J. Schram, North Coast – 2011
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 115 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.
- Vineyards: Napa: Schwarze, Hyde, Tognetti; Sonoma: Keefer, Dutton, Bates, Hawk Hill; Marin: Stevens
- Appellation: North Coast
- County Composition: 55% Napa, 40% Sonoma, 4% Marin, 1% Mendocino
The 2011 North Coast wine grape harvest was as late a harvest as we’ve had. Crop levels were also later than normal with ripeness developing at lower sugar levels, giving winemakers the opportunity to make flavorful, elegant wines. A wet winter and spring delayed bloom and hindered fruit set, which decreased the overall crop load. A generally cool summer prolonged the growing season and harvest started very late in most areas. Wines of this vintage are quite noteworthy for their vibrant, fruitful acidity, promising exceptional aging potential in the cellar.
- Harvest Date(s): August 29, 2011 - November 3, 2011
- Barrel Fermentation: 33%
- Bottled: April 4, 2012
- Bottle Aging: 7.6 - 7.9 years en Tirage
- Disgorged: November 15, 2019 - February 11, 2020
- Varietal Composition: 90% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Noir
- Production Case Pack: 2,650 (9-Liter)
- Alcohol: 12.2%
- TA: 10.3 g/L
- p H: 3.06
- RS: 9.0 g/1L
“This sparkling wine opens with pleasant aromas of baked pear, lemon meringue and baked apple, enhanced by nuances of toffee and honey. The rich palate features fruitful elements of baked pineapple and Meyer lemon, layered with crystallized ginger. Good depth on the finish is driven by a backbone of lingering natural acidity.”
—Winemakers Sean Thompson and Hugh Davies
Schramsberg Vineyards J. Schram, North Coast — 2011 – Creators – 98 Points
The 2011 J. Schram is a stunning bubbly that is remarkably fresh and crisp despite its age. Showing notes of lemon, crunchy apple and toasted brioche, it reflects the classic methode traditionnelle style. On top of that, it is a California sparkler for the ages, meaning it will continue to shine for years to come if stored properly.
Schramsberg Vineyards J. Schram, North Coast — 2011 – Connoisseurs’ Guide to California Wine – 95 Points
The latest J. Schram from the 2011 vintage is, as always, a wine with richness to spare. It is, at every point, from its keenly autolzyed aromas to its seemingly unending flavors, a very deep and involvingly complex working with lovely integration of its manifold parts. It possesses terrific energy while displaying an uncanny sense of grace for a wine that is as uncompromisingly rich as it is, and, although on the one hand close to hedonistic, it is, on the other, a bottle that invites slow contemplation as it reveals more and more layering with each successive sip.
Schramsberg Vineyards J. Schram, North Coast — 2011 – Wine Enthusiast – 93 Points
Handsome and fully mature, this well-aged bottle of bubbles is all about complexity. Tempting aromas of toasted walnuts and buttered baguettes are backed by mellow lemon and tangerine notes that keep the palate fresh from the start to the lingering finish.