Blanc de Noirs, North Coast – 2010 – 91 points – Whittier Daily News
“Fiction is sometimes better told then fact. The wine industry is no exception. I am told German draft-dodger Jacob Schram made camp in Calistoga in 1860 looking for a place to plant his vines. One hundred-sixty years later ‘Schramsberg’ is producing some of my all time favorite sparkling wines to this very day.
“Is it good enough for me? It certainly was for Richard Nixon. In 1972, Barbara Walters hosted then-President Nixon and China’s premier Zhou Enlai with it, and Schramsberg sparkling wine has been served at state functions by every president (and yes, in the Dills household) since the mid-80s.
“Sparkling wines are all blends and can be vintage, although the Schramsberg Blanc de Noir is a composition of grapes and regional combination. Blanc de Noir (meaning ‘white from black’) is 85 percent pinot noir and 15 percent chardonnay — thus the blend title — and that is just fine with this writer. With any ‘bubbles,’ yeast plays an important role in the fermentation role of the wine’s richness and body, making the wine crisp and low in tannins (The monks found this out by accident).
“…Yes, the holidays are here, and my research tells me that consumption of bubbles goes way up during the holidays. This is not a picnic sparkling wine — this is one of my favorites and I savor every zesty sip. Enjoy with a special friend, dinner or a nice soft cheese.”
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