Schrader CCS Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
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.
Rated 100 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.
— Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate
Rated 94 A robust and rustic youngster, undeniably powerful and deep, yet tightly wound and begging for cellaring and decanting. The dark red and black fruit is zesty, with minerally acidity, fine-grained tannins and a sense of refinement and elegance. Drink now through 2023.
— James Laube, Wine Spectator
Rated 99 So aromatic and floral with violet, lilac, and sage character. Full body, very cool. Lots of blue fruit. Hints of sweet tobacco, lemon grass and white pepper. Needs two or three years to open. Muscular. Better in 2023.
— James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com