2011 Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs Brut Sparkling
Bracing and bright, this shows definite Chardonnay characteristics, such as a buttery, apple pie aroma and vivid crisp apple and lemon flavors. Nothing is overblown, though, so it retains finesse. This will be great as an apéritif and even better with seafood after sitting down at the table.
Schramsberg's Blanc de Blancs was America's first commercially produced, Chardonnay-based Brut sparkling wine, which gained international recognition when it was served at President Nixon's historic "Toast to Peace" in Beijing, China, in 1972. Schramsberg sparkling wines are still aged in Jacob Schram's hand-chiseled and black, diaphanous lichen-lined caves in the hills above Calistoga, and hand-riddled. These are incredible wines, on par with French Champagne, and a value by comparison. The Blanc de Blancs is 100% Chardonnay, made in a dry and crisp style according to the traditional Champagne method of production with about two years aging in bottle prior to disgorgement. Made from cool-climate Sonoma and North coast fruit, this is a natural pairing to oysters and fresh seafood, but also pairs well with complex dishes and aged cheeses. When stored properly, this can age for decades after release.