Schrader RBS Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
Exquisitely aromatic, this gorgeous perfume-like wine is the pure essence of Cabernet. Upon entry, luxurious aromas of cassis, plums, and violets wrap the senses, giving way to alluring notes of sweet spice, crushed flowers and elegant wet gravel minerality. Velvety smooth and plush with exceptional balance, the vibrancy and finesse of this wine carry through to the generous finish.
The 2010 growing season began cool and wet, and by early summer we knew harvest would be delayed by as much as three weeks. Growers around the valley feared the cooler season would not allow the grapes to fully ripen so many, including us, made early thinning passes through the vineyard to reduce the crop load and concentrate the vines’ energy. While it was the right thing to do, the decision of when to thin and by how much proved critical as the Napa Valley sweltered under a late August heat spike which saw temperatures climb above the 110 degree mark. We were fortunate, as our vines handily endured the extreme weather and the clusters showed little evidence of sunburn or shrivel. Following this one significant heat event, we enjoyed an extended spell of warm, Indian summer weather that carried through until early October. The ideal conditions allowed the clusters to gain optimal ripeness and maturity.
Originally planted by pioneer Hamilton Crabb in 1868, To Kalon – meaning highest beauty in Greek – this noble “first growth” estate in Oakville 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, offering 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 99 Pts. Flirting with perfection, the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard RBS from clone 337 was aged in new Darnajou barrels (80%) and the rest in new Taransaud barrels. There were 410 cases produced, which is several hundred cases less than the production in 2012. An unbelievable red wine, it boasts an inky/purple color as well as abundant notes of charcoal, white chocolate, toast, new saddle leather, blueberries, blackberries, creme de cassis and licorice. As the wine sits in the glass, some chocolaty, smoky elements also emerge. This virtually perfect Cabernet Sauvignon has been flawlessly made and should age effortlessly for 25-30+ years.
— Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate
Rated 96 Pts. Combines power with finesse, though at this point the torque wins out, pushing this into overdrive. Tiers of spice, flowers and dark and red berry, with notes of licorice, flow before the tannins clamp down, giving the wine a chewy aftertaste. Ends with a teasing lift.
— James Laube, Wine Spectator