No Accidental Success for 100-Point Winemaker
The craftsmanship that Benoit Touquette (author of six perfect 100-point scores) poured into the 2014 Teeter-Totter Cabernet Sauvignon hasn’t gone unnoticed — certainly not by us, and not by the critics either. Robert Parker called it “heady, round” and “hedonistic,” words that tipped off some of the country’s wine buying elite. One of those astute souls was Thomas Keller’s head sommelier at the French Laundry, who placed it on the restaurant’s coveted list. As such, you could plan a trip to the Napa Valley and order a bottle if you’re fortunate enough to land a reservation. Or, you could simply hit “Buy” now. We welcome you to make the call.
Success doesn’t happen by accident or with ease. Winemaker Benoit Touquette knew this when he left his hometown in Bordeaux to move to Napa Valley, and he came prepared to do whatever it took to make a name for himself. He never missed a day of harvest. He put in long hours in the cellar. He honed his viticultural skills under Andy Erickson at Ovid and Screaming Eagle, and he sharpened his palate through the expertise of his mentor, Michel Rolland — the famed “Flying Winemaker” who has cranked out a bevy of 100-pointers for the likes of Harlan, Bond, and Araujo.
Since 2012, Robert Parker has awarded Touquette six perfect 100-point scores — acclaim that’s given the impresario the freedom to make wines that he likes to drink. Of course, once a winemaker crosses into the realm of triple-digit price tags, it’s not easy to backpedal. For Touquette, this was a challenge he was compelled to accept.
He leveraged his network of exceptional vineyard sources from Yountville, St. Helena, Pritchard Hill, and Calistoga to create a new wine that could stand shoulder to shoulder with high-priced, high-profile Napa Cabs in an under $100 package. True to form, he did it with Teeter-Totter, an opulent, lip-smacking black-fruited gem.