Schrader Beckstoffer Georges III Vyd. Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Yields at Schrader are down a massive 50%, yet what they put in bottle is certainly brilliant. Starting with their 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Georges III Vineyard, it’s one of the plusher, more rounded, sexy wines in the lineup and is loaded with cassis and assorted blue fruits as well as notes of white flowers, violets, and tobacco. Full-bodied, concentrated, and opulent on the palate, it’s one big mouthful of pleasure bent fruit that’s hard to match in the vintage. Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon that spent 20 months in 90% new oak, it’s going to put a smile on everyone’s face any time over the coming 20 years or so.
Fred Schrader founded Schrader Cellars in 1998 with a goal of making the best Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon possible. Since then, the brand has gained renown for incredible vineyard sourcing and remarkably gifted winemaker, Thomas Brown. Since its inception, Schrader has achieved a total of twenty-seven 100-point scores from the likes of The Wine Advocate, Wine Spectator, Jeb Dunnuck, and James Suckling.
For more than a decade Schrader Cellars has produced benchmark Cabernet Sauvignon from the most prestigious vineyards in the Napa Valley — notably the first-growth Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard in Oakville, along with Beckstoffer Georges III Vineyard in Rutherford, Beckstoffer Las Piedras in Northwest St. Helena, and newly the Monastery Block To Kalon Vineyard in Oakville. Thomas Brown, a South Carolina native, didn’t grow up in the wine business, but after extensively exploring the wine regions of France, Italy, and Northern California, he knew where he belonged. In 1996, Thomas moved to Napa Valley and began working in a wine shop. Wanting to cut his teeth in winemaking, he began working in acclaimed cellars with industry legends. In 2000, destiny circled around and Thomas met Fred Schrader at the same fine wine shop. Although Thomas had yet to make a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon, Fred recognized his unwavering passion, fantastic natural ability, and dedication to winemaking, and hired him to do just that for his namesake brand, Schrader. Since then, the duo has developed a portfolio of benchmark Cabernet Sauvignons renowned for their “no holds barred” character. Thomas has achieved unprecedented success in record time and has revealed himself to be a true visionary of wine.
The Rutherford sub-region of Napa Valley centers on the town of Rutherford and covers some of Napa Valley’s finest vineyard real estate, spanning from the Mayacamas in the west, to the Vaca Mountains on the other side of the valley.
Inside of the Rutherford AVA, bordering the Mayacamas, is a stretch of uplands called the Rutherford Bench. (These bench lands technically run the length of Oakville as well). Mountain runoff creates deep, well-drained, alluvial soils on the bench, giving vine roots plenty of reason to permeate deep into the ground. The result is wine with great structure and complexity.
Rutherford Cabernet Sauvingons and Bordeaux Blends garner substantial attention for their enticing fragrances of dusty earth and dried herbs, broad and juicy mid-palates and lush and fine-grained tannins. The sub-appellation claims some of the valley’s most prized vineyards today, namely Caymus, Rubicon and Beckstoffer Georges III.
It is also home to Napa’s most influential and historic personalities. Thomas Rutherford, responsible for the appellation's name, made serious investments here in grape growing and wine production between the years of 1850 to 1880. Gustave Niebaum purchased a large swath of land and completed his winery in 1887, calling it “Inglenook.” Today this remains the oldest bonded winery in California. Georges Latour founded Beaulieu Vineyard in 1900, making it the oldest continuous winery in the state. Latour also hired the famous enologist, André Tchelistcheff, a man credited for single-handedly defining the modern Napa winemaking style.
A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon enjoys success all over the globe, its best examples showing potential to age beautifully for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in Bordeaux's Medoc where it is often blended with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. In the Napa Valley, ‘Cab’ is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious, age-worthy and sought-after “cult” wines. Somm Secret—DNA profiling in 1997 revealed that Cabernet Sauvignon was born from a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc in 17th century southwest France.