Schramsberg Vineyards

California: Napa Valley, United States

J. Schram, North Coast – 2009

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  • Introduction

    • 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.

  • Vineyard Profile

    • Appellation: North Coast
    • County Composition: 50% Sonoma, 41% Napa, 5% Mendocino, 4% Marin
  • Vintage Report

    • In 2009, rain and mild temperatures created the best scenario possible for our vineyards. There were very few frost incidents, allowing for good fruit set. Though rainfall was little more than two-thirds of normal, much of it came in late spring, delaying irrigation needs. A warm spell in June helped curtail excessive canopy and kept the vine’s attention on producing delicious fruit. With minimal heat spikes during the growing season, the vines were able to gradually ripen the fruit for picking at the optimal times.

    • Harvest Date(s): August 10-September 29, 2009
  • Vinification

    • Barrel Fermentation: 27%
    • Bottled: April 13, 2010
    • Bottle Aging: 7 years
    • Disgorged: December 5-14, 2017
  • Tasting Notes

    • “This sparkling wine opens with bright aromas of pear, pineapple and apricot, followed by nuances of custard, peach cobbler and almond. The elegant palate features fruitful elements of apple, melon, papaya and lemon verbena. The persistent finish is driven by generous and bright acidity.” —Winemakers Sean Thompson and Hugh Davies

  • Technical Information

    • Varietal Composition: 86% Chardonnay, 14% Pinot Noir
    • Production Case Pack: 2,370 (9L)
    • Alcohol: 13.3%
    • TA: 0.86 g/100 mL
    • p H: 3.01
    • RS: 1.09 g/100 mL

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Reviews

  • Schramsberg J. Schram Brut – 2009 – Wine & Spirits Magazine – 90 Points

    This is Schramsberg’s top selection of chardonnay (86 percent of the blend). A quarter of it fermented in oak, which seems to point up the wine’s gingery spice. With scents of orange blossoms and notes of tangerine, this is leesy and ripe, a rich style to pour with salmon roe in puff pastry shells.

  • Schramsberg J. Schram North Coast – 2009 – Connoisseur’s Guide to California Wines – 94 Points

    With an involving mix of sweet cream and toast leading the way and quickly followed by appley nuances and accents of caramel as its rich, nicely aged aromas gradually unfold, the 2009 J. Schram is every bit as rich and far-ranging as promised once in the mouth. If not bright and brisk, its complex, fully autolyzed flavors are not close to being tired, and the wine...

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