2017 Schrader Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard LPV

Year: 2017
Appellation: Napa Valley
Country: USA-California
Wine Spectator: 95
Wine Advocate: 94+
James Suckling: 97
Jeb Dunnuck: 97+
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.9%
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"Saturated plum and blackberry sauce flavors unfurl slowly, with gorgeous mesquite, espresso and licorice accents keeping pace. Shows a smoldering edge on the finish, while well-embedded acidity gives this weighty wine a fresh edge. Best from 2022 through 2038. 383 cases made. -JM" (WS)

"Schrader’s “LPV” comes from Beckstoffer’s Las Piedras vineyard, produced from 337 clone grown on the C block. One hundred percent Cabernet Sauvignon, it was aged in 100% new oak for 20 months. Very deep purple-black colored, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard Lpv opens with a profound nose of pure cassis, kirsch, blackberry pie and bay leaves with emerging scents of beef drippings, unsmoked cigars, black tea and forest floor plus an undercurrent of molten chocolate. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is charged with red berry accents, framed by a refreshing line of acidity and firm, grainy tannins, finishing with a lively lift. 217 cases were made.

“In 2017, there was a lot of stuff we had to get rid of,” Schrader’s winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown candidly told me. The strict selection this vintage shows in the caliber of the bottled Schrader wines from this challenging year. Contrary to a lot of other 2017s, these wines speak most clearly of the Schrader style rather than the vintage signature, which should bring fans of this label a lot of pleasure.

The barrel samples of the 2018 vintage reveal less alcohol and weight than previous great vintages, with all the bright, fresh, crunchy black and red fruit that this longer, cooler growing season naturally offers. Most impressive about these wines is the intensity and depth they possess, adeptly supported by beautifully ripe, finely grained tannins. Maybe most exciting of all, Schrader lovers are not going to want to miss out on the stellar new wine to the lineup, emerging in 2018: the Cabernet Sauvignon Mondavi Heritage Clone To Kalon Vineyard." (WA)

"Such beautiful blue fruit with crushed stones and violets on the nose. Medium to full body, firm and silky tannins and refined, polished tannins. Yet, it’s always muscular. True to form with balance. Better after 2022." (JS)

"There are two releases from the Las Piedras Vineyard just outside of St. Helena, the LPV and the Colesworthy. The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard LPV is a slightly larger production cuvée and has terrific, complex notes of blueberries, bay leaf, blood orange, and liquid violets. I always find a floral note from this vineyard, and it’s certainly present here. Deep, powerful, and opulent on the palate, it has terrific tannins, no hard edges, and a beautiful finish. I love it even today, yet I suspect it will develop even more complexity with 3-4 years of bottle age and keep for two decades." (JD)

Winery Notes:
This intensely dark and solid wine displays a lavish fruit core with notes of black currants, raspberries, and graphite. The palate carries flavors of mocha and cedary oak mixed with crushed blackberries and other black fruits. This elegant example of the 2017 vintage is testament to the incredible fruit that is coming from the Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard.

Spring of 2017 was one of the largest winter rainfall totals we have experienced in recent years. Fortunately, once flowering started, the rains held off and allowed for optimal fruit set and prepared the clusters for even fruit ripening. Veraison finished at the end of August and the vines were positioned for success. Due to a combination of natural phenomena, the yields in 2017 are slightly lower and nearly matched to those that we produced in 2016 and 2015. This lower than average yield allowed for greater concentration on the vine providing the wines with more depth of character and rich complexity.