2013 シュレイダー カベルネ・ソーヴィニヨン CCS
2013 シュレイダー カベルネ・ソーヴィニヨン CCS
2013 Schrader Cabernet Sauvignon CCS
Vineyard Beckstoffer To Kalon
Appellation Oakville, Napa Valley
Varietal 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Composition Pure clone 4
Cooperage Aged 20 months in rare Darnajou French oak barrels
Winemaker Thomas Brown
Hailed by legendary critic Robert Parker as “one of those incredibly hedonistic, yet intellectually satisfying wines that fills the olfactory senses and saturates the palate with incredible blue and black fruits,” this young wine brilliantly carries forward the tradition of excellence established by the Schrader CCS marque. On the nose the wine releases notes of Blackberry and Cassis intermixed with notes of graphite. Nobly structured with great balance and richness, this immense wine offers an astonishingly long, luxurious finish.
In 2013 the grapes enjoyed month upon glorious month of effortless sunny days followed by clear, cool nights. Warm spring temperatures gave way to an early budbreak and the consistent, dry weather afforded an optimal fruit set. The favorable conditions seamlessly continued through the summer and we faced none of the rogue heat spikes or rain threats that might otherwise challenge a strong vintage. Once in barrel, the wine continued to develop and gain profound flavors that led to winemaker Thomas Brown stating “These are the finest wines I have ever made.”
Originally planted by pioneer Hamilton Crabb in 1868, To Kalon – meaning highest beauty in Greek – is a noble “first growth” estate in Oakville that has established itself as the preeminent source of Napa Valley’s finest grapes. The vineyard is defined by gravelly, alluvial, loamy soils that offer high mineral content and exceptional drainage for the vines. The north-south planting orientation and prime mid-valley location provide optimal sun exposure by day and cool coastal breezes at night that make it the perfect growing environment for Cabernet Sauvignon.
There is something ethereal about the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon CCS, a wine that I tend to give more perfect scores to than of the other Schrader offerings. This is clone 4 from a special block of the Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard in Oakville, and it always seems to have these incredible, explosive aromatics ranging from blueberry to blackberry to cassis to spring flowers and lead pencil shavings. It’s always one of the more seductive wines early on, with sweet, velvety tannins, a plush, succulent mouthfeel, full-bodied splendor and majestic texture. This is a killer effort of great intensity and presence. Drink it over then next 25-30 years.
After the remarkable performance of the 2012s, I would be hard-pressed to believe that Schrader could equal or eclipse that vintage, but they seem to have certainly equaled the quality of the 2012s. The 2013s are slightly more coiled and more tightly knit and with probably greater definition. That said, they all possess fabulous concentration and palate presence. Any of these will make a spectacular elixir/vinous treat to serve and consume over the next 25-30+ years. First-time readers may need to do a little research, but this is essentially a clonal study with micro-blends from the famous Oakville vineyard, the Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard, and more recently, a look at several other vineyards – the Beckstoffer George III Vineyard in Rutherford and the Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard. Essentially, all of the wines are treated identically – aged in mostly Darnajou with some Taransaud barrels, they tend to always come in around 14.5%-14.7% natural alcohol, spend 20 months in all new oak and are bottled unfiltered. Since the beginning, they have been made by none other than the famed Napa consultant, Thomas Rivers Brown.
The wines are more similar than dissimilar, but I’ll do my best to catalog the subtle differences that can be found. However, at this pinnacle of quality, they are few and far between. Production ranges from a low of 110 cases for the Colesworthy and 186 cases for the George III, to as much as 608 cases for the RBS and 650 cases for the LPV.
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