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Average critic rating : 96.0 points
The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon CCS Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard comes across as big, tight and powerful. This is one of the more reticent, inward of the 2009 Schraders. Tar, licorice, menthol and violets are some of the notes that wrap around the intense, virile finish. Today the CCS is a touch compact. It will merit a higher score if the fruit fills out a little more. CCS is clone 4 from the C1 block. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2029. ||I tasted the Schrader 2009s and 2010s twice this year, about five months apart, and that time has done wonders for the wines. The Schrader Cabernets are big, bold wines that nevertheless show remarkable detail and transparency to site, as is evidenced by the five separate bottlings from Andy Beckstoffer’s To Kalon vineyard in Oakville. These are essentially single-clone (and often single-block) wines that seek to highlight the unique qualities of the various Cabernet clones planted within the vineyard. I tasted the 2009s from bottle and the 2010s from barrel. Readers should note that the 2010s I tasted were base blends for each of the wines, rather than fully finished blends. I have a slight preference for the 2010s, as they are more nuanced, perfumed and finessed, while the 2009s are just a bit more similar to each other throughout the range, reflecting the nature of the years themselves. Beyond that, it really comes down to personal preference when choosing one of these wines. The RBS is the most aromatic and detailed, and in my view, complete of the wines. Readers who prefer a more overt, opulent, fruit-driven style of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon will gravitate to the Old Sparky or the Schrader. Either way, it is hard to go wrong with any of these Cabernets. The wines are made in a fairly non-interventionalist style, with no SO2 added at crush, minimal rackings and no fining or filtration prior to bottling. Everything starts in the vineyard, where Brown and his team leave one cluster (minus wings) per shoot. The 2009s were aged in 100% new French oak barrels, 80-90% Darnajou the rest Taransaud.||Tel. (707) 942-1212 Wine Advocate.December, 2011
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