Schramsberg Vineyards

California: Napa Valley, United States

Blanc de Noirs, North Coast – 1999

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  • Introduction

    • Blanc de Noirs (white from black) is the counterpart of Blanc de Blancs (white from white). Made at Schramsberg from the red wine grape Pinot Noir, this is a delicious, fruitful, full-bodied sparkling wine. Schramsberg pioneered the Blanc de Noirs style in the United States, releasing the first such American cuvée in 1967. Making a white wine from a red grape requires great care: handpicked fruit, early morning harvest, optimal fruit maturity, delicate pressing. A balance of bright flavors, crisp acidity, and minimal tannins is achieved. Three years of yeast contact knits all the elements together in a mature, toasty style. Blanc de Noirs presents layers of roasted almond, caramel, cherry and spice. The wine is especially appealing with lighter meats such as veal and pork tenderloin, caviar and smoked fish, risotto with chanterelles and vegetables, or cheese soufflés. Hugh Johnson wrote in his Pocket Encyclopedia of Wine: Schramsberg **** a dedicated specialist: California’s best sparkling Blanc de Noirs outstanding. The 1992 Blanc de Noirs won a gold medal at the World Wine championships; the 1996 and 1997 both won gold medals at the Orange County Fair.

  • Vintage Report

    • THE 1999 VINTAGE

      The cool 1999 growing season delivered a sparkling harvest that began on August 25th in southern Napa and ended on October 20th in western Marin. Pinot Noir from throughout our five-county growing region is incorporated into this vintage Blanc de Noirs, an assemblage of 27 distinct vineyards. The twenty percent of added Chardonnay lends crispness and length to the palate while the fifteen percent barrel-fermentation adds flesh and viscosity.

  • Tasting Notes

    • Just ripening cherry and raspberry aromas are accented with hints of strawberry yogurt and watermelon candy. Lightly baked dough and hazelnut characters resulting from bottle-aging on the yeast add significant depth. The wine’s creamy palate, filled with sweet and sour berry fruit flavors, is lingering and quenching.

      Hugh Davies, Winemaker