When drinking water, remember the source:” an old Chinese proverb that could apply to wine as easily as water. Located in what used to be St. Helena’s “Chinatown” in the 1920’s, Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard now sits in a residential neighborhood on the west side of town, an unassuming site bordered by an old riverbed and a rock quarry. The vineyard was originally planted in 1858 by San Franciscan Dr. George Belden Crane; today it is owned by Andy Beckstoffer, who replanted it to multiple clones of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc in 1998. With extremely well-drained, gravelly soils, Beckstoffer Dr. Crane is undoubtedly one of the finest vineyards in St. Helena, and its wines are unmistakable. “You know it when you smell it,” says Winemaker Benoit Touquette. “Dr. Crane has everything you look for -- minerality, complexity, excellent fruit definition, good tannin structure; a complete wine with many layers.” Realm’s Dr. Crane is predominantly (@ 95%) Cabernet Sauvignon Clone 6 blended with a small amount of Petit Verdot.
The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Dr Crane Vineyard (100% Cabernet Sauvignon) is very deep garnet-black in color and gives a truly profound nose of chargrill, pencil lead, crushed rocks and tar with a core of crème de cassis, licorice, dark chocolate and mincemeat pie with wafts of cardamom and cumin seed. The powerful, full-bodied palate gives a firm, ripe structure to match the incredible concentration of fruit, finishing long and earthy.
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, 100 pts.
From a rocky site outside of St. Helena, just next to Las Piedras, the stunning 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Dr. Crane (100% Cabernet Sauvignon) boasts a deep, gravelly, intellectual profile that’s reminiscent of the 2015 Haut Brion on steroids. Blackcurrants, chocolate, cold fireplace, and smoke tobacco all flow to a full-bodied, deep, layered, lengthy Cabernet Sauvignon that takes plenty of time to unwind in the glass. This is structured, backward, and deep, with serious power, yet it excels in its complex and layered style just as much. I suspect it will warrant a triple-digit score in 3-5 years and keep for 3-4 decades.
- Jeb Dunnuck, 98 pts.