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