Darker on the nose than the 2001 bottling, conveying a slightly inky quality to its aromas of cassis, dark cherry, bitter chocolate, mocha and cedar; can't quite match the '01 for floral lift. Rich and suave in the mouth, with cassis, blueberry and licorice flavors complicated by a hint of herbs and lifted by a violet topnote. If this wine doesn't show quite the uniform ripeness, elegance or definition of the '01, it's larger-scaled. Its substantial tannins are also more apparent today, but with so much baby fat, they may yet be absorbed. Hobbs described 2002 as a "muscular" year for Cabernet, noting that he was the first to pick fruit in this vineyard. Perhaps as a result, this wine avoids the raisiny character shown by some 2002s.
One of the greatest young Cabernet Sauvignons I have ever tasted is the 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To-Kalon Vineyard (which I also rated 100 when it was first bottled). This wine has hardly changed since its release. Still incredibly youthful, it reveals a blue/black color along with notes of black currants, camphor, graphite, high quality unsmoked cigar tobacco, blackberries and a touch of oak. Full-bodied and multilayered with terrific texture and richness as well as a 60-second finish, this young, exuberant, slightly flamboyant classic offers an interesting contrast in style with other top producers (such as Schrader Cellars) that also farm parcels of the Beckstoffer To-Kalon Vineyard. Like most young Cabernets, this wine can be drunk now because of the sweetness of its tannins, but it is a good decade away from full maturity. Bravo!