Robert Parker | 100
"Another candidate for perfection, the 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Old Sparky comes from Clone 4, Clone 6 and Clone 337 although Clone 6 dominates the blend. Also a monumental wine, it is not as nuanced as the CCS or the RBS, but it possesses serious minerality as well as huge notes of tobacco leaf, pain grille, spring flowers, blueberries, blackberries, and licorice in both the aromatic and flavor profiles. The finish is endless in this super-intense, rich wine. Like all these wines, it is a 25- to 40-year effort although the sweetness of the tannin and the emerging complexity permits enjoyment even at this infantile stage."
Schrader Cellars is a Napa Valley winery founded by Fred Schrader. Its focus is on premium Cabernet Sauvignon from single parcels and single vineyards – the most famous of which is the Old Sparky, from the Beckstoffer To Kalon vineyard.
Schrader entered the wine industry in 1992, founding Colgin Schrader Cellars with his then-wife Ann Colgin (who would go on to found Colgin Cellars). In 1998, he left to start his own label, bringing on board winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown and grape grower W. Andrew Beckstoffer.
Schrader makes a range of wines from Napa, most of which are made from Cabernet Sauvignon. The most significant vineyard associated with the label is the Beckstoffer To Kalon vineyard in Oakville, which provides an excellent growing environment for Cabernet Sauvignon: high mineral content and superb drainage in the soil, lots of sun exposure, and a coastal breeze for cool nights. In 2008, Schrader Cellars became the first winery to receive 100-point reviews from critic Robert Parker for the same wine across four consecutive vintages, a recognition that it received for two labels, both the Schrader CCS and the Old Sparky.