2009 Schrader Cellars, 'Old Sparky' Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, D-Magnum (3L)

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Rating:RP97 i Wine Critics: RP = Robert Parker
AG = Antonio Galloni
BH = BurgHound
JD = Jeb Dunnuck
LP = Lisa Perrotti-Brown
VM = Vinous Media
WS = Wine Spectator
JS = James Suckling
DR = Decanter

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RP97 "The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Old Sparky Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard is remarkably finessed for such a big wine. Mint, mocha, violets, tar and licorice are some of the many notes that swirl around in the glass. The balance of fruit, structure and acidity is just breathtaking. A huge, kaleidoscopic finish rounds things out in style. Old Sparky is a blend of the estate’s best barrels. The 2009 is 50% clone 6, 20% clone 337, 20% clone 4 from the C2 block and 10% clone 4 from the C1 block." AG for WA Dec 2011
Schrader, Old Sparky Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
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 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.

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