Schramsberg Brut Reserve 2004
Vintage from North Coast, California
The 2004 Reserve is an expressive wine showing profound aromas of ripe cherry and Mandarin orange that evolve into warm honey and marzipan. Not to be outdone, the palate is rich with flavors of raspberry, spiced apples and candied ginger. Crisp on entry and velvety in texture, the wine lingers in the mouth with a long, balanced acidity.
Wine Enthusiast - "The opulence of this sparkling wine has to be tasted to be believed. It’s far softer and silkier than the winery’s companion new release, the 2005 J. Schram, but then the blend is the complete opposite. This one’s mainly Pinot Noir, with the balance from Chardonnay. The Pinot Noir brings a warm, raspberry- and cherry-sauce richness to Chardonnay’s limes and pears, while an extraordinarily delicious toastiness pervades the whole, as if it had been gently smoked. So enticing now, it’s hard to keep from drinking the whole bottle..."
Wine Spectator - "An opulent and rich style, with bold aromas of baked cinnamon and apple followed by complex, racy flavors of Asian pear, candied ginger and spice. Offers a long, lingering finish."
Connoisseurs' Guide - "On the verge of true grandeur yet a little on the angular, sharp side at the margins, this rather outgoing, almost powerful sparkling wine suffers no shortfall of personality, and there will be plenty of takers for its immensely toasty, developed, explosively bubbled approach. It charges into power from the first sip, and neither its mousse nor its complex, toast, soy, lemon rind flavors give any quarter from front to back. We are put in mind of Bollinger's Grande Année and comfortably recommend this wine as its American peer to any who like that French grand mark."
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Focused on Schramsberg's top Chardonnay barrel and tank lots, and aged for seven years prior to release, J. Schram is the winery's signature Brut sparkling wine. Jack and Jamie Davies revived the historic vineyards and cellars in 1965, with a mission to produce California's first world-class sparkling wines. Today, led by their son Hugh, Schramsberg's team continues with this commitment to quality and innovation. Schramsberg also produces the J. Schram Rose, Reserve, Blanc de Blancs, Blanc de Noirs, Brut Rose, Cremant Demi-Sec and J. Davies Diamond Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon. View all Schramsberg Vineyards Wines
About North CoastView a map of North Coast wineries
Beyond Napa and Sonoma in the north you find a couple of other counties producing great wine. Among these are Mendocino and Lake County. The northernmost California winegrowing regions, these two counties are right above Napa and Sonoma, geographically. Yet, wine-wise they are very different – both from their southern neighbors and from each other.
Notable FactsMendocino has a high amount of organic vintners and vines. The first winery to settle here was Fetzer, which practices organic viticulture and holds some of the most vineyard land in the area. Mendocino has many pockets of micro-climates while Lake County, being smaller in size, is less diverse climactically. As for the grapes, Chardonnay is the most popular in both counties, but there are also some excellent Sauvignon Blancs, particularly in the Lake County. In red wine, Zinfandel leads the way, followed by Rhone Blends and Petite Sirah. The reds in both counties are complex and sumptuous. Anderson Valley is a sub-AVA of Mendicino and is quite well known for its excellent cool climate, producing the delicious Roederer Estate sparkling wines and some wonderful cool-climate Syrah.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.