Schramsberg J. Schram 2003
Vintage Sparkling Wine from California
The 2003 vintage provided one of the wettest springs on record, affording a beneficially long and cool growing season. Early season heat spikes got the vines growing and the season evolved nicely with warm days and cool nights. The grapes developed beautifully with delicious fruit flavors and elevated acidity.
A gorgeous depth of fruit greets the nose: lemon-lime, pineapple, baked pear and orange marmalade. Fresh sourdough, vanilla crème brûlée and toasted marshmallow notes follow. A crisp and zippy entry on the palate gives way to a viscous, caramelized apple and citrus profile. This rich sparkling wine finishes with a delicate minerality, a hint of warm roasted almonds and a lingering acidity.
Connoisseurs' Guide - "Once again, Schramsberg's flagship bubbly winds up at the right end of the leaderboard. Its bold, complex blending of toast, caramel, yeast and crème brûlée takes it far beyond the realm of primary fruit, and yet, for all that the wine possesses, it succeeds because it has energetic, briskly focused fruit at its heart. With its creamy mousse of small bubbles and its rich, developed flavors in the mouth, it is a wine to serve with a first course of a fois gras crème caramel or a finely crafted lobster mousse because nothing less decadent will bring out all that is on offer here."
Wine Enthusiast - "A beautiful, rich, elegant, fancy sparkling wine. Feels so fine in the mouth, all silk and satin, with deep, dry raspberry, strawberry, vanilla, toast, yeasty lees, brioche and honey flavors. Superb, but young. Needs time. Give it until 2011, if you can keep your hands off, and should develop until 2015, if not longer. Cellar Selection"
Wine Spectator - "A beautiful bubbly, boldly styled but retaining elegance, with aromas of fresh brioche and apple and layered flavors of spicy hazelnut, yeast and baked pear."
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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 Other CaliforniaView a map of Other California wineries
California has nearly 100 American Viticulture Areas (AVAs) and accounts for almost 90% of wine production in the United States. In our section of Other California, we include wines from smaller AVAs as well as wines from the California AVA. Here are a few smaller AVAs you may see on the label:
Livermore Valley AVA, located right outside of San Francisco and home to wineries such as Wente.
Lodi County AVA, an AVA further east of San Francisco and known for its excellent, old-vine Zinfandels.
San Francisco Bay AVA, a sprawling AVA that covers Contra Costa, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties, to name a few. Wine that holds only the California AVA is typically a wine that includes grapes from a number of different AVAs, which leads to the general labeling of the wine as California. This does not denote the quality of the wine, only the diversity of where the grapes originate.
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.