These latest barrel reviews from Schrader will be included in the Napa Valley report due out at the end of this month, but since the email offering from the winery went out yesterday, I’ve opted to release these reviews early. As I’m sure the notes show, these are beautiful wines and come highly recommend. Happy Hunting!

SCHRADER         2016      BECKSTOFFER GEORGES III                        97-99

SCHRADER         2016      BECKSTOFFER TO KALON RBS                    97-100

SCHRADER         2016      BECKSTOFFER TO KALON T6                       97-99

SCHRADER         2016      BECKSTOFFER TO KALON CCS                    98-100


SCHRADER         2016      BECKSTOFFER LAS PIEDRAS LPV              97-99

The 2016s from Schrader all showed beautifully, with the plump, pure, sexy style of the vintage front and center. However, they also have plenty of underlying structure and tannin. Starting out and from a site in Rutherford, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Georges III Vineyard is a huge, full-bodied, monster of a Cabernet Sauvignon that has a ton of fruit, as well as tons of structure and tannin. Offering lots of blue fruits, graphite, and minerality, I suspect the tannin will integrate nicely by the time this is bottled, but it’s going to benefit from 4-5 years of cellaring nonetheless. It certainly has incredible potential.

One of the more opulent, sexy wines in the lineup, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard RBS boasts a deep purple color as well as a huge, sweet nose of blue fruits, white flowers, cassis, and spice. This full-bodied 2016 has incredible purity of fruit, a rich, layered texture, no sense of weight or heaviness, and sweet tannin. It’s going to flirt with perfection on release and cruise for 20+ years.

The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard T6 comes from a small parcel in the To Kalon Vineyard, which is a valley floor site located in Oakville. It just pops on the nose and has a sweet tobacco, brambly spice, cassis, and mulled fruit character as well as a rich, full-bodied, layered style on the palate. It’s unquestionably the most perfumed and complex of the 2016s from Schrader.

I think the gem in the lineup (which is splitting hairs as these are all gorgeous wines) is the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard CCS. Tasting like the essence of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon with its incredible cassis, blueberry, graphite, violet and scorched earth aromas and flavors, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, polished tannin, and a purity of fruit and elegance that’s hard to believe. It’s going to be impossible to resist on release (and if I had a bottle I’d probably open it the day I received it) but will certainly benefit from 3-4 years of bottle age and keep for 25+ years.

The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Schrader (or aka Schrader Schrader) is one of the bigger, richer, more opulent wines in the lineup. Plums, blueberries, incense, and loads spicy characteristics give way to a full-bodied, powerful and mouthfilling 2016 that’s going to need short-term cellaring to gain some elegance and finesse. It packs some serious fruit.

Lastly, and a wine that got a few expletives in my notes, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard LPV was one of the tighter and more closed 2016s but is just stacked with potential. A huge wine loaded with darker fruits and scorched earth aromatics, full-bodied richness, a thick, viscous texture, and building tannin, this inky black, backward, powerful 2016 needs to be forgotten for 4-6 years but will keep for decades.

By Jeb Dunnuck
Founder & Wine Critic
More articles by Jeb