Fred Schrader and his winemaker, Thomas Brown, have been making some of the most sought-after wines in the Napa Valley for decades, focusing on the vineyards of Beckstoffer, in particular  To Kalon. Their recent vintages show fabulous structure and depth. 

Schrader RBS (To Kalon) This shows complex aromas of chilli,  tile and redcurrant. A full body, dense and powerful. So intense and rich, yet it remains agile and fresh. Austere tannins give this wine form and tension. Captivating. Beautiful now, but be patient. Better in 2021.  

Schrader CCS (To Kalon) So aromatic and floral, with violet, lilac and sage character. A full body, very cool. Lots of blue fruit, and hints of sweet tobacco, lemongrass and white pepper. Needs two or three years to open. Muscular. Better in 2023. 

Schrader  (To Kalon) Amazing structure and muscle, yet it remains fresh and agile. A full body, chewy, with polished tannins. Salty. Chilli, sweet tobacco. So savoury. You want to drink it. You want to marvel at it. Seamless texture. Insane. Why wait? 

Schrader Old Sparky  (To Kalon)  Wonderful definition and length. Very finegrained tannins. Fullbodied yet compact. Blueberry, rosemary, lavender, terracotta and stone character. Shows balance and length. So gorgeous now.

Schrader Coleworthy (LPiedras) The magnum-only wine shows the best of Beckstoffer Las Piedras. So much iodine, blackberry, blackcurrant, liquorice, stone and lavender character. Seamless and ultrafine. A wine with a great future. Better in 2022, but fascinating to taste. 

Tags: Wine, Top Five, Schrader, James Suckling