Schramsberg J. Schram 2009
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 Dates: August 13 – October 13, 2008
Barrel Fermentation: 35%
Bottled: April 12, 2009
Disgorged: September 26 – 30, 2016
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
Varietal Composition: 82% Chardonnay, 18% Pinot Noir
Production: 2,530 cases (9L)