The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Old Sparky, which is essentially made from clone 4 from two separate blocks, clone 6 and clone 337, is another perfect wine from the Schraders. I suppose it’s a little boring to say, and perhaps I can be accused of creating unrealistic expectations on the part of readers, but this is as great as Cabernet can be. Tasting like a first-growth Pauillac, the wine is opaque purple and has a fabulous nose of lead pencil, spring flowers, blueberry and blackberry and the telltale cassis. There is also some licorice and sweet oak, the tannins are ripe, and the wine full-bodied. Built like a skyscraper, with an incredible finish (like most of these wines) going on for 50 seconds to a minute, this amazing wine should still be drinking splendidly well at age 25 or 30.
"Our philosophy is to bring together the finest grape-growing resources available with the brightest talent in winemaking and then let the natural brilliance of this partnership shine through in the wine."
- Fred & Carol Schrader, Proprietors
It all started back in 1988, when Fred attended the Napa Valley Wine Auction with good friend and Christie's auctioneer, Brian Cole. At the time, Fred simply wanted to come out to the valley, have a great time and enjoy fine wines. Twenty years later, in addition to having a great time and enjoying fine wines, Fred produces namesake Cabernets that consistently garner top-ratings from America's most renowned critics.
After his visit to the wine auction, Fred was captivated by the wine business and in soon cofounded the now legendary Colgin-Schrader Cellars and ensconced the husband-and-wife team of Helen Turley and John Wetlaufer at the winemaking helm. In Helen and John, Fred found a stellar team absolutely committed to making the highest quality wines possible.
Following the success of Colgin-Schrader Cellars, Fred founded his namesake Schrader Cellars in 1998 with the finest vineyard resources and winemaking talents available. Today, along with his wife Carol and gifted winemaker Thomas Brown, Fred creates benchmark wines from the Napa Valley's premier vineyard estates. According to Fred, "Every year is a new child. We come out on a yearly basis with both guns blazing, no-holds-barred, to make the purest and finest wines possible. Wines we love to enjoy. That's what makes it so interesting and so exciting."
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