased by Charles Hopper and given to his daughter Missouri in 1877, the land was planted to wine grapes and, as much of the Napa land was at that time, prunes and walnuts. In 1960, the land was purchased by Bruce Kelham as part of the historic Vine Hill Ranch. Purchased by Beckstoffer Vineyards from the Kelham family in 1996, the vineyard is today planted with multiple clones of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. In 2002, the property was placed under a land conservation easement that forever prohibits non-agricultural development.
In 2002, the property was placed under a land conservation esaement that forever prohibits non-agricultural development.
Carte Blanche is owned by Nicholas Allen, owner of Chateau Haut-Brion and Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion in Bordeaux. Nicholas was dead set on creating a wine from Napa and he sought out the very best, hiring Helen Keplinger (Grace Family, Bryant, Kenzo) and sourcing upper-echelon fruit with Andy Beckstoffer's Missouri Hopper vineyard. Helen’s precision winemaking is on full display in this intensely complex, tightly wound, layered Cabernet. Large-scaled for sure, but with a wonderful sense of harmony and a real skyscraper in terms of verticality. We can’t stress it enough --- this is about as good as it gets for our taste.
Grape / Blend
100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper Vineyard, Oakville, Napa Valley, California
Stunning color in the glass, an electrifying nose showcases black currants, cassis, cigar box and red fruit. The palate is opulent, plush and structured with integrated sweet tannins showcasing notes of dark blackberry, black cherry, and bittersweet chocolate dance through an everlasting and strong finish.
97+ Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper Vineyard is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Featuring a deep garnet-purple color, it sashays out of the glass with gregarious notions of baked plums, warm cassis and blueberry compote with suggestions of kirsch, dusty soil and Indian spices. The palate is full-bodied and laden with bright, lively, energetic black fruits, supported with firm, super ripe tannins and finishing on a persistent exotic spice note. 500 cases were made.
97 Points - Jeb Dunnuck
Lastly, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper Vineyard comes from a great site in Oakville that continues to fly slightly under the radar yet produces brilliant wines. Incredible cassis, graphite, damp earth, and violet notes emerge from the glass, and this full-bodied beauty offers plenty of high-end oak, ripe, seamless tannins, and flawless balance. It just screams of Cabernet. There’s no harm drinking bottles today, but I’d nevertheless recommend a solid 4-5 years of bottle age. It should keep for two-plus decades.
Product size: 750ml