Schrader Cellars is the second incarnation of the vision and passion of its founder, Fred Schrader. Schrader decided he wanted to make wine in 1988 and quickly established his first winery with Ann Colgin, his wife. They baptised their wine as Colgin Schrader Cellars, which made its debut in 1992. Their amourosity and partnership dissolved, although not necessarily in that order. Ann Colgin retained Colgin Cellars, which still forms a chief part of the edifice of great Cult Wines. Fred brushed himself off and in 1998 founded Schrader Cellars…proving good things can come from divorce.
Since then Schrader Cellars has earned a combined total of 17 perfect 100 point scores from The Wine Advocate and Wine Spectator, a remarkable accomplishment in winemaking. Robert Parker, has honoured Schrader as the only producer in the entirety of his career to receive 100 point scores across three consecutive vintages of the same wine not once, but twice, with both the Schrader CCS and Schrader Old Sparky Cabernet Sauvignon. Furthermore, a ten-year retrospective tastings of Schrader Cellars by Robert Parker back in 2001 resulted in seven score revisions to 99 or 100 points, a true testament to the strength of the Estate’s winemaking philosophy. Today we are delighted to be able to offer their 2013 releases, possibly their finest ever, reflected in the glittering scores from Parker, which have made them collectors’ items overnight.
Schrader Cellars is a tour de force in Cabernet Sauvignon and it is from this grape that they produce several unique wines. Stylistically, Schrader Cellars is known for big, powerful, expressive fruit, with plush, rich and silky tannin and beautiful complexity. Schrader Cellars uses only the best fruit from the world famous Beckstoffer vineyards, principally the great To Kalon Vineyard. The goal of the different wines is to display what varying clones can accomplish within a single vineyard parcel. However, let us soporifically begin with the peerless Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard, the most famous, expensive and critically acclaimed vineyard in the Napa Valley!
The wine T6 is derived from Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard and earns its name, as one might imagine, from the T6 clone, also known as the Jackson clone. It is famed for chocolate flavours interlaced with plums and in 2013 has been awarded an incredible 98 points, Parker waxes lyrical ‘It is rich, full-bodied, intense, and stunningly pure and well-balanced.’
Schraders CCS is named after Fred’s wife, Carol ‘Colesworthy’ Schrader and is a blend of Clone 337 and 4 from the Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard. Clone 4 is also known as the Mendoza Clone as it heralds from Argentina. The wine is famed for gorgeous tobacco notes, spice and leather. In 2013 the CCS has been awarded 100 points, ‘There is something ethereal about the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon CCS, a wine that I tend to give more perfect scores to than of the other Schrader offerings.’
RBS was coined to reflect the names of the business partner, winemaker and owner: (Randy) Roach, (Thomas) Brown and (Fred) Schrader. It uses Clone 337 from Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard. It is a new venture and is already making waves for its purity of fruit and complexity. In 2013 this has been awarded 98 points, originally 98-100, thus another potential 100 pointer in the future, Parker muses as much ‘On aromatics alone, it rates a perfect score, but I ended up being somewhat conservative I suppose.’
The Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard is a blend of the remaining Cabernet in the To Kalon bottling, with all the fruit deriving from the To Kalon vineyards. It has been awarded 98-100 points, hardly surprising considering the plethora of perfect, or potentially perfect scoring wines that formed it.
Old Sparky is the acme of Fred Schrader’s winemaking bents, indeed Old Sparky is his nickname and he proudly describes it as his leading wine. It is the ultimate blend of the best eight barrels of each vintage, produced from Clone 6 and Clone 337. It is aged in 100% French oak for 20 months before bottling. Schrader’s Old Sparky is only released in magnum and in minuscule quantities. In 2013 it once again has achived 100 points form Parker, ‘Built like a skyscraper, with an incredible finish (like most of these wines) going on for 50 seconds to a minute, this amazing wine should still be drinking splendidly well at age 25 or 30.’ The magnum shape is stunning, if you can find a magnum at all, they sell out years in advance. It is worth noting that the Old Sparky label displays a dragon, which means it will find a huge market in China in the coming years!
Separately from Beckstoffer To Kalon, Schrader Cellars utilises fruit from the Georges III vineyards cited in Rutherford, Dr. Crane and Las Piedras. The vineyard Las Piedras is located in St.Helena and has been home to Vitis Vinifera for 150 years. Las Piedras gives rise to two wines: LPV and Colesworthy Las Piedras. The former, LPV derives from Clone 337 and aged in 100% new French oak Barrel. In 2013 this has been awarded 98-100 points, less than 650 cases were made.
Colesworthy Las Piedras derives from Clone 337 and is aged in 100% new Darnajou oak. It has been awarded 98+ points, once against promising a perfect score in the future. It resonates with Pauillac-esque pencil shavings, Vosne Romanee-esque forest floor and stunning purity of fruit: perfect for any sybarite!
GIII is named after the vineyard itself and was the first Schrader Cabernet vineyard outside Beckstoffer To Kalon. The wine is made from Clone 337 and this AVA Rutherford was once used in Georges de Latour’s eponymously named wine at Beaulieu Vineyards. In 2013 GIII has been awarded 97 points, Parker states that it ‘exhibits an opaque purple color and a beautiful nose of creosote, graphite, charcoal, blackberry and blueberry.’ Only 250 cases were made!
Schrader Cellars distributes through a mailing list, the remainder sold through auction by Fred. They do not release complete cases, only their famous and highly sought after mixed cases, which culminate Fred’s philosophy; they are highly regarded as each wine is truly world class and these cases allow collectors to enjoy each of them in unison.
We are delighted to be able to offer magnums of Old Sparky and Colesworthy, one with a perfect score, one which promises to be a 100 points. In addition, we can offer their two six pack releases this year: The Schrader Classic six pack, which contains three To Kalon (98-100), two LPV (98-100), one CCS (1000) for £1,650. The Cellar six pack, which contains one of each To Kalon (98-100), CSS (100), GIII (97), LPV (98-100), RBS (98) and T6 (98) for £1,750. Production for each wine is minuscule and each cases offered today will become collectors’ items. Our release prices today are lowest in the world market, offering a truly unmissable opportunity.
Schrader Old Sparky 2013
The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Old Sparky, which is essentially made from clone 4 from two separate blocks, clone 6 and clone 337, is another perfect wine from the Schraders. I suppose it’s a little boring to say, and perhaps I can be accused of creating unrealistic expectations on the part of readers, but this is as great as Cabernet can be. Tasting like a first-growth Pauillac, the wine is opaque purple and has a fabulous nose of lead pencil, spring flowers, blueberry and blackberry and the telltale cassis. There is also some licorice and sweet oak, the tannins are ripe, and the wine full-bodied. Built like a skyscraper, with an incredible finish (like most of these wines) going on for 50 seconds to a minute, this amazing wine should still be drinking splendidly well at age 25 or 30. 100 points, Robert Parker
Schrader Colesworthy 2013
Close to perfection is the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard Colesworthy, which is clone 337. This is aged in 100% new Darnajou and soaks up the new oak beautifully. Notes of lead pencil shavings, forest floor, vanilla, blackberry and cassis jump from the glass of this opaque purple, full-bodied, magnificent Cabernet Sauvignon, which is super-rich, fabulously pure and just a killer wine on the palate. 98+ points, Robert Parker
Schrader RBS Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon RBS, also from clone 337, but in this case from the Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard, shows an absolutely perfect 100-point nose of red, black and blue fruits, charcoal, graphite and forest floor. It hits the palate with a seamless integration of wood, tannin, acidity and alcohol and has tremendous opulence and palate presence in its full-bodied, long finish. On aromatics alone, it rates a perfect score, but I ended up being somewhat conservative I suppose. It should drink well for three decades as well. 98 points, Robert Parker
Schrader LPV Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
2013 was characterized by slightly more clusters, but they were smaller with very tiny berries. The vintage itself was another warm, drought year, but like 2012, there were no real spikes of heat. Growing conditions – other than the continued drought in California – were easy. These wines share the same characteristics with the 2012s and I’ll have a greater peg on them once they’re in bottle, but as you can tell, the production ranges from a very small 240 cases of the Georges III in Rutherford to 640 cases of the Las Piedras Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon LPV. Wines, at least from barrel, that have three-digit score potential include the Cabernet Sauvignon RBS from Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard, the Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon T-6 and the Cabernet Sauvignon LPV from the Las Piedras Vineyard.. 98-100 points, Robert Parker
Schrader CCS Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
There is something ethereal about the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon CCS, a wine that I tend to give more perfect scores to than of the other Schrader offerings. This is clone 4 from a special block of the Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard in Oakville, and it always seems to have these incredible, explosive aromatics ranging from blueberry to blackberry to cassis to spring flowers and lead pencil shavings. It’s always one of the more seductive wines early on, with sweet, velvety tannins, a plush, succulent mouthfeel, full-bodied splendor and majestic texture. This is a killer effort of great intensity and presence. Drink it over then next 25-30 years. 100 points, Robert Parker
Schrader To Kalon Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
2013 was characterized by slightly more clusters, but they were smaller with very tiny berries. The vintage itself was another warm, drought year, but like 2012, there were no real spikes of heat. Growing conditions – other than the continued drought in California – were easy. These wines share the same characteristics with the 2012s and I’ll have a greater peg on them once they’re in bottle, but as you can tell, the production ranges from a very small 240 cases of the Georges III in Rutherford to 640 cases of the Las Piedras Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon LPV. Wines, at least from barrel, that have three-digit score potential include the Cabernet Sauvignon RBS from Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard, the Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon T-6 and the Cabernet Sauvignon LPV from the Las Piedras Vineyard. 98-100 Robert Parker
Schrader GIII Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer George III Vineyard, which comes from the Beckstoffer-owned vineyard in Rutherford and clone 337, exhibits an opaque purple color and a beautiful nose of creosote, graphite, charcoal, blackberry and blueberry. It’s dense, full-bodied and opulent, with great acidity and sweet, well-integrated tannins. It is approachable now, but promises to be at its best with another 7-8 years of bottle age and last 25-30 years. 97 points, Robert Parker
Schrader T6 Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon T6, which is clone 6, offers more barbecue smoke, roasted meats and oodles of creme de cassis and blackberry. It is rich, full-bodied, intense, and stunningly pure and well-balanced. This is another tour de force from the Schraders and Thomas Rivers Brown. It should drink well for 25-30 years as well. 98 points, Robert Parker
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