Schrader Old Sparky Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
Old Sparky, the highest marque of the Schrader portfolio utilizes the best barrel lots from the Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard and is only sold in magnum format. The epitome of Winemaker Thomas Brown’s exceptional ability to create a master blend Cabernet, the 2012 Schrader Old Sparky follows a strict mantra, reveal everything in abundance while remaining in perfect balance. The Schrader Old Sparky is a powerhouse of delicious Cabernet flavor offering intense notes of crème de cassis and blackberry wrapped with toasted oak. This monumental wine represents the ultimate expression of such a magnificent vintage.
In the words of Henry Hartman, “success always comes when preparation meets opportunity.” With more than a decade of experience in the vineyard we definitely had the preparation part down, however we were happily surprised by the unlimited opportunity given to us by Mother Nature in 2012. The growing conditions were beyond fabulous, provding the double benefit of phenomenal quality as well as grand abundance, a winemaker’s dream. Serendipitous and trouble-free, the pristine conditions of the season delivered a harvest with both marvelous quality and ample quantity, an ideal combination.
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 its high mineral content and exceptional drainage and offers optimal north-south sun exposure by day with cool coastal breezes at night which we feel is the ideal environment for growing our Cabernet Sauvignon.
Rated 100 Another compelling, nearly perfect wine is the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer to Kalon Vineyard Old Sparky. This is Clone 4 and Clone 6, as well as Clone 337, blended together from the Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard, aged in 100% new Darnajou barrels. For whatever reason, this wine seems to show more chocolate, espresso roast, barbecue smoke, dense blackberry and blueberry fruit and enormous body with not a touch of heaviness or astringency. This is a fabulous offering. It should drink well for 20-25 years.
— Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate
Rated 96 Very tight, featuring a beam of spice-laced blackberry, currant, dried herb and jazzy oak. The laser focus is most evident on the finish, which slowly unravels to highlight this wine’s density, elegance and grace. The flavors reverberate in the end.
— James Laube, Wine Spectator