Schrader CCS Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
The 2010 Schrader CCS brilliantly balances the full-throttle power of pure clone 4 Cabernet with silky sensuality and an ethereal opulence. This voluminous wine is packed with super-ripe red and black fruit, sweet berries, cinnamon, spice, flowers, a hint of tobacco and earth aromas that perfectly repeat on the palate. The natural acidity and well-woven tannins amply support the monumental fruit character all of which combine to deliver a spectacular and seamless experience that carries through the everlasting 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 – 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 98 Pts. A wine that seems to hit all of the sweet spots on my palate is the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard CCS made from clone 4. It possesses about the same amount of alcohol as the other wines (14.5%), and is aged 20 months in 100% new oak, but it reveals an opulence, voluptuousness and a seamless haute couture fashion. There is something Pomerol-like in the 2010 CCS that I have not noticed in previous vintages. That may be due to the upfront, appealing, stunningly rich, voluptuous style. This is a Cabernet Sauvignon of great nobility and character that, despite its precociousness, should age for 25+ years. Sadly, the production of 156 cases pales in comparison to the 520 cases made in 2012.
— Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate
Rated 95 pts. Red and black, black and red, a wonderful mix of flavors cloaked in a shawl of chewy, loamy earth and spicy tannins. Backward, this begs for cellaring and is sure to offer a pleasant surprise sometime soon.
— James Laube, Wine Spectator