2005 Cabernet Sauvignon
California: Napa Valley
What We Say
If you are visiting us for the first time, Welcome! The Wine Spies feature one exceptional wine each day – and we only bring you wines that we ourselves seek out and love. Always, the wines are great. Sometimes greater than great, as is the case with today’s wine from Schrader Vineyards.
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT!
While we always feature great wines, sometimes we issue a special alert when a wine really stands out. Such is the case with this wonderful Cabernet Sauvignon from the famous Stags Leap district in California’s Napa Valley.
Mission Codename: One giant leap for winekind
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Visit Napa Valley’s fabled Stags Leap district and return with a hidden Cabernet Sauvignon gem
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Winery
Wine Subject: 2005 Schrader Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker: Dr. Mark Schrader
Ask any fan of Cabernet Sauvignon which Napa Valley wine growing region is most famous for producing the finest Cabs and they’ll likely tell you that its the Stags Leap District. With so many requests pouring in from our Operatives for a Stags Leap Cab, we sent Agent Red on an urgent mission. Read his tasting notes and mission brief below to see how he fared
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep and inky garnet with a very velvety surface that, after a vigorous swirl, becomes quickly still
Smell – DEEP aromatics, with large up-front fruit of dark plum, dark cherry and deep smoky cranberry, with leather, mushroom, forest floor and mild pipe tobacco rounding out the layered and complex smells
Feel – Round and even sensual with a balanced and luxurious softness, then soft tannins dry the mid-palate and lips
Taste – Rich and lush flavors of black cherry, smoked plum, acerola, cranberry, and mild black curran, with a slight dusky vegital quality that highlights the fruit, rather than overpower it
Finish – Long lasting flavors of fruit and earthen mild mushroom, with a slight dryness
Conclusion – This is a STUPENDOUS offering from a winery that many will surely come to hear about before too long! Dr. Schrader has created a veritable masterpiece with this wonderfully balanced, lush and richly layered Napa Cabernet Sauvignon.
Early Morning, Napa Valley, Stags Leap District
I am driving along the Silverado Trail, following an urgent WineNet directive from Central Command the night before: Seek out a stellar Stags Leap Cab: Priority ALPHA
The mist hangs above the vineyards in this pristine and serene valley where some of the finest wines in the world are born. This is holy territory for the Cab-crazed faithful. I can’t help but feel a certain reverence.
Now, I ask myself, Who should I visit as I seek out a Cabernet Sauvignon for our Operatives to enjoy?"
My choices are dizzying; Obvious choices like Silverado and Cliff Lede spring to mind, as do Chimney Rock and Baldacci, but I want something more exotic, esoteric or just plain lesser-known.
I pull my car to the side of the road to ponder. As I sit here, I ponder the history of this place, its roots in wine growing dating back to the 1800’s. The Silverado Trail where my car now sits, was but a simple horse trail. In 1878, the regions first winery, Occidental Winery was built, setting the stage for more wineries of distinction.
BANG BANG BANG!
A police officer is banging on my car window, jarring me from my reverie.
“Officer. Hello there. Is there a problem?” I ask as I show him my Wine Spies identification.
“Agent Red?” He asks.
“May I ask what you are doing here? If you’re on a mission, your not being very inconspicuous.”
I look at the mans badge and I suddenly recall that this officer of the peace is one of our assets.
To be certain, I feed him today’s mission name and responds with the correct validation phrase.
I ask him for a winery that meets my criteria and he excuses himself. I watch him walk to the trunk of his car and return with a 4-bottle wine carrier.
“Look no further,” He says with a keen smile. “This is the wine you are seeking.”
I secure the box next to me and look up to see his car speeding away.
Trusting this Asset, I head back to our local safehouse where I decant the bottle and begin my assessment.
[See detailed tasting notes above]
Made by Dr. Schrader, prolific business mind, architect and uber-talented winemaker, this is one incredible wine and I declare it one that you must try. You do not want to miss out on this richly extracted and special wine.
Drink now or hold.
Agent Red: OUT
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the world-famous Stags Leap District in Napa, California, can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
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About This Wine:
The 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon is full bodied, rich and bold in character. The Port is one of only a few that are made using Cabernet Sauvignon in Napa Valley and is being released in very limited quantities.
About The Winery:
Schrader Vineyards is a boutique winery on 6 ½ acres located just outside the Stags Leap District in Napa, California. We specialize and only produce Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. Our previous harvests have been used by Staggs Leap Cellars and Paul Hobbs Winery in their California Cabernets. Schrader Vineyard is excited to release our 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon that represents the quality and strong characteristics that is know in a Napa Valley Cabernet. We hope you enjoy.
About The Vineyard:
Schrader Vineyard only produces limited quantities of Cabernet Sauvignon as well as Cabernet Sauvignon Port that each reflects the unique characteristics of our estate vineyard.
About The Vintage:
The 2005 Napa Valley Cabernet is to be released! Having spent over 14 months in French Oak this big cab will be ready for release. As it will be in limited quantities we encourage you to sign up early to ensure your order is confirmed!
The 2007 Harvest:
Harvest is early this year by almost one month, as temperatures in the valley have been steady and warm throughout the growing season; ideal for vine/grape production. Vines tend to shut down when temperatures rise above 90 degrees, so having a growing season where temperatures remained steady and were not so hot permitted quality and consistent grape development. All of which translates into ideal grapes, the key component, for making excellent wine. We are off to a great start for the 2007 vintage! Harvest tonnage is also expected to be average to slightly above normal in the Napa valley as a result of these climatic conditions and in our vineyard this holds true as well. Our new clone 6 block of Cabernet Sauvignon is in its second year and looking better than ever, with a first harvest expected next year. Clone 6 is a Cabernet variety that is known for its richness, complexity, strength and excellent character. It is typically low yielding compared to other Cabernet varieties but it makes up for all that in its boldness and taste. It will add one more new dimension to our wine making operations that strive to bring you the best in wine quality and final product.