Blended of 82% Chardonnay and 18% Pinot Noir, the 2008 J Schram is intensely scented of brioche and toasted nuts with a core of peach cobbler, cinnamon toast and beeswax, plus a hint of dried mandarin peel. The palate is multilayered, opulent and spicy with layers of toast, nut and fruit marked by crisp acid and finishing with wonderful persistence. Delicious now, you can consider cellaring this for 5-6 years for a toastier character. (LPB) 94+
A rich gold color and spicy, complex aromas get this wine off to a great start. It follows with ginger, cinnamon, baked apple and lemon on the palate, which sets up a layered flavor profile supported by fine bubbles and fresh acidity. The finish lingers on slightly nutty and doughy notes. Enjoy through 2022. *Cellar Selection* (JG) 94+
Rife with the toasty, near-biscuitty traits that can only come with age, the 2008 J. Schram very much hews to the extravagant and layered richness that its label always guarantees. It is creamy and quite full on the palate with a constant bead of tiny bubbles, and, although far from a youthfully zesty wine, it is exceptionally well-balanced and its compellingly complex flavors hold and hold at the finish. While fully developed, it is wonderfully alive, and it will, in fact, age famously for years yet to come.
Sleek but rich and luxurious, with baked apple and cinnamon brioche aromas and expressive and layered fresh ginger, roasted almond and spice flavors that unfurl on the finish. Drink now through 2018. (TF)
Focused on Chardonnay (82 percent of the blend, the remainder Pinot Noir), this is the top selection from the 250 lots Sean Thompson and Hugh Davies consider in their cellars. Most of the blend grows on the Napa Valley side of Carneros. They barrel-ferment a third of the wine and age it on the yeast in bottle for seven years, presenting it in a toasty, oxidative style, rich rather than fresh, but still bracing and focused in its structure. There’s a tangy orange note at the center of the wine, providing sweetness to balance the salty notes of the lees. Serve it at dinner with salmon tartare.
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2013 Solomon Hills "Solomon Hills Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay (Previously $40)