2009 Schramsberg Blanc de Noirs Sparkling Wine
Balances richness with delicacy, offering aromas of cinnamon pear and fresh ginger that lead to focused flavors of Meyer lemon, cherry and creamy vanilla spice. Drink now.
A little scoury, but delicious, with ripe strawberry, raspberry and orange-preserve flavors. Mostly Pinot Noir, with some Chardonnay, it shows fine acidity and a Champagne-like yeastiness. Drink now.
While there are scant hints of cherries here if one looks very hard, the dominant theme of this wine is autolyzed yeast, and, it shows an aged aspect that suggests that it had extended time en tirage. It is, however, dry and crisp without the creaminess that often comes with age. Its complexity earns it a star all the same, and it would move up a bit higher in rank if it were less inclined to acidy hardness as it crosses the palate.
Schramsberg may be a Napa Valley sparkling wine house, but they pull their night-harvested fruit from Anderson Valley, Carneros, and even Marin County across the foggy Golden Gate from San Francisco. To add richness and body, they barrel-ferment a portion of the lot, which is aged for two years on the yeast in the bottle. From its inception as an American "blanc de noirs," to the cellars that it sleeps in, this is a sparkling wine with rich history. From the winery: "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."