J. Schram, North Coast – 2008
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 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 250 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.
Cluster samples from more than 110 cool-climate vineyard sources 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 for more than seven years on the yeast in Schramsberg’s historic Diamond Mountain caves, 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 on toast point, smoked salmon, tangy cheeses, seafood brochettes, cedar-planked lobster, mesquite-grilled quail or Serrano ham and porcini risotto.
Principal Chardonnay Blocks
Napa-Carneros: Jones, Tognetti
Sonoma County: Keefer
- Appellation: North Coast
- County Composition: 73% Napa, 24% Sonoma, 3% Marin
A drier than normal winter and spring, prompted an early bud break, exposing many vines to a late and deep frost, combined with an unusual springtime heatwave, caused erratic set and lower yields later in the season. The sparkling wine harvest began in mid-August, which is average for sparkling wine. Besides a week-long heat spell in early September, mild summer temperatures were mainly experienced in 2008. This allowed vines to slowly ripen. With no rush to harvest, the grapes were picked at their optimal ripeness with delicious flavors, low sugars and high acidity.
- Harvest Date(s): August 13 - October 13, 2008
- Barrel Fermentation: 35%
- Bottled: April 12, 2009
- Disgorged: September 26 - 30, 2016
- Varietal Composition: 82% Chardonnay, 18% Pinot Noir
- Production (in cases): 2,530 cases
- Production Case Pack: 9L
- Alcohol: 12.9%
- TA: 0.99g/100ml
- p H: 3.03
- RS: 1.12g/100ml
The 2008 J. Schram opens with bright aromas of baked apple, meyer lemon, and pineapple, followed by nuances of honey, toffee, and cinnamon toast. On first sip, caramel and caramelized pear flavors are present, which are accentuated by layers of persimmon and baked pineapple. The palate’s texture is rich and coating on entry. A long finish is driven by generous and bright acidity.
Winemakers Sean Thompson and Hugh Davies
J. Schram, North Coast – 2008 – 92 points – Wine & Spirits
"... this is the top selection from the 250 lots Sean Thompson and Hugh Davies consider in their cellars. ... a toasty, oxidative style, rich rather than fresh, but still bracing and focused in its structure. ..."
J. Schram, North Coast – 2008 – 94+ points – Wine Advocate
"...intensely scented of brioche and toasted nuts with a core of peach cobbler, cinnamon toast and beeswax, plus a hint of dried mandarin peel. The palate is multilayered...marked by crisp acid and finishing with wonderful persistence..."
J. Schram, North Coast – 2008 – 94 points – Wine Enthusiast
“A rich gold color and spicy, complex aromas get this wine off to a great start. It follows with ginger, cinnamon, baked apple and lemon on the palate, which sets up a layered flavor profile supported by fine bubbles and fresh acidity. The finish lingers on slightly nutty and doughy notes..."
J. Schram, North Coast – 2008 – 93 points – Wine Spectator
“Sleek but rich and luxurious, with baked apple and cinnamon brioche aromas and expressive and layered fresh ginger, roasted almond and spice flavors that unfurl on the finish."