97+ Pts. “This is the very first vintage of this new label for Schrader. True to Schrader form, the wine is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from a single block in the southern part of Mondavi’s section of To Kalon vineyard. The “Heritage Clone,” a.k.a. clone 39, is pretty much exclusive to Mondavi To Kalon, with the exception of some cuttings Robert Mondavi may have given out. Winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown noted that this clone produces very small bunches and tiny berries, equating to super intense fruit. The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Mondavi Heritage Clone To Kalon Vineyard was aged in 100% new Darnajou and Taransaud French oak barrels for 18 months. Deep garnet-purple in color, it sings of stewed blueberries, plum preserves, Chinese five spice and fragrant earth, giving way to hints of beef drippings, iron ore, espresso, tobacco leaf and dried roses. Medium-bodied, it has a firm, chewy texture and loads of bright, lively freshness lifting the densely packed berry preserves layers, finishing very long and very spicy. This is certainly a singular style—somewhat atypical for the 2018 vintage, but nonetheless compelling.”
96 Pts. “There’s a distinct sassafras note buried in this version, wrapped in waves of cassis, warmed plum reduction and boysenberry compote flavors. Melted licorice and roasted apple wood provide a frame for it all, with the sassafras hint adding lift and energy through the finish. A big wine. Best from 2022 through 2038.”
After a wet and cool winter, both bud break and flowering got off to a later-than-normal start. Summer brought nice, even temperatures with very few heat spikes, resulting in great phenolic development in the grapes and even ripening across all our vineyard sites. Due to the lower-than-normal summer temperatures, the grapes enjoyed long, steady ripening. This allowed for wonderful sugar development while maintaining structure. Once in barrel, the wines showed prodigious depth and incredible character that wonderfully displayed the benefits of slow, even ripening. A winemaker’s dream, the 2018 vintage has produced wines that will provide exceptional pleasure upon release and age gracefully in your cellar.