1997 J. Schram "Late Disgorged 150th Anniversary" California Sparkling Wine
This spectacular brut-style sparkler that's made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir still has plenty of tart acidity and yeastiness, providing the backdrop for rich, concentrated flavors of lime, raspberry, orange, brioche, mineral, vanilla and spice. It's enjoyable now, a tête de cuvée that is among the best California bubblies of the year, and it will continue to develop bottle complexity for many years.
*Two Stars* As if paying homage to the extraordinarily biscuitty English Cuvée style, this wine has spent fifteen years en tirage and is at this point about autolysis for autolysis sake. It is unremittingly toasty with suggestions of soy, burnt bread and scorched cream in abundance, but deep down at its heart, a touch of fruit quietly remains. It is older, but it is not yet dried out and its bones are not brittle, and it affords a rare chance to enjoy the kind of complexity that only years of patience can bring.
Wine & Spirits
Schramsberg’s 150th Anniversary Release, this ambitious sparkler has gained creaminess with age. Its firm structure presents sour cherry and toasted wheat flavors. A hint of sulfur shows at the beginning and the end, but overall it’s fresh and refreshing.