Schrader LPV Cabernet Sauvignon 2011
This remarkable debut from the Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard offers intense aromas of ripe black and blue fruit, principally blackberries and plums, layered with exotic notes of crushed rock minerality and scorched earth that impeccably carry through as flavors on the palate. The hallmark of this wine is an ability to balance magnificent mass and weight with resplendent fruit character. Luxuriously complete, this premiere release foretells many more great things to come from this esteemed vineyard estate.
The 2011 vintage was the most challenging harvest we have ever experienced in Napa Valley. In short, the vintage separated producers based on their attention to detail in the vineyard and experience, where timely decision-making became integral to the outcome of the harvest. Extreme reductions in the vineyard were followed by single berry sorting at the winery. In the end, we harvested a very small yet remarkably high quality crop. We are thrilled, though not at all surprised, that winemaker Thomas Brown brilliantly navigated Mother Nature’s gauntlet to produce an exquisite portfolio of wines.
The Las Piedras Vineyard, a name that translates to “the stones” in Spanish, is an exceptional rolling estate in North East St. Helena district that carries a rich viticultural history dating back to its founding by Edward Bale in the 1840s. An exceptional terroir makes this vineyard unique, where the vines contour to the gentle slope and live in rocky soil that creates a perfectly stressed environment ideal for Cabernet Sauvignon. The result is fruit that is remarkably dense and wonderfully concentrated, abundant with a provocative and elegant minerality, and bursting with deep, lush black and blue fruit flavors complemented by magnificent structure.
Rated 93 Schrader’s newest offering is the 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard LPV, which comes from clone 337 of the Las Piedras site. This is a west side valley floor vineyard with a foundation of alluvial river pebbles and rocks as well as gravelly loam. The Schraders have a long-term lease on 5 acres, which, added to their 16 acres of Beckstoffer To Kalon and 5 acres of Beckstoffer George III, gives them some pretty serious leases on some of the finest terroirs in Napa Valley. The softest wine of this portfolio, there are 350 cases of the 2011 LPV, far less than the 600 cases produced in 2012. Given its warm micro-climated, these grapes were picked before the rains descended. The wine exhibits a dark ruby/purple color, supple tannins, and sweet red and black currants, licorice, Christmas fruitcake, incense and forest floor. This beautiful, medium-bodied 2011 is already complex and evolved. Drink it over the next 10-15 years.
— Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate