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2014 Schrader - Cabernet Sauvignon RBS Beckstoffer To-Kalon Vineyard

UNITED STATES / CALIFORNIA / NAPA
abv 14.4%
  • 96 WA
  • 94 WS
  • 96 JS
  • Variety
    Cabernet Sauvignon
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SKU: 105853-2014
  • JamesSuckling.com | Rating: 96

    Lots of plum and walnut character in addition to hints of mushrooms and violets. Full-bodied, rich and layered with blueberry and blackberry flavors. Give it a few years to soften. Better in 2019.
    Author: James Suckling
  • Wine Spectator | Rating: 94

    Masters richness, with finesse and refinement. This is a beauty built of deep dark fruit and toasty, vanilla-scented oak, maintaining weight and focus while showing off flashes of elegance and polish. Most impressive on the finish, where the flavors linger. Drink now through 2032. 1,251 cases made.
    Author: James Laube
  • Wine Advocate | Rating: 96

    The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon RBS is made from the same clone (337) as the Georges III, but comes from the To Kalon Vineyard in Oakville and not the Rutherford Georges III. This was aged in 85% new Darnajou and 15% new Taransaud. It has fabulous concentration, notes of incense, licorice, blackcurrants, blackberries, as well as spring flowers. The wine is juicy, savory and full-bodied, with wonderful underlying energy and freshness. This wine is a more forward style than we saw with the 2013s, and is best drunk over the next 16-20 years.
    Author: Robert Parker
  • Self | Rating: 97

    Drink Dates: 2017-2035
    Author: Gallo Boy
Schrader's mission statement is essentially one where their 30-year leases on vineyard parcels give them the ability to present a specific clonal study of Cabernet Sauvignon from three highly desired clones (4, 6, and 337) grown within a single vineyard. The bottom line is that with their production averages about 1,600 cases of Cabernet Sauvignon, the wines do have subtle differences, but most importantly, all of them are extraordinary in quality - among the finest Cabernets in California. Fred Schrader and his wife, Carol, hired Thomas Brown to make these wines.

California is the heartland of wine production in the US, and the state that brought prestige to American wine thanks to the pioneers who built early wineries like Staglin, Beringer, Ridge, Mayacamas and Chateau Montelena in the 1800s. Its large geographic area ensures a great diversity in growing sites, varieties grown, and quality levels. Generalizations about the state's wines have numerous exceptions; however, a few key facts generally hold true—ample sunshine, dry weather during the growing season, and moderate winters prevail. Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon continue to dominate the state's production—albeit in continually smaller percentages, as growers continue to diversify. More than 100 different varieties can be found throughout the state.

Cabernet Sauvignon is a thick-skinned variety that is high in color, flavor, tannin, and body, displaying aromas of black currant, blackberry, violet, bell pepper, and black cherry. It is late-ripening and therefore struggles to grow in cool climates. Quality can vary tremendously depending on terroir, vineyard management, and winemaking style, with the highest quality wines coming from the Haut-Médoc and Graves in Bordeaux, and Napa and Sonoma in California.

The powerful flavors, tannin, and body of Cabernet Sauvignon make it well suited to ageing and allow it to stand up to a large proportion of new oak without overpowering the wine. 225-litre barriques are the most popular size barrel and French oak is commonly used by the best producers to add structural complexity and flavors of chocolate, vanilla, and clove to the nose and palate. The best wines, many of which are below, can age further in the bottle for decades.

Old-World Cabernet Sauvignon is often blended with Merlot, which ripens earlier than Cabernet and adds plum, softer tannin, and lighter body to this Bordeaux blend. These wines typically have earth-driven aromas such as wet leaves and truffle along with bell peppers and leather. First-Growth producers such as Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Latour, and Château Margaux consistently produce some of the highest-quality Cabernet Sauvignon-based blends.

New-World Cabernet Sauvignon is seen both as a blend and single varietal. Warmer climates and long sunlight hours result in an extended growing season, bearing grapes with richer fruit, bigger tannin, higher alcohol, and lower acidity than their Old-World counterparts. Some of the best expressions of these full-bodied wines come from producers like Screaming Eagle, Hundred Acre, Schrader and Scarecrow.

All Cabernet Sauvignon pairs phenomenally well with meat-forward dishes such as rib-eye steak, short ribs, lamb shank, or a cheeseburger. Vegetable-forward dishes featuring mushrooms are also a great choice for this variety. 

Collector Data For This Wine

  • 615 bottles owned
  • 155 collectors
  • Average collector rating: 97
    (Out of 155 collectors)