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Schrader Wine (Winemaking, Best Wines, Prices 2021)

By
Anthony Zhang
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What makes Schrader Cellars one of the best Cabernet Sauvignon producers in the Napa Valley region?


Schrader Cellars is considered a California cult wine among other iconic labels like Screaming Eagle and Harlan Estate. It represents an excellence akin to few and has received 100-point scores from wine critic Robert Parker for four of its vintages in succession (apart from many others.)


So, what makes these wines so desired?


This article will cover Schrader wine’s backstory, the winemaking practices, and which Schrader Cellar wines you need to buy in 2021. You’ll also find out the best way to invest in this Napa wine.

Further reading

Discover the world of investment-grade wine with this Ultimate Guide to Wine Investing.
If you want to try some of the world's best Champagnes, try these excellent Bollinger Champagne bottles and Ruinart wines.

This article contains:

(Jump to a specific section below by clicking on the links)


  1. 2008 Schrader Cellars 'Old Sparky' Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
  2. 2007 Schrader Cellars CCS Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
  3. 2016 Schrader Cellars Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard Colesworthy Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
  4. 2001 Schrader Cellars Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
  5. 2003 Schrader Cellars RBS Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
  6. 2006 Schrader Cellars T6 Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
  7. 2018 Schrader Cellars MB To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville
  8. 2007 Schrader Cellars GIII Beckstoffer George III Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
  9. 2016 Schrader Cellars LPV Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

A Quick Intro to Schrader Cellars

 Intro to Schrader Cellars

Schrader Cellars has been crafting benchmark Cabernet Sauvignon wines for over a decade. These wines are known for their full-bodied structure and vibrant flavor profile. Each of these Napa Valley Cabernet wines is produced from single vineyards.


The winery’s most popular Cabernet Sauvignon is its signature namesake, Schrader Old Sparky cuvee. It is highly acclaimed among wine critics like James Suckling and Jeff Dunnuck, and review magazines like Wine Spectator and Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate.


Aside from the prestigious Cabernet Sauvignon, Schrader Cellars also produces two other varieties:

  • Pinot Noir: The Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir wine is produced under two labels — Aston Estate and Boar’s View.


  • Chardonnay: The Boar’s View Chardonnay made by winemaker Thomas Brown is rich, aromatic and truly reflective of the Sonoma Coast terroir.


With outstanding vineyard practices and attentive cellar management and winemaking techniques (including careful bottling), Schrader Cellars is truly a crown jewel in American Cabernet Sauvignon production.


Now let’s move onto the history of Schrader wines.

The History of Schrader Cellars

History of Schrader Cellars

Vintner Fred Schrader was inspired to make wine after attending the famed Napa Valley Wine Auction in 1988.  


In 1992, he established Colgin Schrader Cellars with his ex-wife, Ann Coglin. In 1998, he left the label to start his own winery, Schrader Cellars in Calistoga. Ann Colgin retained Colgin Cellars.


Upon founding Schrader Cellars, Fred hired the gifted winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown.


In 2017, Constellation Brands (also owners of Robert Mondavi Winery) bought Schrader Cellars for $60 million.


However, Fred and his current wife, Carol, continue to be the brand’s public faces and manage operations at the winery. They also hold ownership over their Pinot Noir labels — Aston Estate and Boars’ View.


But what’s the secret behind the deliciously vibrant and rich Schrader wine?


Viticulture at Schrader Cellars

Viticulture at Schrader Cellars

Schrader Cellars does not own any vineyards. It has 30-year leases on parcels of vines in some of Napa Valley’s most historic and prestigious vineyards.


Here’s a look at the vineyard estates and viticulture:

  • Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard, Oakville: To Kalon (meaning ‘highest beauty’ in Greek) is a first-growth vineyard and the primary source of Napa Valley’s finest grapes. The soil of the Beckstoffer vineyard has a high minerality with good drainage. During the day, the vineyard enjoys good sun exposure, while at night, it has cool coastal air.

  • Beckstoffer Georges III Vineyard, Rutherford: This vineyard estate sits on the Rutherford Bench, east of the Napa Valley. Here, Schrader grows grapes in a small area that was previously a natural riverbed on a slight slope. Combined with gravel and rock soil composition, these unique features produce amazingly concentrated fruit.


  • Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard, St. Helena: Las Piedras (meaning ‘little stones’ in Spanish) is a 150-year old vineyard in St. Helena, Napa Valley, Its terroir comprises rocky gravel on gentle slopes, a warm daytime climate, and cool evening sea breeze. The result is a fruit that’s both concentrated and dense.


Winemaker Thomas Brown works directly with the team at Beckstoffer Vineyard, which allows him complete control over the vineyard practices.

Schrader Cellars Winemaking

Schrader Cellars Winemaking

Schrader Cellars uses the most natural winemaking practices possible.


Here’s what they do at the winery:


  • Harvesting: During the growing season, Schrader Cellars removes small grape bunches to enhance the ripening process. The grapes are harvested when they reach the desired acidity and sugar levels. Harvesting usually occurs at night or in the early morning.


  • Fermentation: The grape varietals are destemmed and placed in a cold soak for a week inside stainless steel tanks. Here, the grape juice picks up the color and character of their grape skins. The temperature of the grape must rises, activating the natural yeasts. Once fermentation is done, the wine juice is separated from the skins.


  • Aging: The wine is moved into Darnajou French oak barrels for aging for about 20 months in the cellar. These barrels are handcrafted to Schrader’s specs.


Let’s dive into the Schrader wine vintages.

Best Schrader Wines to Buy in 2021

Check out these Schrader wines to add to your collection this year:

1. 2008 Schrader Cellars 'Old Sparky' Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

2008 Schrader Cellars 'Old Sparky' Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

Here, we have a concentrated red wine with layers of licorice, red and black fruit, and fine tannins. Spices, cherry liquor, and creme de cassis notes round off the flavors of this delicious vintage.


Price of 2008 Schrader Cellars 'Old Sparky' Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley: $1,600

2. 2007 Schrader Cellars CCS Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

2007 Schrader Cellars CCS Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

This red-purple-hued vintage has aromas of black cherry, baked plums, cinnamon, star anise, and cloves with earth and moss notes. On the palate, the flavors are plush with black, blue, and red berries.


Price of 2007 Schrader Cellars CCS Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley: $1,355

3. 2016 Schrader Cellars Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard Colesworthy Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

2016 Schrader Cellars LPV Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

This full-bodied wine has powerful depth and opulent richness with notes of cassis, spice, blue fruit, and chocolate. This wine also has grainy tannins and minerality and pairs well with beef and veal dishes.


Price of 2016 Schrader Cellars Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard Colesworthy Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley: $503

4. 2001 Schrader Cellars Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

2001 Schrader Cellars Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

Evolved and mature, this intense wine has delicious notes of blue fruit, creme de cassis, and smoke. The vintage is full-bodied and rich with a firm tannin with a dry aftertaste.


Price of 2001 Schrader Cellars Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley: $761

5. 2003 Schrader Cellars RBS Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

2003 Schrader Cellars RBS Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

Here we have a wine that’s intense with notes of black currant, fruitcake, dried herb, and pen ink, along with a nice acidity and soft tannin levels.


Price of 2003 Schrader Cellars RBS Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley: $666

6. 2006 Schrader Cellars T6 Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

2006 Schrader Cellars T6 Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

This luscious wine has an intense nose of black cherry, blue fruit, and spices. On the palate, expect a combination of rich dark chocolate, black currant, and spice, together with a smooth finish. Pair this vintage with steak for great results!


Price of 2006 Schrader Cellars T6 Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley: $1,227

7. 2018 Schrader Cellars MB To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville

2018 Schrader Cellars MB To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville

With bright aromas, this medium to full-bodied wine has a nose of red berries, cherries, and raspberry, along with a hint of minerality. The palate has grippy tannins and lively fruit notes with a balanced, smooth finish.


Price of 2018 Schrader Cellars MB To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville: $452

8. 2007 Schrader Cellars GIII Beckstoffer George III Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

2007 Schrader Cellars GIII Beckstoffer George III Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

Here we have a layered, complex Napa Valley Cabernet wine with a vibrant flavor of mocha, licorice, creme de cassis, cherry, vanilla, and hints of dried sage on the nose. It’s refreshing with concentrated notes of dark fruit preserves, grainy tannins, and minerality on the palate.


Price of 2007 Schrader Cellars GIII Beckstoffer George III Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley: $530

9. 2016 Schrader Cellars LPV Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

2016 Schrader Cellars LPV Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

Deeply aromatic, this deep purple-hued wine has opulent richness, strong notes of lavender, red roses, and potpourri, together with whiffs of cigar, oolong tea, and earthy notes.


Price of 2016 Schrader Cellars LPV Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley: $460


Now let’s see why these wines are great as a long-term investment option as well.

Why Schrader Cellars Is a Good Investment Wine

Why Schrader Cellars Is a Good Investment Wine

These Napa Cabernet single vineyard wine bottles are a great addition to any collector’s portfolio. These wines have a superb aging potential of about 20 to 50 years.


After the Constellation Brands takeover in 2017, 60 bottles of the 2017 Schrader Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon vintage from Constellation's share of the To Kalon Vineyard were sold at a bottle price of $1333 each - a clear increase from previous prices.


Schrader wines are also popular at auctions:

  • In 2019, a Salmanazar bottle of the 2007 Schrader Cellars RBS Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon sold for $24,700 at Zachy’s.


  • At the same auction house, in 2016, a 15-bottle lot of 2002 to 2013 vintages of Schrader Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard sold for $56,000.


  • At Christie’s, two magnums of the 2005 Schrader Cellars 'Old Sparky' Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard sold for $2,328 in 2017.


Investing in a premium wine like Schrader Cellars on your own can be a hassle if you were to navigate the purchasing, shipping, and storing yourself.


Fortunately, with a wine investment platform like Vinovest, you won’t have to worry about any of these things.

Invest in Schrader Cellars and Other Fine Wines Through Vinovest

Vinovest

Vinovest is a leading wine investment company that offers you the easiest way to source, manage, and grow a collection of investment-grade wines. So you can invest in your Schrader Cellar wine, Pomerol wine, or any other wine hassle-free.

How does it work?

You can begin your wine investment journey with these five easy steps:


  1. Set up a Vinovest account with your name, email, and password.
  2. Fill out a form about your risk appetite and investment preferences.
  3. Finance your account (with a minimum of $1,000.)
  4. Allow Vinovest to build your collection of wines.
  5. Watch your investment portfolio grow as you sip a delicious Champagne cocktail.

Why should you invest through Vinovest?

You can’t go wrong with Vinovest’s superb list of benefits. Here are some of them:

  1. Buy and Sell Wines with Ease

Buying and selling your fine wines, like your Pouilly Fuissé and Screaming Eagle, is now only a couple of clicks away - thanks to Vinovest’s AI-based platform.

2. Best Prices

Vinovest sources your Cabernet Franc wine or any other wine directly from the best winemaker or wine merchant and at the best prices.

3. Low fees

You only need to finance your account and pay a 2.85% yearly fee (2.5% for a portfolio exceeding $50,000). This amount includes buying and selling wines, storage, insurance, wine fraud detection, and portfolio management.

4. Curated Portfolio

Your portfolio of wines is curated by Vinovest’s sommeliers and data scientists who use intelligent investment models, making the process a cinch for you. Now’s your chance to try the Bordeaux wine or a Petit Verdot, you’ve had your eye on!

5. Authenticity

This is an important aspect at Vinovest, and they make it a point to trace your wine’s provenance to ensure it’s authentic.

6. Excellent Storage

Vinovest keeps all your Napa Cabernet and other fine wines in bonded warehouses under optimal conditions of light, humidity, temperature, and vibration.

7. Easy Delivery

After your wine arrives at the bonded warehouse, you can have your bottle delivered to buyers (if you plan to sell) or to yourself (if you want to enjoy it.)

8. Ownership

And the best part is you own every bottle of wine you buy through Vinovest.

Schrader Cellars: A Gem from Napa Valley

Schrader Cellars: A Gem from Napa Valley

Vibrant and intense, Schrader wines are truly benchmark Cabernet Sauvignon wines. With world-class acclaim and refined winemaking techniques, Schrader Cellars is the ideal inclusion to your premium wine collection.


So, what are you waiting for? Time to hit that sign-up button and add a bottle or two of Schrader wine to your portfolio.

Further reading

Step into the world of fabulous Red Wines in This Incredibly Useful Red Wine Guide!

Written by

Anthony Zhang

Anthony is a repeat entrepreneur who has previously founded and sold two companies, EnvoyNow and KnowYourVC. He has also held leadership positions at Blockfolio and is a board member at RateMyInvestor.
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