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100 Points Robert Parker (An extraordinary wine of profound and complex character displaying all the attributes expected of a classic wine of its variety. Wines of this caliber are worth a special effort to find, purchase, and consume.)
Bottled in July 2017 and composed of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot and 5% Cabernet Franc, the Dominus 2015 Proprietary Red Wine leaps from the glass with notes of fresh wild blueberries, crushed blackberries and black currant juice with touches of wild thyme, underbrush, iron ore and aniseed with wafts of lavender and pencil lead. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has incredible energy and vivacity, with the firm, pixelated tannins and lively backbone skillfully framing the muscular fruit, finishing with wonderful length and depth.
Christian Moueix began our tasting of the 2015 vintage with a big smile. “We loved the vintage from the beginning,” he commented simply. Dominus winemaker Tod Mostero explained why 2015 was special: “We had a lot of winter rain—15 inches in December 2014. But then we had a very dry spring—just two inches in March and April. This equated to less vegetative growth, because when you have very little rain in spring, the vegetative growth tends to be limited. This means you need less water in the summer, since the vines prepare themselves for a dry growing season. Because we dry farm, the roots grow deeper and access water that normally wouldn’t be available. We had a similar profile in 2013. The 2015 temperatures were higher than normal but not excessive. Yields were about the same as 2013—smaller than average. The grapes were small. We experienced an early budburst, flowering and harvest, with harvest starting on September 2nd and finished by September 30th.”
Initial dark fruit, spice and baking aromas in the 2015 Opus One are interwoven with seductive notes of violet, black tea, and sage.
The entry is vibrant with ripe dark fruit flavors of plum, blackberry and blueberry followed by hints of vanilla and cocoa. Silky, fine-grained tannins provide structure and a creamy texture. The wine finishes with fresh acidity and a rich, lingering finish that promises longevity in the cellar.
Varietals Cabernet Sauvignon 81%, Cabernet Franc 7%, Merlot 6%, Petit Verdot 4%, Malbec 2%
The Schramsberg style of Blanc de Blancs is dry and crisp. Small lots of malolactic- and barrel-fermented wines are added for complexity. The wine is aged on the yeast lees in the bottle for over two years prior to disgorgement. With its vibrant, fruitful and crisp nature, this sparkling wine will maintain its freshness, structure and refined finish for many years, even decades following its initial release.
Schramsberg Brut Rosé is flavorful, complex and dry, making it both versatile with food and delicious by itself as an apéritif. The character of the wine is most strongly influenced by bright, flavorful Pinot Noir grown in Carneros, Anderson Valley, and the Sonoma and Marin coastal areas. A few small lots of Pinot Noir are fermented in contact with their skins to add depth and subtle color to this unique sparkling wine. Chardonnay gives spice, structure and length on the palate.
Schramsberg Crémant Demi-sec is a delicate, off-dry sparkling wine: an American original. Crémant is French for “creamy” and traditionally refers to a wine with light effervescence. It has approximately half the pressure of our other sparkling wines and presents a creamier texture with more exotic flavors. Schramsberg made California’s first Crémant in 1972. After rigorous study, Jack and Jamie Davies chose a unique California grape named Flora (a cross of Sémillon and Gewürztraminer developed at UC Davis) to be the core component of this sparkling wine. Flora unites the fruit-forward character of Gewürztraminer with the strength and depth of Sémillon. Aging on the yeast for two and a half years prior to disgorgement adds complexity, yet the wine will retain its youthful appeal for 20 years or more.