Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

Schramsberg 2003 J. Schram -- Wine Review

North Coast, California

Our Selection for Wine of the Week December 20, 2010

A bottle of Schramsberg 2003 J. Schram Sparkling Wine, our Wine of the Week review

2003 J. Schram


Schramsberg has one of the longest histories of all the companies in the California wine industry. The property was first planted by Jacob Schram in 1862. But it wasn't until Jack and Jamie Davies purchased the property in 1965 that Schramsberg began to reach its full potential as an American leader in sparkling wine. The Davies began by producing a blanc de blanc, quickly followed by a blanc de noir. Today they make ten different sparkling wines, including rosé and crémant, but they are most critically lauded for the J. Schram. The American version of a prestige cuvée, J. Schram is blended from the best vines in all of Schramsberg's vineyards. A Chardonnay-focused wine, the 2003 offers baked apple and pear, citrus and vanilla aromas. Weighty on the palate, the wine fills the mouth with rich, holiday flavors of caramelized apple, vanilla, candied citrus and spice with just a hint of sourdough to add yeasty complexity. It is stunning on its own but would pair nicely with any seasonal fare from turkey and garlic mashed potatoes to crab-stuffed mushrooms to roast beef with a celery root puree. Or, save it for the grand finale and treat your guests to this bubbly with a variety of fruits and cheeses for a memorable finish to any meal.

Rating: 15.5/20

Other Sparkling Wines & Champagnes we have tasted
Check out our California Travel Guide

For more information, visit

See also:
Tasting Notes on Schramsberg 2002 J. Schram

Read about the wine world's most influential critic: Robert Parker, Jr.

(Updated: 12/20/12 AB)

Sip on GAYOT's picks of the best small-production craft beers.

Sip straight or mix up a margarita with GAYOT's picks of the best tequilas under $100.