A Big-Time, World Class Sparkler
Some people (a friend of mine named Sarah, who used to work at a cheese shop, comes to mind!) would like to live by the bubbly, alone. Me? I like a lot of different wines, but I will have to admit that I sometimes just want to sit back and do nothing but sip Champagne and down raw oysters on the half shell (I could do 50 or more, if allowed). I could just imagine myself on a tropical island with nothing more than non-stop bivalves and free-flowing sparkling wine. Wouldn't that be the life? Hmm, maybe, I could simply be in the backyard with my wife, Alice, as the bubbles drizzle down my throat and her smiling face in front of me. I like this idea even better. Home, sweet home is always good!
Well, most recently, this wasn't the case, but a trip to Schramsberg in the Napa Valley took care of my need for a little sparkle. In a recent meeting with Hugh Davies of Schramsberg, with industry friends Susan, John, and Laurent, we spent several hours strolling through the cellars, walking in the vineyards, seriously tasting the wines and enjoying an al fresco lunch near the vines. While I didn't have raw oysters and Alice wasn't next to me, the afternoon was pretty fine, surpassing my usual day of hours in the office at the keyboard. Hugh spoke of the family and what Schramsberg is doing in its continual quest for improvement. As we tasted though a half a dozen wines or so, the 2008 Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs emerged as the champion of the day. Youthful and delicate, persistent and long lasting, there was no denying its magnificence. First produced in 1965 from a single Napa Valley Chardonnay vineyard, the current vintage is sourced from about 45 different top class vineyards. The 2008 has just recently started shipping, but some BevMo's may still have the 2007. No problem, the 2007 is tasting very fine now, while the 2008 is still a little young.
While the Champagne, sparkling wine market is in a state of flux (ever-changing worldwide pricing, new emerging areas of the genre and a constant flow of new labels), Schramsberg remains one of the great constants in the world. 43 years after its inaugural vintage, the wine still outranks the rest of the pack! The Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs is indeed a big time world class sparkler!