2006 Schrader Cellars CCS Beckstoffer To Kalon Cabernet - 100 pts - 750ml
2006 Schrader Cellars CCS Beckstoffer To Kalon Cabernet - 100 pts
When you have extremely conscientious owners (Carol and Fred Schrader) combined with world-class winemaking (Thomas Rivers Brown), and an unimpeachable source for grapes (the first-growth terroir of the Beckstoffer To-Kalon Vineyard), it should not be surprising that outstanding wines are produced. All three of these 100% Cabernet Sauvignon cuvees emerge from that magical tenderloin spot in the Oakville Corridor. You could probably have these three wines on twenty different occasions and reach a different qualitative order, but there is no doubt that any of the wines could be your favorite on any given day - they are that spectacular. During this period, all three were aged in 100% new French oak (which continues), all Darnajou barrels.
100 RP - The 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To-Kalon CCS is utter perfection in Cabernet Sauvignon. Extraordinary power, fruit depth, and perfume (not dissimilar from its siblings) as well as a seamlessness, monumental richness, and a staggering finish are the stuff of legends. Again, the dominant characteristics are creme de cassis, graphite, espresso, blackberries, chocolate, and subtle background new oak. 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! RP