Thomas Rivers Brown is one of California’s most in-demand winemakers. Combining a craftsman’s precision with an artist’s intuition, TRB is set to join the modern pantheon of California’s most influential vintners. When Fred Schrader went looking for a winemaker in 2000, he hired a promising 29-year-old who was apprenticing at Turley Wine Cellars, known for Zinfandel and Petite Sirah. It was a gut-feeling hire for Schrader. The apprentice had never made Cabernet, but the relationship evolved and has paid off handsomely for both Schrader and TRB. When Napa Cab is debated, Brown’s name is mentioned. Of all the spectacular Cabernets made in the past decade, his is one of the most inspiring collections. Since 2000, he has made 37 bottlings of Cabernet for Schrader Cellars. Twenty have earned ratings of 95 points or higher on the Wine Spectator 100-point scale, including a pair of 100-point 2007s. Ninety-one is the lowest score in the bunch. Brown’s Cabernet are opulent and polished, offering layers of dark berry and toasty oak.