Monday, April 6, 2020

Schrader Double Diamond Mayacamas Range 2002

Double Diamond (Schrader) "Mayacamas Range" Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon 2002

For Sunday night casual dinner, Linda prepared a homemade grilled pizza and to go along, we pulled from the cellar this Schrader Double Diamond Cabernet. 

Fred Schrader has been producing critically acclaimed premium Schrader Cellars Napa Valley Cabernet since 1998. In 2001, he created Double Diamond to produce Napa Valley wines in the Schrader tradition of excellence and to make it available to a broader audience of wine lovers. 

We sourced this wine through auction from WineBid who writes of this label: "Fred Schrader founded Schrader Cellars in Calistoga in 1998 after making wine for six years with Ann Colgin, who was then his wife. Colgin-Schrader Cellars launched in 1992... Schrader and his wife parted ways and he started Schrader Cellars, where his Cabernet Sauvignons have earned outstanding reviews. His grapes come from two of Napa Valley’s most prestigious vineyards, the Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard in Oakville and the Beckstoffer Georges III Vineyard in Rutherford. Schrader's current winemaker is Thomas Rivers Brown, one of California's star winemakers. Robert M. Parker Jr. admires Schrader’s wines, and called the 2006 Schrader CCS Cabernet Sauvignon “utter perfection.” Parker rated it at 100 pts. Like other limited production Cult Cab producers in Napa Valley, Schrader Cellars wines generally sell out through its mailing list."

Double Diamond is Schrader's 'second' label, a more moderately priced brand of Fred Schrader Cellars. While the flagship Schrader brand sources fruit from the legendary Beckstoffer To-Kalon and other notable Napa Valley vineyards, Double Diamond is sourced from other vineyard sources in Napa and Sonoma. While the Shrader flagship wines sell for $200-$270, Double Diamond sells for closer to $50, more approachable for the rest of us.

Schrader writes of the Double Diamond label. "Over the years, we have sourced our grapes from prime vineyards on the mountaintops, hillside slopes, and gentle floor of the Napa Valley. In each situation, we find the ideal sweet spot of the vineyard that produces the most elegant, character-driven Cabernet possible. Dense and concentrated, with exceptional character and flavor."

Like the benchmark Schrader Cellars Cabernets, Double Diamond is also crafted by acclaimed winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown and his team. They strive to produce a "neighborly expression of Napa Valley Cabernet to enjoy every day." 

"Throughout the years, Double Diamond, crafted by winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown, has been sourced from a complement of prime vineyard estates in and around Napa Valley. From rocky, high-elevation soils to the warm, rich valley floor, each incredible vineyard contributes its unique character to this enticing and eminently satisfying Napa Cabernet."

We hold a half dozen vintages of Double Diamond labels sourced from several different vineyards including this from the Mayacamas Range in Sonoma County. All are small limited production releases.

As with much of our wine collecting, we have fun with this label as another whimsical play on names as our daughter-in-law hails from the Diamond family.

Double Diamond (Schrader) "Mayacamas Range" Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon 2002 

This 2002 Mayacamas Range release Double Diamond Cabernet got 89-91 points from Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar.

Our last tasting note for this label was back in 2011 when I wrote, "Medium bodied,  - dark berry fruits, blackberry, black raspberry and currant with hints of mocha and cassis with a subdued spicy, moderate tannin finish." Tonight this was similar although the sprites of sweet mocha have given way to more of the notes of smoke and creosote, but this is still enjoyable and holding its own at eighteen years.  

This was ideal with Sunday evening homemade pizza!

Ruby colored, medium bodied, concentrated bright berry and cherry fruits are accented by notes of smoke, creosote, cassis, and spices with firm tangy acidity and a moderate lingering tannin finish. 

RM 89 points.