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Schramsberg Reserve Brut 2003

Vintage Sparkling Wine from Napa Valley, California
  • WS92
  • WE92
  • CG91
12.7% ABV
Other Vintages
  • WS93
  • WW96
  • WE95
  • RP94
  • WS91
  • WE96
  • RP94
  • WS92
  • CG91
  • WE94
  • WS90
  • W&S90
  • WE95
  • CG93
  • RP93
  • WS92
  • WE98
  • CG93
  • WS93
  • WE93
  • WS93
All Vintages
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12.7% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Spiced aromas of gingerbread and brioche lend density and richness to the varied fruitful notes of dried guava, peach and pear. Flavors of tangerine, mandarin orange and ruby red grapefruit deliver quenching zestiness that melds comfortably with a creamy, caramelized essence that lingers with persistence on the palate.

The Reserve is well-suited with a main course, such as fruit-stuffed veal and pork tenderloin, roasted duck with mango, cedarplank grilled salmon and curried chicken salad. This flavorful bubbly also can be served as an apéritif with smoked oysters, caviar and such hard cheeses as aged Swiss Sbrinz, Sonoma Vella Jack or Irish Coolea.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WS 92
Wine Spectator
Rich and full-bodied, with aromas of baked apple, ginger and brioche and layered flavors of cinnamon, delicate cherry and vanilla spice that end on a crisp, vibrant note.
WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
The blend is 75% Pinot Noir with the balance Chardonnay, and the grapes come from fourcounties, led by Mendocino. The wine is rich and full-bodied in strawberry, raspberry, citrus, roasted almond, toasted coconut, brioche and vanilla flavors that are a little sweet. The bubbles are somewhat harsher than you might expect, but this brut could be going through a phase.
CG 91
Connoisseurs' Guide
There are challenging aspects to this wine, and they both enhance its personality and ask if things have gone too far. Those who take delight in a broadly toasty, nervy style are going to find things to like here much in the same way that some of the most characterful Champagnes challenge the notion of austerity as a demanded virtue. No one will miss its rich "biscuits to spare" depth, but be forewarned, this generous wine is not for everyone.
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Schramsberg

Schramsberg Vineyards

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Schramsberg Vineyards, California
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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.

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Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production as well as tourism, the Napa Valley was responsible for bringing worldwide recognition to California winemaking. In the 1960s, a few key wine families settled the area and hedged their bets on the valley's world-class winemaking potential—and they were right.

The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980s, when producers scooped up vineyard lands and planted vines throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, and today Napa is home to hundreds of producers ranging from boutique to corporate. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Napa whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that claim specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil. Farthest south and coolest from the influence of the San Pablo Bay is Carneros, followed by Coombsville to its northeast and then Yountville, Oakville and Rutherford. Above those are the warm St. Helena and the valley's newest and hottest AVA, Calistoga. These areas follow the valley floor and are known generally for creating rich, dense, complex and smooth reds with good aging potential. The mountain sub appellations, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs, include Stags Leap District, Atlas Peak, Chiles Valley (farther east), Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain District and Diamond Mountain District. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from a lot of time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

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Representing the topmost expression of a Champagne house, a vintage Champagne is one made from the produce of a single, superior harvest year. Vintage Champagnes account for a mere 5% of total Champagne production and are produced about three times in a decade. Champagne is typically made as a blend of multiple years in order to preserve the house style; these will have non-vintage, or simply, NV on the label. The term, "vintage," as it applies to all wine, simply means a single harvest year.

MSW30108031_2003 Item# 138066