Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Double Diamond (Schrader) Amber Knolls Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2002

Shrader Double Diamond Lake County Beckstoffer Amber Knolls Cabernet Sauvignon 2002

I pulled this Double Diamond label from the cellar as the double diamond is a fun play on words sharing it with two sons who had weddings in recent months. Also, this provided another tasting of the handiwork of winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown who produced the Kinsella Estate Dry Creek Valley Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon that Alec and Viv shared the other evening.

Thomas Rivers Brown was originally from South Carolina. After graduation from the University of Virginia he traveled the wine regions of France, and eventually made his way to Napa Valley in the mid-1990's. He worked with and earned the craft as cellar hand and lab enologist for notable winemakers Ehren Jordan and Larry Turley of Turley Wine Cellars.

In 2000, Thomas got his chance to produce his own wines when he was appointed winemaker for the new winery project Chiarello Vineyards which I wrote about in these pages a couple years ago

Since then, in addition to Chiarello, Thomas has overseen winemaking operations or consulted for many well known Napa Valley wineries including Schrader, Outpost, Maybach, Revana, TOR, C. Mondavi, Jones Family, Harris Estate, Hestan, Seaver, Black Sears, and Casa Piena. He also has his own wine label, Rivers-Marie, where Thomas Brown focuses his efforts on Pinot Noir.
Thomas Brown has been called "the nation's hottest winemaker." by David White of The Terroirist Wine Journal., He is one of but a few winemakers globally to have received multiple 100-point wine scores from the penultimate wine critic Robert Parker Jr. of The Wine Advocate, as well as from wine noted critic, James Laube of The Wine Spectator. In 2010, Thomas was honored as Food & Wine Magazine "Winemaker of the Year."

This is the second label of the classic super premium Shrader brand/collection. This is from the Amber Knolls Vineyard up in Lake County, over the hill from Howell Mountain to the northeast from Napa Valley, not to be confused with the Oak Knolls district in southwest Napa.

The Double Diamond brand, crafted by winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown, has featured several different labels, 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."

Consistent with last tasting .... this was dark garnet colored, medium-full bodied, forward expressive black berry fruits, smokey black creosote tones with hints of black licorice and touch of dark cocoa with moderate firm tannins.

RM 90 points.