Blanc de Noirs, North Coast – 2004
Blanc de Noirs (white from black) is the counterpart to Blanc de Blancs (white from white). Made primarily from the red grape Pinot Noir, this is a complex, medium-bodied, brut sparkling wine. Schramsberg pioneered the Blanc de Noirs style in the United States, releasing the first such American sparkler in 1967. The key to producing this complex Blanc de Noirs is Schramsberg’s vast and varied focus on diverse cool-climate vineyards. Pinot Noir from Carneros and Anderson Valley combine with fruit from low-yielding Sonoma and Marin coastal vineyards to develop a sparkling wine with a breadth of fruitful aroma and flavor. Select Chardonnay lots give zest and backbone to the blend.
Making a white wine from a red grape requires great care—hand-picked fruit, early morning harvest, optimal fruit maturity and delicate pressing. A balance of bright flavors, crisp acidity and minimal tannins is achieved. Barrel and malolactic fermentation of particular lots add richness and body. Two years of yeast contact in the bottle harmonizes all the elements together in a mature, toasty style. The youthful fruit character of the wine will caramelize and soften with additional age in the bottle. With proper storage, this sparkling wine will be delicious for many years, even a couple of decades to come.
Schramsberg Blanc de Noirs is particularly well-suited to serve with a variety of foods, including soft and nutty cheeses, macadamia nut-crusted halibut and pork tenderloin with fresh rosemary and lemon thyme.
- County Composition: 49% Napa, 35% Mendocino, 16% Sonoma
- Harvest Date(s): July 28–September 22
- Barrel Fermentation: 24%
- Bottled: May 26–June 2, 2005
- Disgorged: January–September 2007
- Varietal Composition: 85% Pinot Noir, 15% Chardonnay
- Production (in cases): 11,700 cases (12/750ml)
- Alcohol: 13.1%
- TA: 0.92g/100ml
- p H: 3.02
- RS: 1.18g/100ml
- Release Date: April 1, 2007
A fairly warm 2004 season produced a forward, vibrant Blanc de Noirs, offering essences of baked berry, nectarine, dried tropical fruit and cherry blossom with subtle aromas of warm pie crust, biscuit and graham cracker. Hints of guava and tonic lend an exotic note. The creamy mid-palate gives way to a zesty, red tropical fruit finish. This bright, quenching sparkling wine will retain its youthful integrity, and additional richness and depth will develop over time. Hugh Davies and Craig Roemer, Winemakers