2017 Schrader Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard T6

Year: 2017
Appellation: Napa Valley
Country: USA-California
Wine Spectator: 96
Wine Advocate: 95
James Suckling: 95
Jeb Dunnuck: 98
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.9%
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"Ripe and succulent, featuring silky-edged plum, açaí and raspberry puree flavors, lined with licorice and fruitcake notes. Offers a gorgeously plush feel through the finish, with the fruit soaking up the toast. A late tug of graphite completes the picture. Drink now through 2039. 378 cases made. -JM" (WS)

"Schrader’s T6 comes from Beckstoffer’s To Kalon vineyard in Oakville, produced from clone 6 grown on the D2 block. It is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon and was aged in 100% new oak for 20 months. Very deep purple-black colored, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon T6 Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard sashays out of the glass with opulent notes of fruitcake, Chinese five spice and oolong tea over a core of blackcurrant cordial, chocolate box and Morello cherries. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has well-played, grainy tannins and lovely freshness, giving a boost to all of the decadently spicy blackberry preserves flavors, finishing on a stewed tea note. 215 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)

"Classic To Kalon aromas of plums, berries and terracotta, turning to dust and hot stone. A full-bodied red, yet tight and focused with medium-chewy tannins and a flavorful finish. Give it two or three years to come together more. Try after 2022." (JS)

"In the top handful of wines in the vintage, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard T6 is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon (which was harvested the morning of the fires) that spent 20 months in 92% new French oak. This is a powerhouse of a wine that’s loaded with fruit and richness, yet it still just glides across the palate with no sensation of weight or heaviness. Dense purple-hued, with lots of chocolaty black and blue fruits, incense, and spice as well as unsmoked tobacco, give bottles 3-4 years of bottle age and enjoy over the following two decades" (JD)

Winery Notes:
The Schrader T6 has always been a special wine in our portfolio as it shows the wonderful intense fruit and aromatic spice qualities of clone 6 so beautifully. The 2017 bottling of this wine is balanced and lush with notes of black cherry and raspberry. On the palate the wine has a savory element of dried herbs mixed with black licorice. One of the more structured wines in the Schrader portfolio, the tannins are present but integrated on the long and alluring finish.

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.

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