2017 Vice Versa Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To-Kalon Vineyard

Cabernet Sauvignon

  • USA
  • California
  • Napa Valley
  • Oakville
Drink between 2023 - 2040 (Edit)
CT96 3 reviews
Label borrowed from 2016
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Community Tasting Notes 3

  • Cristal2000 Likes this wine:

    November 29, 2018 - I was really excited to taste these 2017's from such a high quality winery. There have been so many things said about the vintage due to the rain, heat spikes and then the fires, that my expectations were super low. It seems that this will be one of those vintages that either confirms you are a high integrity winery or completely undercuts your client's faith. Thankfully, I believe Patrice and Samantha at VV don't cut corners and do everything possible to put the highest quality product out to their clients. As evidence of this, they were planning to have their first single vineyard Houyi in 2017, but are tossing it due to smoke taint. We were able to taste it, and you'd be surprised how subtle it is in the wine, but definitely shows up on the finish. At any rate, my confidence in VV was reaffirmed by this visit.

    A barrel sample of the 2017 BTK, Crane and LPV showed good promise for those high end offerings. These aren't going to be quite as ripe and concentrated as the epic 2016's, but they all showed great balance, focus and purity. They are all dark fruited, with the BTK showing the most promise early do to its overall ripeness and rich flavor profile. The Crane and LPV were a bit more reserved, but as they spent more and more time in the glass they began to open up and really strut their stuff. As CSIMM notes, these are more about finesse and polish, showing more like a cool vintage. Overall they are certainly going to be mid to high 90's on the scores, and will likely be amongst the best of the vintage. I am definitely excited to see how they come along.

    Also, we were able to taste the still unblended and in tank 2018 Sleeping Lady, Ashe, Houyi, Crane, LPV and BTK wines. While these aren't even in barrel yet and it's hard to predict exactly how they will turn out, the returns are incredibly promising. The concentration, depth of flavor and purity brings back thoughts of the 2016 vintage. Especially with the Beckstoffer wines, it would not be hard to see these end up in that 98-100 range

    3 people found this helpful Comment
  • csimm1161 wrote:

    November 29, 2018 - Barrel samples of the BTK, Crane, and LPV.

    There is already much to love about these rousing wines-in-progress, as the purity of fruit and fresh, clean deliveries of flavor once again highlight the elevated attention to detail brought forward by this house.

    As one might expect, these wines are primary and somewhat temperate in their overall executions at the moment. With time in the glass and some vigorous swirling, the dark fruit and spice flavors begin to open up and reveal a more deepened mid-palate drop; acidity shows medium in grip, with a constant but subtle tannic frame tempering the full distribution of flavor currently.

    The purity and freshness of fruit here are so elevated that they shine as the primary accolades of these particular wines. The To Kalon and Crane wines showed especially pure and balanced. The LPV was a bit more demure this time around, with a back end that was showing more minerality and frame than leading with the core fruit. By comparison to the 2016s, these 2017s show less bombastic potency at the moment, but instead exhibit a balanced slow-burn that is surely alluring.

    Consumers will have to get used to the notion that the 2017 vintage may not carry the same up-front and immediate concentration and depth as the last few drought vintages. Instead, 2017 might be better appreciated through the lens of finesse and virtuosity, if not a little lighter in highfalutin weight and mouthfeel. There's an elegance to these 2017 Vice Versa wines (and other 2017s I've sampled) that do not blow over the palate with the boom-intensity and salaciousness of 2016s, but instead impress for their panache and polish, showing even more of a classical flair (a la the 2010 vintage) that makes for an even more elevated experience in some respects.

    Select top wineries who are extremely selective and meticulous in their step-by-step sculpting of their 2017s (to include dumping fruit that is either tainted or even remotely sub-standard) will indeed produce exceptional wines. Those who ultimately manage to successfully navigate through the tribulations of 2017 will have likely produced comparatively svelte wines to the 2016s, but will certainly still deliver in purity and freshness.

    I initially don't want to like 2017 as a vintage, as it is easy to sling mud in the name of the heat spike and the following wildfires. But there are wines out there that just might have found a way to be truly successful in this trying vintage. Vice Versa is without a doubt one of them. Once these are bottled, they will surely need a few years to develop and find their places among their extremely competitive and overly animated 2016 siblings.

    For me, the 2017 Beckstoffer wines from Vice Versa are classy and skillfully elevated beyond anything I’ve seen from this vintage yet. They will all eventually be high-mid to upper 90s wines without question, with building upside in the years to come.

    3 people found this helpful Comments (6)
  • sean7711 Likes this wine: 96 points

    October 7, 2018 - Napa Harvest Weekend; 10/5/2018-10/8/2018 (Napa Valley, CA): Tasting at Vice Versa. 3rd of 3 wines

    Barrel sample. I don't have a reference to the 2015 or 2016 VV BTKs but this was a very beautiful, elegant wine. Already showing dark purple fruits, not overpowering tannins, lots of dark cherry flavors, intense finish. Will use some more time in barrel to find itself. No smoke taint detected.

    Bought in to the 2017 VV BTK SVDs (I'm not quite at the BBS price point just yet) and a 2017 M7 but just sucks I have to wait a full year for them. I know the wines are super limited, but would prefer to have been able to get my hands on some 2015 or 2016 VV wines to take home with me.

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  • By Antonio Galloni
    Napa Valley’s Extraordinary 2016 Cabernets (Dec 2018), 12/1/2018 (link)

    (Vice Versa Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon Napa Valley Red) Subscribe to see review text.

Wine Definition

  • Vintage 2017
  • Type Red
  • Producer Vice Versa
  • Varietal Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Designation n/a
  • Vineyard Beckstoffer To-Kalon Vineyard
  • Country USA
  • Region California
  • SubRegion Napa Valley
  • Appellation Oakville

Community Holdings

  • Pending Delivery 6 (4%)
  • In Cellars 155 (91%)
  • Consumed 10 (6%)

Food Pairing

No food pairings available.

Who Likes This Wine

100% Like It  2 votes

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