Among aficionados California sparkling wine has always played a bit of a second fiddle to sparklers from other parts of the world.  While that is changing over the past few years with the emergence of Grower Champagne-like wines coming from the likes of Under the Wire and the cult wine Ultramarine, among others, the one exception to this notion has always been Schramsberg. Gaining prominence going back to 1972, when Nixon used the Blanc de Blanc to toast the Chinese Premier at the White House, wines from this historic estate have been served by every administration since.

I met with Hugh Davies to talk about his family’s commitment to sparkling wine, why they tore up their historic estate vineyard and replanted with Bordeaux varieties in the 1990’s and of course to taste some delicious wine.


Hugh Davies, President, Schramsberg Vineyards


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PRT_B15H_PARTIMAGE_M_20190912_1353102016 Schramsberg Blanc de Blanc

America’s first great sparkling wine. The 2016 features a rich nose with green apple, pear, brioche, and hints of minerality. The palate shows superb freshness with mouthwatering acidity. Flavors of mixed citrus, and golden delicious apple.

At $40 a bottle this is an outstanding value. Bubbles aren’t just for special occasions. Open this guy next Tuesday!

SRP: $41


PRT_J106_PARTIMAGE_20190222_155139 2009 Schramsberg J. Schram

This chardonnay dominant blend shows golden tones with aromas of  pear, apricot, tropical notes, and creme brulee. On the palate complex and rich flavors of baked granny smith apples, lemon chiffon, and marzipan backed with fresh bright acidity.

This wine is all about balance, elegance and richness.

SRP:  $120



2016 J. Davies Cabernet Sauvignon, Diamond Mountain District

Released originally in 2001 after replanting the estate vineyard with Bordeaux varieties.

Aromas of blackberry, black currant ,and black cherry backed with elegant cocoa aromas and sweet spices.On the palate mixed dark berries and plum interplay under the elegant, finessed body. Hints of dark chocolate and forest floor.

Made to age gracefully for decades to come.

SRP: $120