J. Schram, North Coast – 2003
From the inception of Schramsberg’s efforts in 1965, the winery has sought to achieve the greatest elegance and individuality possible in our 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 3 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 95 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 on the yeast in Schramsberg’s historic Diamond Mountain caves for six years, riddled by hand and finished with an exceptional brut dosage.
J. Schram is 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: Hyde, Jones, Tognetti
Sonoma-Carneros: Vella, Ricci
Marin County: Stevens
- County Composition: 42% Sonoma, 37% Napa, 11% Mendocino, 10% Marin
The 2003 vintage provided one of the wettest springs on record, affording a beneficially long and cool growing season. Early season heat spikes got the vines growing and the season evolved nicely with warm days and cool nights. The grapes developed beautifully with delicious fruit flavors and elevated acidity.
- Harvest Date(s): August 18-October 19
- Barrel Fermentation: 40%
- Bottled: April 20, 2004
- Disgorged: September 3, 2009
- Varietal Composition: 85% Chardonnay, 15% Pinot Noir
- Production (in cases): 3,000
- Production Case Pack: 6/750ml
- Alcohol: 12.5%
- TA: 0.90g/100ml
- p H: 3.06
- Release Date: May 24, 2010
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.
Keith Hock and Hugh Davies, Winemakers
J. Schram, North Coast – 2003 – 91 points – Wine Spectator
"Lovely aromas show a touch of age with yeasty, nutty cinnamon roll aromas and rich and fleshy citrus flavors."
J. Schram, North Coast – 2003 – 93 points – Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar
“…Rich but lithe, offering vibrant orchard and citrus fruit flavors and silky, creamy texture. Becomes spicier with air and finishes with lingering notes of redcurrant, honeysuckle and candied orange.”
J. Schram, North Coast – 2003 – 94 points – The Tasting Panel
“Lush and bursting with sundrenched fruit; rich, balanced, lively and long on the finish.”
J. Schram, North Coast – 2003 – 95 points, Best Wines of the Year – Charles Olken – Connoisseurs’ Guide to California Wine
"...blending of toast, caramel, yeast and crème brûlée...creamy mousse of small bubbles and its rich, developed flavors in the mouth, it is a wine to serve with a first course of a fois gras crème caramel or a finely crafted lobster mousse...."