Founded in 1988 by Fred Schrader, Schrader Cellars made their mark with grapes from Andy Beckstofffer's portion of Oakville's unequaled To Kalon Vineyard (the vast majority of To Kalon is owned by Mondavi) and the talent of winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown.
In the decades since, Brown has delivered an unprecedented 27 100-point score wines from some of the world's most respected critics. Schrader's Cabernets are very limited with a lengthy wait-list at a premium price; you can purchase a three-vintage six-pack at the BCLDB for $3720, however.
The company is run by only three folks, Schrader, his wife Carol, and Brown, and has a humble feel despite its iconic status in the world of wines.
Launching into the new millennium, Schrader expanded to a second label Double Diamond, which was designed by Carol. The idea was to make a wine with a foundation of excellence and expression, one that could be enjoyed any day. From that, this wine was born, which includes a significant portion of To Kalon grapes; "To Kalon is so well balanced on its own," says Brown. "No matter when you pick the PH, acid, the ripeness of tannins... it's all in check, To Kalon comes through. We let the vineyard dictate the style [of the wine] not the vintage.
The 2017, while still very pricey to most of us, is available at Marquis Wine Cellars for $145.
It has an opulent cassis scented nose with vanilla liqueur, black cherries in chocolate, baking spice and meaty undertones. Woven and fresh it shows bramble berries, charred spice and tobacco. The tannins are slightly coarse but it has an appealing suppleness on the tongue."
A whopping 80% of the fruit in the 2018 comes from To Kalon. It has a brighter ruby hue and more briliance overall. Chocolate mint pastilles, plum cake, and baking spice aromas lead to a fleshy palate with gobs of gorgeous ripe fruit sprinkled with brown spice and dark cocoa. Silky and slick with polished tannins it shows concentration and youthfulness, but is still highly drinkable now.
$80USD on the Schrader site.
Good First Impressions, Cellar Keepers, First Date
©copyright 2012 Daenna Van Mulligen
Wine Scores reviewed - 2020-10-19 17:21:46.0