91 Pts Robert Parker - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
"The 2005 Tor Rock Syrah Los Madres Vineyard offers notes of tapenade, classic blackberry, cassis, and sweet cherry fruit, creosote, acacia flowers, and a touch of green pepper (which provides a northern Rhone aromatic and flavor profile). Drink it over the next 5-7 years."
"Tor Kenward and his winemaker, Jeff Ames, have produced some breakthrough efforts in 2005 and 2006. A longtime executive at Beringer as well as a meticulous wine connoisseur who knows great wine as well as anybody, Kenward is carving out a superb reputation for wine quality. His total production is just under 2,500 cases, and the best way for consumers to purchase his wines is through the wineryâs mailing list. His Chardonnays are superb. Kenwardâs knowledge of northern California viticulture and vineyard sites has put him in the position to get great fruit, which has been translated into artisinal, hand-crafted wines." 91 Points - Robert Parker
"Deep ruby-red. Wild aromas of smoked meat, tapenade and menthol; less oaky than the '04. Silky in texture but powerful in the middle, with captivating flavors of spices, herbs and pepper. Firm, ripe acids frame and extend the flavors, and the tannins are very suave. If the '04 is Saint-Joseph, this is more Crozes-Hermitage. A very interesting cuvee." -90-91 points - Stephen Tanzer - International Wine Cellar
"Tor Kenward spent 27 years as a senior executive with Beringer Vineyards working in winemaking and marketing, helping to build a wine company known to collectors worldwide for its outstanding Reserve and single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignons. He retired in 2001, and along with his wife Susan, started TOR Kenward Family Wines, a small wine company based on single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignons and Chardonnays."
"For three decades I made a least one barrel of wine each vintage from Beringer's best vineyard sites," recalls Tor Kenward. "I had great mentors, Ed Sbragia and Bob Steinhauer, encouraging me to make wine and grow grapes. We had different approaches, but shared the same passion: great wine, and how to make it. We tasted together, traveled together to Europe to learn more, and shared the secrets we unearthed along the journey."
"I walked every corner of Napa and Sonoma those three decades, an avid student of what makes a great vineyard. Luckily, I am working today with people whom I consider to be extraordinary growers dedicated to growing the highest quality grapes," explains Tor. "We farm these special vineyard sites by acre-by-acre -- meaning we work together to achieve the best possible grapes regardless of cost."
"Our winemaking is driven by the same philosophy: constantly striving for the best, whatever it takes. Tor works exclusively with small cooperage houses in France to ensure we have the best barrels, and uses natural yeasts for both primary and secondary fermentations. Grapes are hand sorted, and our wines are crafted in very small cuvees so as to receive minimal handling. "If we harvest what we consider world-class grapes, our job as winemakers is to stay out of the way. That takes experience and patience, but can be very rewarding when it all comes together." -Winery