2011 Blanc de Noirs, North Coast
“Blanc de Noir,” meaning “white from black,” gets its name from the Pinot Noir grapes used to make this complex, medium-body sparkling wine. Schramsberg pioneered the Blanc de Noirs style in the United States, releasing the first such American sparkler in 1967. The key to producing this complex Blanc de Noirs is Schramsberg’s vast and varied focus on diverse cool-climate vineyards. Pinot Noir from Carneros and Anderson Valley combine with fruit from low-yielding Sonoma and Marin coastal vineyards to develop a sparkling wine with a breadth of fruitful aroma and flavor. Select Chardonnay lots give zest and backbone to the blend.
Making a white wine from a red grape requires great care: hand-picked fruit, early morning harvest, optimal fruit maturity and delicate pressing. A balance of bright flavors, crisp acidity and minimal tannins is achieved. Barrel and malolactic fermentation of particular wine lots add richness and body. Yeast contact in the bottle harmonizes all the elements together in a mature, toasty style. The youthful fruit character of the wine will develop and soften with additional age in the bottle. With proper storage, this sparkling wine will be delicious for many years, even a couple of decades to come.
Schramsberg Blanc de Noirs is particularly well-suited to serve with a variety of foods, including soft and nutty cheeses, macadamia nut-crusted halibut, and pork tenderloin with fresh rosemary and lemon thyme.
The first impression of the 2011 Blanc de Noir showcases the sustained aromas of cherry, strawberry and tangerine, which gradually layers with the fragrance of warm bread dough and toasted almond.The palate is bright on entry, with lush flavors of Rainier cherry, juicy orange and wild berry. The wine boasts a finish with crisp, mouthwatering acidity that is long and lingering. Winemakers Hugh Davies and Keith Hock