2006 Schrader Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon RBS To Kalon Vineyard Napa

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(99 points) Nearly perfect, the opaque purple-colored 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To-Kalon RBS reveals notes of graphite, charcoal, blackberries, cedar, creme de cassis, and a hint of chocolate. Oodles of concentration, remarkable purity and density, and a finish that lasts over 60 seconds suggest this beauty should drink well for 20-25 years. As I wrote last year, this is a fascinating portfolio of 100% Cabernet Sauvignons all of them from Beckstoffer-owned vineyards, including the To-Kalon Vineyard in Oakville, and one wine from the George III Vineyard in Rutherford. All the wines are aged in 100% new French oak, usually a combination of Darnajou and Taransaud barrels, with a higher percentage of Darnajou used for the T6, CCS, Old Sparky, and Schrader. The different bottlings are essentially based on specific blocks and/or specific clones of Cabernet Sauvignon. In short, I think the 2006s are arguably the finest wines of the vintage, and the 2007s appear to be as profound. Given the fact that these wines seem to put on weight once they are in bottle, the 2007s may eclipse the extraordinary 2006s produced by Carol and Fred Schrader, and their brilliant winemaker, Thomas Brown. Total production of these cuvees is just over 1,500 cases, with the average for each offering 200-250 cases. Readers should keep in mind that all of these wines are aged in 100% new French oak for 20 months, bottled with no clarification, and possess alcohols ranging from 14.5% to 14.9%. This was one of the most exciting tastings I have done in 2008! Wine Advocate # 180 Dec 2008


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