2017 Old Sparky


Comprised of the finest barrels from our cellar, the Schrader Old Sparky beautifully reveals ripe black fruits, especially blackberry and blueberry, mixed with notes of roasted espresso and dark chocolate. On the palate, the well-woven tannins provide great balance to the exceptional fruit core. Flavors of currants and tobacco lead into the fragrant finish on this opulent and intense wine. The 2017 Schrader Old Sparky is a dazzling wine and will continue to evolve and gain even more complexity after several years in the cellar.

  • Vintage 2017
  • Vineyard Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard
  • Appellation Oakville, Napa Valley
  • Varietal Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Clone Clones 4, 6, and 337
  • Cooperage Aged 20 months in rare Darnajou French oak barrels
  • Winemaker Thomas River Brown
  • Tasting Notes

    Comprised of the finest barrels from our cellar, the Schrader Old Sparky beautifully reveals ripe black fruits, especially blackberry and blueberry, mixed with notes of roasted espresso and dark chocolate. On the palate, the well-woven tannins provide great balance to the exceptional fruit core. Flavors of currants and tobacco lead into the fragrant finish on this opulent and intense wine. The 2017 Schrader Old Sparky is a dazzling wine and will continue to evolve and gain even more complexity after several years in the cellar.

  • Accolades

    100 Pts. “Blueberries, dried violet petals and lavender with some rosemary on the nose. Full body and chewy, juicy character. Muscular and linear, yet formed and refined. Savory and salty undertone. Better after 2022.”
    — James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

    98 Pts. “If I had to pick a wine of the vintage at this point, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Old Sparky Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard would certainly be one of the top choices. Always a barrel selection (mostly clone 6 and clone 4), it offers extraordinary notes of exotic blue fruits, white flowers, graphite, wet stone-like minerality, and loads of violets. Possessing full-bodied richness and depth, it hits the palate with loads of fruit and texture as well as seamless tannins and integrated acidity. As with the other top wines here, it has that magical mix of richness and elegance that’s the hallmark of all great wines. Aged 20 months in 100% new oak, it’s worth hiding bottles for 4-5 years and it’s going to evolve for 20-25 years or more. Hats off to winemaker Thomas Brown for the talent to produce a wine of this quality in such a challenging vintage.”
    — Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com

    96 Pts. “Very deep purple-black colored, the 2017 is redolent of raisin cake, hoisin, preserved plums and crème de cassis with a very provocative perfume of lilacs, cinnamon toast and camphor plus a touch of tilled soil. Full-bodied, the palate is pure seduction, with firm yet velvety tannins and the invigorating freshness lifting the background of all that rich, spicy black fruit, finishing very long.”
    — Lisa Perrotti-Brown, The Wine Advocate

    95 Pts. “Vibrant and intense, with raspberry, blackberry and plum reduction flavors that show excellent energy, laced with a graphite note that drives this to a long anise- and black-tea infused finish. Gorgeous fruit. Best from 2022 through 2038. 418 cases made.”
    — James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

  • Vineyard

    First planted in 1868 by viticultural and winemaking icon Hamilton Crabb, To Kalon Vineyard® has long been regarded as the source of Napa Valley’s finest Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. Within the prime vineyard blocks, an alluvial fan provides excellent and varied mineral deposits, and the rich soils are filled with marine sediment that gives our wines their distinctive profiles. The vines receive full sun and optimal heat during the day and are cooled by marine fog at night. These conditions allow the Cabernet Sauvignon planted in the vineyard to display its own unique character, and this celebration of individuality is the essence of Schrader ®.

  • Vintage

    Spring of 2017 was one of the largest winter rainfall totals we have experienced in recent years. Fortunately, once flowering started, the rains held off and allowed for optimal fruit set and prepared the clusters for even fruit ripening. Veraison finished at the end of August and the vines were positioned for success. Due to a combination of natural phenomena, the yields in 2017 are slightly lower and nearly matched to those that we produced in 2016 and 2015. This lower than average yield allowed for greater concentration on the vine providing the wines with more depth of character and rich complexity.