Schrader 2013 RBS Beckstoffer To-Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley



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100 Points Parker - limited                                
Limited new release from Schrader Cellars.

98-100 Points Robert Parker:  "2013 was characterized by slightly more clusters, but they were smaller with very tiny berries. The vintage itself was another warm, drought year, but like 2012, there were no real spikes of heat. Growing conditions – other than the continued drought in California – were easy. These wines share the same characteristics with the 2012s and I’ll have a greater peg on them once they’re in bottle, but as you can tell, the production ranges from a very small 240 cases of the Georges III in Rutherford to 640 cases of the Las Piedras Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon LPV. Wines, at least from barrel, that have three-digit score potential include the Cabernet Sauvignon RBS from Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard, the Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon T-6 and the Cabernet Sauvignon LPV from the Las Piedras Vineyard....

...The Schraders, working with well-known winemaking consultant Thomas Rivers Brown, continue to farm and produce some of the world’s greatest Cabernet Sauvignons from three fabulous Beckstoffer-owned vineyards: the To Kalon Vineyard in Oakville, the Georges III Vineyard in Rutherford and the Las Piedras Vineyard in St. Helena. To Kalon is gravelly, eluvial, loamy soils; Georges III Vineyard is an old creek bed; and Las Piedras Vineyard in St. Helena is planted on old river rock and gravelly loam. All of these blocks utilized for Schrader’s wines encompass over 25+ acres and are custom-farmed – as Fred Schrader likes to say, essentially “virtual vineyards,” even though they’re not owned by the Schraders. Their initial focus, which has proven so successful, is essentially a microscopic study of different clones planted in different blocks with exactly the same philosophy of viticulture, harvesting, winemaking, élevage and bottling. Production of all the 2012s, which was a slightly more generous and later harvest than 2013 with bigger berries, ranges from 200 cases for the Old Sparky and Georges III, to 520 for the CCS, 420 for the T6, 625 for the RBS, 370 for the Schrader, 620 for the LPV and 100 cases for the newest baby, the Colesworthy, which is a selection of the best barrels of their Las Piedras offering. Some of the other characteristics of these wines are that they all spend about 20 months in barrel, but the percentages of new Darnajou and new Taransaud varied from cuvée to cuvée, although the CCS is 100% new Darnajou, as are the Old Sparky and the Colesworthy. Finished alcohol on the 2012s is in line with other vintages, at 14.4%-14.6%. And in 2013, virtually identical numbers of 14.4%-14.6% were achieved. The consistency and the analytical aspects of the wines is mirrored in the incredible quality that Schrader has produced.                                                 

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