2018 RBS


“Lush aromatics of cassis and complements of pencil shavings and graphite, it’s just a really elegant wine that’s drinkable upon release—but also has the structure and tannins to carry it in aging.” — Carol Schrader

  • Vintage 2018
  • Vineyard Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard
  • Appellation Oakville, Napa Valley
  • Varietal Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Clone Pure Clone 337
  • Cooperage Aged 20 months in rare Darnajou French oak barrels
  • Winemaker Thomas River Brown
  • Tasting Notes

    Always a favorite among our team and friends, the 2018 Schrader RBS continues this tradition. Luxurious aromas of blueberry crème brûlée, mixed black and blue fruit mélange, and red cherries burst from the glass with an enticing hint of lightly grilled brioche bread. The ripe fruit flavors dance along the palate and intertwine with flavors of roasted coffee and salted churned butter. The wine’s ample fruit focus is balanced by supple, velvety tannins that give way to an astonishingly silky-smooth finish.

  • Accolades

    99 Pts. “Another heavenly wine in the lineup is the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard RBS, which comes from Clone 337 and a handful of different blocks in the vineyard. This deep purple-hued beauty has an incredibly seamless, elegant, yet full-bodied style as well as killer notes of creme de cassis, blueberries, wildflowers, violets, white chocolate, and new saddle leather. Flirting with perfection, the tannin quality, purity of fruit, alance, and overall harmony here is just about off the charts. It makes you want to drink the whole bottle, but it should age effortlessly for 25+ years.”
    — Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

    97 Pts. “Schrader’s RBS comes from Beckstoffer’s To Kalon vineyard in Oakville, produced from 337 clone grown on blocks B1, B2 and E2. The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon RBS Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged in 100% new Darnajou and Taransaud French oak barrels for 18 months. Deep garnet-purple in color, it leaps from the glass with gregarious exotic spice scents—cumin seed, cloves and star anise—over a core of Black Forest cake, blueberry compote and black currant pastilles plus a waft of underbrush. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is completely coated with spicy, open-knit black fruit preserves flavors, marked by bright red-fruit accents. Supported by great tension and velvety tannins, it finishes on a lingering cinnamon toast note. 1,715 cases were made.”
    — Lisa Perrotti-Brown, The Wine Advocate

    97 Pts. “Aromas of red fruit, plums, herbs and dark chocolate with some bark and forest-floor notes. Full-bodied, yet very finely crafted and poised. Lots of fresh and dry herbs to the dark fruit at the finish. Lasts a long time. Try after 2024.”
    — James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

    96 Pts. “This is packed with steeped plum, blackberry and boysenberry fruit flavors, yet cuts a very focused line nonetheless, with a graphite underpinning keeping the fruit harnessed while licorice, alder and tar notes fill in on the back end. A muscular version that demands cellar time. Best from 2024 through 2038.”
    — James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

  • Vineyard

    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 ®.

  • Vintage

    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.