Schramsberg Vineyards J. Schram, North Coast — 2011 – Creators – 98 Points
J. Schram is Schramsberg’s answer to the tete de cuvee of Champagne, a luxury, prestige bottling that represents the finest bubbly the house has to offer. It is 90% chardonnay, 10% pinot noir. Significantly, it is aged eight years on the yeast lees prior to disgorgement. The extended aging builds complexity but takes time and costs money. Most businesses wouldn’t willingly create a product and then tuck it away for eight or nine years prior to offering it for sale.
That is what is required, however, to produce a New World sparkling wine that might rival the finest Champagne. 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.