J. Schram, North Coast – 2002
From the inception of Schramsberg’s efforts in 1965, the winery has sought to achieve the greatest elegance and individuality possible in its sparkling wines. J. Schram epitomizes Schramsberg’s philosophy to create a wine in which no effort has been spared and no care has been omitted. Representing only three percent of the winery’s annual production, the Chardonnay-focused J. Schram blend is assembled from the very best base wine lots of the approximately 200 produced each year. This special bottling is dedicated to Schramsberg’s founder of 1862, Jacob Schram, and has been a great success since its premier 1987 vintage was released in 1992.
More than 80 vineyard blocks in Carneros, Anderson Valley and along the Sonoma and Marin coasts are carefully nurtured throughout the growing season. Cluster samples are pulled several times before the optimal pick date for each block is selected. Complexity is gained through fermentation in both oak barrels and stainless steel tanks. Some of the small lots undergo malolactic fermentation to enrich aromas and infuse creaminess on the palate. The wine is then aged en tirage in Schramsberg’s historic Diamond Mountain caves for more than six years, riddled by hand, and finished with an exceptional brut dosage.
The 2001 J. Schram is without a doubt one of the finest sparkling wines we have ever produced. It is quite appealing on its own as an apéritif or enjoyed with fresh shellfish, caviar, smoked salmon, tangy cheeses, seafood brochettes or risotto with prosciutto.
Principal Chardonnay Blocks
Napa-Carneros: Tognetti, Jones
Anderson Valley: Rose
Marin County: Stevens
- County Composition: 48% Napa, 26% Sonoma, 20% Mendocino, 6% Marin
Spring temperatures bounced between freezing and hot, leading to a relatively early bloom. While May and June saw record heat on the North Coast, late summer conditions were comparatively mild allowing our sparkling harvest to ease along until early October.
- Harvest Date(s): August 7–October 9
- Barrel Fermentation: 40%
- Aging: 6 years on the yeast
- Bottled: April 29–30, 2002
- Disgorged: April 30–May 1, 2008
- Varietal Composition: 78% Chardonnay, 22% Pinot Noir
- Production (in cases): 4,022 cases (6/750ml)
- Alcohol: 12.6%
- TA: 0.96g/100ml
- p H: 3.06
- RS: 1.21g/100ml
- Release Date: September 1, 2008
The fruitful aromas of the wine’s youth are still vibrant, with fresh green apple, lime and pineapple jumping out of the glass. Refined, bottle-aged characters of hazelnut, honey and baked brioche chime in. The palate pleases with a crisp entry and the flavorful essences of white peach, key lime and juicy tropical fruit. While a creamy depth builds on the mid-palate, the wines acidic backbone and a certain mineral drive stretch into a long, riding finish. The 2001 J. Schram should develop beautifully for at least 20 more years.
Hugh Davies and Craig Roemer, Winemakers