The finest wines have to begin with the finest grapes, and Schrader Cellars has gained a reputation for its incredible vineyard sourcing from the likes of Beckstoffer's To Kalon, Las Piedras, and Georges III sites as well as Oakvill's Wappo Hill and Monastery Block. The fruit from these exceptional terroirs is skilfully crafted by famed Napa winemaker Thomas Brown to produce consistently outstanding wines year after year.
Founded in 1994 by Fred Schrader, Schrader Cellars' philosophy is "to bring together the finest grape-growing resources available with the brightest talent in winemaking and then let the natural brilliance of this partnership shine through in the wine".
Remarkably, Schrader Cellars has achieved a total of 35 100-point scores from the likes of The Wine Advocate, Wine Spectator, Jeb Dunnuck, and James Suckling. With a total production of between only 2,500 to 4,000 cases each year, there's never enough to go around.
"These are just hands-down fabulous Cabernet Sauvignons and have been since the project debuted... Any one of them is essentially a world-class Cabernet Sauvignon that could compete with the finest made anywhere in the world" - Robert Parker, Wine Advocate
Today we are delighted to offer five vintages of Schrader Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon "Old Sparky" hailing from the acclaimed Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard.
Old Sparky represents the pinnacle at Schrader Cellars. A blend of the best barrels to come from Beckstoffer To Kalon each year, chosen by Fred, then masterfully combined to create this unique offering that's only bottled in magnums. Of the five wines listed below, three have achieved perfect 100-point scores from the Wine Advocate, and all are accompanied by tasting notes full of superlatives that they truly deserve.
Take a look at this video featuring Fred Shrader and Thomas Brown discussing what makes Old Sparky so special.
As you can see above, availability is extremely limited, with just one magnum from each vintage.
The Schrader Cellars Old Sparky will be arriving on our next shipment in autumn, do let me know if you would like to order and I can confirm subject to remaining stock.
Schrader Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon "Old Sparky" Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard 2009
£1275 IB (1 x 1.5L)
Schrader Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon "Old Sparky" Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard 2012
£1610 IB (1 x 1.5L)
Schrader Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon "Old Sparky" Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard 2013
£1695 IB (1 x 1.5L)
100 Points | Robert Parker, Wine Advocate
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.
Schrader Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon "Old Sparky" Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard 2014
£1695 IB (1 x 1.5L)
98 Points | Robert Parker, Wine AdvocateThe 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Old Sparky, Fred Schrader’s favorite selection, is clone 4 from the To Kalon Vineyard aged in 100% new Darnajou and seems closest in personality and overall style to the CCS. This is a beautiful wine with great intensity and seems to be one of the superstars of this vintage. Smoky barbecue notes intermix with charcoal embers, blackberry, cassis, Christmas fruitcake, licorice and camphor. This is a complex 2014 that is showing beautifully at the moment and will continue to drink well for another 20 years.
Schrader Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon "Old Sparky" Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard 2019
£1195 IB (1 x 1.5L)
100 Points | Joe Czerwinski, Wine Advocate
Outer quote mark A best-barrel selection made by Thomas Rivers Brown and bottled in magnums, the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Old Sparky Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard is truly great stuff. Full-bodied, rich, velvety and all-enveloping, it delivers near-endless waves of black cherries, red raspberries and complex but gentle spice notes. Long and mouthwatering on the finish, it seamlessly eliminates any gap between power and elegance, leaving scant possible reaction except Wow!
Also available in magnum: