'Crossfire', Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Georges III Vineyard, Rutherford, Napa Valley

"Hurry here, hustling there, no one's got the time to spare. Money's tight, nothing's free. Won't somebody come rescue me?" Stevie Ray Vaughan, 'In Step'.

CROSSFIRE shows earlier than its fellow Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer stable mate from To-Kalon – coming out of the traps blazing! In the heart of the Rutherford AVA, the Georges III vineyard was planted in 1895 by Mrs. Thomas Rutherford. This 300-acre parcel first purchased by Beaulieu founder Georges de Latour in 1928 and called Beaulieu Vineyard Number 3. Hence ‘Georges’ and ‘III’.

Factsheet Reviews Purchase

2013

James Suckling

92 POINTS

"Aromas of blueberry, currant and mint follow through to a full body, firm and silky tannins and a fresh and clean finish. Delicate for the vintage. Drink now."

Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate

90+ POINTS

"The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Crossfire, which comes from Rutherford, is aged in 80% new French oak. It seems youthful and young, and is one of the more backward of the wines I tasted from World's End. This has loads of upside potential, shows juicy red and blackcurrant fruits, black cherries, spice box and background oak. This is a promising wine, but needs a good 4-5 years of cellaring and should keep two decades."

2010

Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate

95 POINTS

"The 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Crossfire is sourced from the Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper Vineyard located in the Oakville AVA. It possesses slightly more richness, texture and completeness than the ‘Good Times, Bad Times’.

A deep purple color is followed by abundant notes of creme de cassis and flowers. This full-bodied wine touches all of the taster’s sweet spots. Enjoy over the next 12-15 years.”

Wine Enthusiast

93 POINTS

"A heady mix of herbs, cedar and milk chocolate, it’s generous in black cherry and spicy pepper, a worthwhile textural challenge to the tongue and the mind, complex and layered. With smoky, heavy tannins, it’ll enjoy some time to think in the cellar, the finish still rich and thick."  — V.B.

2009

Stephen Tanzer's Int. Wine Cellar

91 POINTS

"Deep ruby-red. Aromatic nose combines blackberry, cassis, licorice, violet, mint and minerals. Dense, juicy and sharply delineated, with a supple texture to its black cherry, cassis and bitter chocolate flavors. Large-scaled, harmonious, ripe wine with no rough edges. Still, I'd give this distinctly chocolatey wine a few years in the cellar to absorb some of its tongue-dusting tannins. Finishes with noteworthy persistence.”

2008

Roy Piper posted on eRobertParker

94 POINTS

"This is Andy Beckstoffer's up and coming Oakville vineyard sandwiched between Vine Hill and Dominus. Alpha Omega is also coming out with vineyard designate soon from this. Rich, voluptuous, blue and black fruit with a cigar note and some olive. Full-bodied, a little bigger than the To-Kalon. Combines power and elegance. Give 1-3 years and drink over the next decade plus. The group here really liked this one tonight. 500 cases made, maybe 70 available.”

Doug Wilder posted on wildernapavalley.com

92 POINTS

A: "Sun-warmed blackberry with hints of cassis and vanilla - lots of depth to the aromas with a n almost palpable texture. P: Solid structure on entry with a slight chewiness to the tannins that disappears with some air becoming more velvet-like on the mid palate showing brighter, red fruit flavors."

I: "Strong bones - under its youthful veneer there are noticeable layers of complexity that are revealed with air; mineral, anise, red cherry that all speak of elegance.”

Jeff Leve posted on thewinecellarinsider.com

94 POINTS 

"Inky, dark purple in color, the perfume offers blackberry jam, espresso bean, cassis, chocolate and earthy aromas. This flashy, richly textured, round wine ends with a boatload of sweet, fleshy, black cherries and coca powder. Produced from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from the Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper Vineyard, the wine clocks in at 14.5% alcohol.”

Decanter Magazine

FOUR STARS

"Opaque red. Dense spicy oaky nose, showing blackberries, vanilla, and coffee. Rich, opulent, quite soft but not overblown, concentrated and spicy, with some freshness as well as power, and some zest on the finish, which is long. – Stephen Brook”

Frank Melis Wines

“The Missouri Hopper is a part of Andy Beckstoffer’s vineyards (To Kalon, etc)  This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon production of only 500 cases offers hints of mocha, cassis and vanilla on the nose.  On the palate this big boy greets us with lush black currant and espresso flavors.  The wine is rich and full in body with intense but well-balanced flavors on the mid palate.  The wine finishes long with ripe, supple tannins and as the GTBT it has amazing aging potential (12 – 15 years)”

K&L Wines

"Jonathan Maltus, owner of Chateau Teyssier in St-Emilion (one Bordeaux's first "garagistes" decades ago) is making his foray into California wine with the newly-released World's End label. The series' Cabs are made from grapes sourced from grape-growing legend Andy Beckstoffer, in the case of the Crossfire, from the Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper Vineyard in Oakville. Already sold out out at the winery, according to Decanter Magazine, if this is what the end of the world tastes like, it's going to be delicous. Decidely modern, with sweet blackberry and black currant fruit moderated by licorice, graphite and spice qualities. The tannins are firm and chewy at first, but with air they soften, revealing more fruit and spice on the palate.  Best from 2012 through 2019.”

Stephen Tanzer's Int. Wine Cellar

90 POINTS

"Red-ruby.  Blackberry, black raspberry, licorice, flowers and sexy oak spices on the nose.  Juicy and penetrating in the mouth, with terrific verve and a brisk acid impression to the flavors of cranberry, cassis, bitter chocolate and licorice.  Almost too much acid here for me.  Tannins saturate the entire palate on the dusty finish.”

Dean & Deluca

“Winemaker Jonathan Maltus sourced great fruit from the Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper Vineyard in Oakville to bring an intensely concentrated Cab to the table. No stranger to vineyards and wineries, Jonathan is most known for his efforts at Chateau Teyssier but after the debut release of this Cab, I think wine enthusiasts will be talking about World's End on a regular basis. This wine needs to be cellared before drinking. - Kerrin Laz, Wine Director”

Decanter Magazine January 2012

FOUR STARS & 16.88 POINTS

"Berry, leaf, kirsch liquer, spice and savoury aromas. Very expressive version of Cabernet purity with rounded, ripe tannins and good acidity. Has a long minerally finish, great energy, drive and persistence. Classy. Drink: 2014. Alc: 14.5%.”

Tomas Clancy, The Sunday Business Post

92 POINTS

"Named after a Stevie Ray Vaughan track, is another 100 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon, midway up the Napa Valley at Yountville."

Connoisseur's Guide to Californian Wine

91 POINTS

"There is no question but that this wine's extravagant, very rich oak is presently a little too forward of everything else, but deep and defined Cabernet fruit is close behind and gradually takes the reins. Fully ripe and very well-balanced, the wine is weighty without being heavy, and, if a little gruff and grippy to finish, it is a sure bet to age into beauty five or six years hence.”

The Wine Doctor, Chris Kissack

17/20 POINTS

"2008 World's End Crossfire has a dark concentration in the glass. The nose is rich in sweet fruit, with ripe mulberries and blackberries to the fore, with scents coming in behind of high-roast coffee beans no doubt from the oak. There is a sense of richness to it, almost a tinge of chocolate, although thankfully nothing overt; it all comes together in a fairly harmonious manner, and if any one component comes to the fore it is the berry fruit. On first nosing it there is just a little hint of a high-toned edge to this fruit, but it isn't obvious and it soon fades away, although it did fleetingly reappear once or twice later in the evening. The start of the palate is surprisingly bright, the fruit fresh in terms of its tone, the berry character here more like raspberry such is its definition and vibrancy. This is textured, very svelte and polished, lightly creamy but not fat, the oak harmonious and appropriate, the backbone of tannins ripe, the finish mildly grippy but certainly not dry. A wine of substance but it is composed and even shows some elegance; it is very well made and although doubtless a wine of California I can perceive a resemblance to the upper echelons of the Maltus Bordeaux portfolio as well I think, in terms of that combination of strong build with freshness and life. An excellent wine, a seductive delight, and very long too. 17/20 (28/1/13)”

VINEYARD

Purchased by Beckstoffer Vineyards in 1988, the vineyard has since been replanted using new Cabernet Sauvignon clones with tighter spacing and advanced trellising systems, enhancing both quality and grape tonnage. The cropping level is held to the same low yield as is true for the To-Kalon Vineyard – under three tons to the acre.

TECHNICAL

Vinification is pretty similar to those wines that we make in France. After running through two sets of sorting tables – firstly by bunch and then, after the destemmer, grape by grape, we’re looking for a long cold soak before fermentation occurs. We brought over to California wooden vats from Cognac which allows a more seamless take-on of wood. The wines undergo malolactic fermentation in new French oak, and are aged in the same oak for up to two years.

ANYTHING UNUSUAL?

It’s the one to drink whilst you’re waiting for To-Kalon to mature. These is probably a more classic and well known AVA than Rutherford – really the spiritual home of the Napa Valley. This is the famous Rutherford ‘dust’ – in a glass.

WHAT THEY SAY

4 STARS, DECANTER MAGAZINE

"Berry, leaf, kirsch liqueur, spice and savoury aromas. Very expressive version of Cabernet purity with rounded, ripe tannins and good acidity. Has a long minerally finish, great energy, drive and persistence. Classy. "