Schrader RBS Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
Among the Schrader team, the 2013 Schrader RBS has already become regarded as the most elegant and complete Schrader RBS we have ever made. Supremely rich with breathtaking concentration and noblesse, this wine is the true essence of Cabernet. The intense black fruit core of ripe black currant, crushed blackberry, and plum compote are complemented by notes of crushed rock, graphite and licorice. Ever approachable in its youth and exceptionally well balanced, the signature of this wine is its luxurious fruit character and finesse.
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 98 The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon RBS, also from clone 337, but in this case from the Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard, shows an absolutely perfect 100-point nose of red, black and blue fruits, charcoal, graphite and forest floor. It hits the palate with a seamless integration of wood, tannin, acidity and alcohol and has tremendous opulence and palate presence in its full-bodied, long finish. On aromatics alone, it rates a perfect score, but I ended up being somewhat conservative I suppose. It should drink well for three decades as well.
— Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate
Rated 93 A smoky, charry oak overlay adds flavor and aroma, rounding out the tannins in this robust, chunky effort, with extracted licorice, blackberry, anise, loamy earth and tobacco details. Very tight and backward, so patience is required. Best from 2020 through 2033.
— James Laube, Wine Spectator
Rated 99 This is shows complex aromas of chili, red tile and red currant aromas. Full-bodied, dense and powerful. It is so intense and rich yet remains agile and fresh. Austere tannins give this wine form and tension. Lively and captivating. Beautiful now but be patient. Better in 2021.
— James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com