Each year, our iconic Old Sparky Cabernet is handcrafted from the finest barrel lots in our cellar. True to the vintage, the 2010 blend shows prodigious intensity, spectacular structure and impeccable balance that are present from start to lingering finish. There are volumes of dark red and black fruit woven with elegant threads of dark berries, currants, mocha and subtle cedar. The most compelling aspect of Old Sparky is the wine’s ability to seamlessly partner great power and intensity with elegance and finesse — the proverbial, “iron fist in a velvet glove.”
98 Pts. “The 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Old Sparky, made from clone 4, 6 and 337, displays a dense opaque purple color as well as an incredible nose of graphite, cedarwood, incense, licorice, Christmas fruitcake, vanillin and abundant blackberry and black currant liqueur. Gorgeously rich and textured with a nearly endless finish, this super intense, full throttle wine needs 5-7 years of bottle age and should drink well over the following 25-30 years. It was aged 20 months in 100% new oak barrels.”
97 Pts. “Impeccably balanced, with powerful currant, dark berry, mocha, floral and understated cedar notes, this wine begs for cellaring as it is just beginning to reveal its depth and dimensions. Ends with chewy, gripping, ripe, flavorful tannins. Best from 2015 through 2032.”
First planted in 1868 by viticultural and winemaking icon Hamilton Crabb, To Kalon Vineyard® has long been regarded as the source of Napa Valley’s finest Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. Within the prime vineyard blocks, an alluvial fan provides excellent and varied mineral deposits, and the rich soils are filled with marine sediment that gives our wines their distinctive profiles. The vines receive full sun and optimal heat during the day and are cooled by marine fog at night. These conditions allow the Cabernet Sauvignon planted in the vineyard to display its own unique character, and this celebration of individuality is the essence of Schrader ®.
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.