2004 Schrader to kalon???

Hey everyone,
1st post. I brought a 2004 Schrader To Kalon to Studio at the Montage for an anniversary dinner recently. I asked the sommelier to decant and he was happy to do so, but he said he had to take it to the bar (I’ve brought tons of wine to restaurants before and this was the first time someone didn’t decant in front of me, but that’s neither here nor there). Anyway, it was super tight, which was to be expected, but didn’t really soften up much over our 3 hr time we were there. I was in a word, underwhelmed. My wife, who has a much better palate than me, thought it was fantastic, but tannic, very tannic. Here’s my question…Is it a matter of unrealistic expectations due to the hype of Schrader (this was my first experience for Schrader as I’ve only been on the mailing list since the 04’ vintage and have cellared the subsequent bottles). Not enough breathing time for the wine? Does the wine need more cellar time? I wanted to be blown away and I wasn’t. I really hope I just didn’t give it enough time as I have a boatload of Schrader left…Ugh


I opened a magnum of '04 the day after Christmas. The wine was half slow-oxed and half decanted for at least four hours. Everyone seemed very happy with its performance. I would not worry about the Schrader wines you have in your cellar. In general I would recommend long decants and patience, or just leaving them alone.

Boatload of Schrader? I can think of bigger problems. A decant is usually warranted. I had a 2006 GIII that had been opened for almost 50 hours and was awesome.

No worries about you choice in buying these.

Joe K - welcome! I will be happy to take those off your hands, you definitely don’t want them anymore! [cheers.gif]

Thanks guys, I feel better about the investment. I wish I could just open a bottle the day before when planning to bring it to a restaurant, but you never know when a restaurant will get militant about the whole open bottle issue.

I also remember when Schrader used to be $95 when I first started buying, but that’s also off topic and probably deadhorse

I had the 04 BTK at a restaurant recently and while a little tight after opening, it really started to show after only an hour. It was a fantastic bottle of wine… really a mouthful, with a nose that grabbed you from across the table.

Is there a possibility that your temp was a little cold?

I dont know abuot 04s but drink the 05s happily. Last year an 05 T6 I opened in a giant group of wines including 07 Scarecrow, Deep Time, Hourglass, verts of Insignia and Pride reserves, etc etc kicked much ass with no decant…

Maybe, we were sitting outside and needed heating lamps and blankets, so possibly the wine never really got a chance to really warm up. But sometimes, I think some juice shows better at cellar temp. Anyway, I really wanted to be WOW’ed and I wasn’t. Prob expectations too high…like that hot girl you’ve had your eye on for a long time and when she finally reciprocates…it just is not as great as you’ve imagined…still good though [cheers.gif]

Joe - when you say that a restaurant might be upset with an previously opened bottle, what do you mean? I pre-decant and re-cork all the time and take them to restaurants. I’ve never had an issue. Am I breaking some law I don’t know about?

One thing - I always put the corks all the way back in the bottles so they’re flush with the top.

Forget about the decanting. Open up a 2006 and just be amazed.

It’s never happened to me (cuz I’ve never tried bringing in a pre-opened bottle), but I’ve heard of people not being allowed to pour their own bottle if it was already opened. In fact, I think there was a thread here awhile back (maybe it was another board) where some people tried at a high end Napa restaurant and left because the restaurant wouldn’t let them pour their wine. I has to do with some regulation that prohibits this activity, but I believe most restaurants will turn a blind eye, especially if you’re a regular. I firmly believe restaurants that try to enforce this rule just want you to buy off their overpriced list.

On a side note, I recently went to Capital Grille at South Coast Plaza here in OC and had this exact conversation with their managing partner. He was very gracious, esp after I poured him some of the juice I brought) and actually knew alot of vinters from Napa and Sonoma. We had a long conversation and long story short, he took off the corkage fee ($25, yikes) and dessert from our bill and told me I was welcome to bring in pre-decanted wine in future visits. That’s great customer service and I’ll be a regular there from now on. Plus, food was spectacular. Highly recommended. [welldone.gif]

Joe, we recently did a special dinner for eight of us at Studio and had Craig put together a special menu for the wines we were all bringing.We all brought a few bottles and instructed the som on which ones to open for the evening, we arrived early for sunset and cocktails.We were shocked at his response that he had a problem opening as many bottles as we asked saying that he wasnt going to be responsible for any post dinner problems with the local police and possible DUI’S. He had no idea that we all had arranged transportation before hand, he also had no idea that four of us are actually close friends with Craig and had put some serious time and thought into this special dinner.Anyway we managed to convince him that this was not a group of beer bar drunks and that a lot of the wine would be shared with the chef and his team as the evening progressed.We wound up having a very nice evening once Craig arrived and straightened things out.

Now regarding your Schrader bottle.I have been on the list since 1999 and have an extensive collection and a pretty good drinking history on pretty much all of the wines. I find that all of Freds wines benefit from considerable air time before drinking, though some can really be enjoyed right out of the gate such as a recent 07 RBS that we sacrificed after my beloved Packers won the super bowl.Each wine is truly unique, RBS vs. a CCS or a G111, which is one reason we love this wine so much,but one thing we all agree on is that considerable air time really fleshes these wines out regardless of which bottling you choose.


P.S Oh, I am on the side that does not like giving my bottles to a server and have them taken away for decant. I want my bottles opened at my table and then set aside for consumption. Years ago we had a horrific experience at the original Patina regarding a bottle that was taken away for decant, which is another story in itself, lets just say you couldnt pay us to step foot into Patina or any other of his places.

Hey Bud; Nice to see you here and great post…very informative. I need to talk to you some time about your Patina experience.

Marshall [cheers.gif]

I had the '04 To Kalon a few days ago. It didn’t need air (I popped and poured, then let the rest sit for a few hours) no change. It just seemed to be a pretty average bottle of wine. It may have shut-down. I seem to remember it being much better upon release. Folks that know waaay more about Schrader than I have suggested that '04 was far from their best work.