Red

2015 Schrader Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon CCS Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard

Cabernet Sauvignon

  • USA
  • California
  • Napa Valley
  • Oakville

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Community Tasting Note

  • csimm1161 wrote: 93 points

    May 19, 2018 - TRB wines (SF): Black and red core fruit, with notes of black and red raspberry, black and red cherry, vanilla liqueur, black rock, and some cedar. The mineral note shows up again on the back end (thankfully), saving it from its already overly fruity profile. Weight and balance are in check, however, it's a walk in the park kind of delivery at this stage. Flat and medium mid-palate, with a round, mellow finish.

    Not a blockbuster, especially when compared amongst others in the same league...and especially for a BTK. A '15 Pulido-Walker Panek served right before the CCS had more interesting mineral notes for me personally. This CCS's complexity seemed to suffer quite a bit. It plays as a solid wine, but then kinda peters out at the end. 91-93 points depending on when you catch it on the palate. Hold for a few years in hopes it figures out what kind of wine it really wants to be. Some potential here, but...

    5 people found this helpful 5,649 views

21 Comments

  • Cristal2000 commented:

    5/20/18, 8:38 AM - You're such a Schrader hater! :)

  • csimm1161 commented:

    5/20/18, 9:15 AM - Haha. I know, huh?! It sucks because just before I tried this wine, I thought to myself, "God I hope I really like this."...because I've been feeling like maybe I'm being too critical lately with Schrader (like I'd ever be too critical of anything, right?!). And don't even get me started on the LPV experience with them... but I really thought this wine could be different (as in, better).

    But right now this CCS has that signature Schrader "red fruity" profile that I just can't fully get into. It shows pretty young and primary, so I honestly think a few years in bottle will do it well. For all those who can get down with this wine, this may end up being a 95-ish wine for them - Not for me personally...but for those who see the glass as half-full when it comes to the "Red Hot" wines of Constellation... uh... I mean Schrader... :)

  • Cristal2000 commented:

    5/20/18, 11:03 AM - It's interesting with Schrader. Sometimes it's overly "fruity", especially when compared to some of the beast we drink, but I also think it has nuances and complexity that sometimes out does others from those sites. Definitely depends on my mood. Obviously the critics love it (JD = 100, LPB = 99), and I think it will probably age very well, but it certainly isn't the concentrated monster that sometimes satisfies that hedonistic urge. I personally loved the 2015 RBS, but I didn't drink it next to anything else either.

  • csimm1161 commented:

    5/20/18, 1:11 PM - I've very much liked the 2013 RBS in the past (though I do remember when we had it at Seven Hills against some other wines, its flaws seemed to show more). I do love clone 337 (Schrader RBS and Carter OG). CCS is clone 4 (which I like as well, but maybe not as much as 337). Carter GD is clone 4, and I always favor the OG, so there could be something there insofar as my palate preference for 337 over 4 (at least looking through the lens of clones). Both this CCS and some of the past Carter GDs I've had display some redder "fruity" elements - though the GD is more complex in my opinion. Ultimately, I'm not sure where the miss is exactly. This is my first experience with the CCS, so maybe I was just expecting something different. It actually bugs me that I can't put my finger on what is misfiring for me with some of these Schraders.

  • Cristal2000 commented:

    5/20/18, 4:14 PM - It's been hit and miss for me, but I adore the hits. I do think if the style you prefer is Bevan, Carter, B Cellars etc, it can seem pretty weak on the concentration by comparison. It was really interesting when we were at Farmstead and the GM tasted through everything we had, and Schrader again came out on top. It is true I think that it's elegance and balance win over many people. It has appeal to both the concentration junkies among us, and the more classic profile preference. I remember when we were tasting with Sam Kaplan and he was talking about when to pick, and the joke was everyone picked as soon as Schrader showed up. They certainly have the reputation. Sadly, doesn't matter any longer! No more since Constellation took over.

  • csimm1161 commented:

    5/21/18, 10:18 AM - In the end I think they make “good” wine. I personally just don’t find it to consistently carry that next-level, evocative experience for me. I’ll gladly finish what I have in the cellar from them (except the ‘14 LPV... grrrr), but I’m afraid that’s about where it ends for me. This latest CCS continues to reinforce that. I know you said the RBS was very good... and maybe I’d like that since it’s 337 and I’ve liked RBS in the past. I certainly favor certain Carters over others; Schrader shouldn’t be any different I suppose. Their LPV is an automatic no-go for me going forward though. I’m bummed I have a couple of the 2014s. Oh well...

  • City Squirrel commented:

    12/12/18, 1:00 PM - CSIMM / Cristal - I find myself at the crossroads this year on the ‘17 Schrader allocation. I have Constellation and Fires on the mind, along with LPB’s early thoughts for roughly $255 a bottle. I think CSIMM is taking a pass - Cristal? Do either of you know what happens at Schrader if you pass on a vintage?

  • Cristal2000 commented:

    12/12/18, 1:10 PM - Hi City Squirrel: When you combine this first vintage under Constellation and the challenging growing season it puts me out. I do have a buddy who would like it however. I think you need to assume if you skip a vintage you will be kicked off or moved to the back, which is something to consider given how good the 2018 vintage looks. That said, Schrader is legend and all, but there are tons of other houses making just as good or better wine that actually allows you to get more than one of each bottle. The aftermarket has really come down on them as well (other than Sparky), so it wouldn't be that hard to pick some up if you really wanted it. I am cutting back pretty hard on 2017's. Just not worth the huge tariff unless the juice is gonna be epic.

  • csimm1161 commented:

    12/12/18, 1:29 PM - I cut bait when they sold. I also was never a fan of their allocation model that told me what wines I would get in some sort of “Fun Pack” or whatever it was. I usually don’t get involved in allocations where they choose the wine for me. Under Constellation, it’s hard to say what they will do if folks pass in 2017. There may be a lot of people taking a back seat this year. Safe to assume you’d be put to the back of the stack for the 2018, if there is an actual waiting list... but who knows. If they have wine to sell, you’ll be seeing an offer... we all will (well, maybe not me if Fred Schrader reads this TN!).

    2017 is an easy vintage to put one over the precipice in terms of passing on offers. I always assume if I pass on an otherwise limited allocation on a “full” mailing list, I’ll have nothing coming the next year. But I’m also not big on buying 2017 wine I don’t want just to get to 2018. You could play that game all day and end up with a cellar full of wine you just kinda like.

  • City Squirrel commented:

    12/13/18, 9:28 AM - Then Jeb comes along with 100 pt ‘17 barrel scores...ironic timing.

  • csimm1161 commented:

    12/13/18, 10:16 AM - Indeed. It’s certainly... well, “interesting”... that JD is starting to do that. Realm before, and now Schrader. Two barrel scores of 97-100 in 2017?? ... seems like a stretch. But I haven’t tried the wines, so what do I know... :)

  • vintage1949 commented:

    6/10/19, 9:21 PM - Hey City Squirrel,
    I called Schrader a couple years ago about missing a vintage and they indicated that was fine. However I have since dropped out of their program. Focusing on Carter and Bevan wines instead and of course Left Bank Bordeaux. (When you can get Chateau Pontet-Canet 2015 for a little over a hundred bucks see no reason to spend double that on Schrader) Dave

  • vintage1949 commented:

    4/15/20, 12:32 PM - Posing the same question to you as others. As I might have stated in the past buying the 2018’s of Bevan, B Cellars, Carter, and VHR (do I have VHR right) Do you have a small list, maybe three, of others I should check out? Of course only if they are as good as the bottles I mentioned.

    P.S. Bought Schrader for years time to move on.

  • csimm1161 commented:

    4/15/20, 3:19 PM - Vice Versa, Realm, Purlieu, Vangone, Memento Mori

  • Cristal2000 commented:

    4/15/20, 3:26 PM - Lean heavy into Vice Versa. If you have the budget, try Eisele and Promontory. :)

  • vintage1949 commented:

    7/29/21, 12:47 AM - Hi Csimm,
    Have you tasted this wine since this TN. Dave

  • Cristal2000 commented:

    7/29/21, 7:39 AM - Hi Dave - I haven't. Sorry.

  • csimm1161 commented:

    7/29/21, 8:19 AM - Hi Dave. I have not had this since 2018.

  • vintage1949 commented:

    7/30/21, 2:48 AM - Hi Cristal and CSIMM,
    I signed up for Vice Versa. I am having trouble with the website concerning billing and shipping but will call to straighten that out. Question-do they offer just one bottling or do they have different wines? If different bottlings could Hokusai please tell me what they are. Dave

  • Cristal2000 commented:

    7/30/21, 7:16 AM - Hi Dave - they have many offerings: Dr Crane, Las Piedras, To Kalon, Stelzner, Georges III. Mysterons and their high end M7 on the cabernet side. They also have a pinot and chard, plus a new wine called "Les Cousins" coming out that is a joint venture with L'Aventure in Paso Robles. You can see notes on most all these wines from our latest tasting stories.

    They are all fantastic, but on the Cab side, I'd suggest starting with LPV and Crane if those are offered. Can't go wrong with any of them however. Also, you might want to mention CT in an email to Samantha to get the wines you want. Not sure if they've sold out of any yet.

  • vintage1949 commented:

    7/30/21, 8:53 AM - Thanks Cristal. Wow I did not know they had that many offerings. Another new world of wine for me to investigate and try. Dave

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