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2018 Blanc de Blancs (3L)-Text and Design-5 Wks Minimum
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.
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The 2018 Schramsberg 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
Lithe and delicately balanced, with vibrant lemon custard, blanched almond and steely citrus notes that take up richness and speed on the long finish.- Wine Spectator Insider Weekly (November 2020)
Lively citrus flavors are nicely tempered by almond and bread-dough nuances in this elegant, well balanced and rich-tasting wine. It offers more than fresh fruit, adding aged-on-the-lees complexity for a very tempting expression.- Wine Enthusiast (November 2020)
With very good reason, we have high expectations when Schramsberg's latest Blanc de Blancs arrives each year, and the 2017 version continues what has become a long string of successes for its maker. It touches all the right bases from its creamy, unceasing mousse to its brightness and very articulate champenized complexity, and it does so with a singular sense of grace. Never timid, but always refined, it is a delight to sip on its own, and it will have very few peers as a match to a platter of fresh oysters served on the half-shell.- Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine (December 2020)