Schramsberg 2018 Blanc de Blancs Brut
Blanc de Blancs (white from whites), made from Chardonnay, is the counterpart to the Blanc de Noirs (white from blacks), made from Pinot Noir. Blanc de Blancs was the first wine Schramsberg produced in 1965 and was America's first commercially produced Chardonnay-based brut sparkling wine. Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs gained international recognition in 1972 when then President Nixon served the wine at the historic "Toast to Peace" in Beijing, China.
The Schramsberg style of Blanc de Blancs is dry and crisp. Small lots of barrel fermented wines, some of which complete malolactic fermentation, are added to the stainless-steel fermented wines to create added complexity in the blended base wine. After undergoing a second fermentation in bottle, the wine then ages on its yeast lees for about two years prior to disgorgement. With its vibrant, fruitful and focused nature, this sparkling wine will maintain its freshness, structure and refined finish for many years, even decades following its initial release.
While this wine can be enjoyed by itself as an apéritif, it is also perfect with fresh oysters and other shellfish, crab cakes, ceviche and grilled sea bass. It is also delicious with lemon chicken and Thai curries. Serve with aged Gouda or other hard cheeses, and as a counterpoint to soft triple creams.
The long growing season in 2018 revealed a vintage with concentration without being overripe. Despite a warm February, the growing season started off cooler than the past few vintages. A cool spring meant bloom lasted longer than usual, which resulted in a bountiful crop. Summer temperatures were moderate with fewer heat spikes than in recent years. Veraison started later as well, and as a result, harvest started two to three weeks later than in recent years. The resulting fruit exhibited exceptional with depth of flavor noticeable brightness.
TASTING NOTES: "The 2018 Blanc de Blancs has bright aromas of fresh apples, lemon-lime and warm wheat toast, intermingled with hints of baked pineapple and toasted almonds. Its vibrant flavors of Meyer lemon and Granny Smith apples bring a nice tartness to the mid-palate, leading to a clean, bright finish." - Winemakers Sean Thompson and Hugh Davies