92 Points, Best Buy - Wine & Spirits, October 2015
Walter Schug certainly knew his way around a vineyard. His experience and knowledge shows in their Carneros Chardonnay, which displays remarkable purity, balance, and complexity. Sourced from top growers including Ricci, Cornerstone, Wildcat, Sangiacomo, Leveroni and Iund Vineyards. This wine expresses varietal purity at a price seldom seen.
As we develop deeper relationships with high quality producers in California who are turning out great wines at great prices, certain wineries jump out as consistently delivering incredible value across a range of wines. One of these is certainly Schug Estate, where they continue to turn out stellar wines.
This classic Carneros Chardonnay was grown on our own cool-climate Estate vineyard, as well as the Ricci, Cornerstone, Wildcat, Sangiacomo, Leveroni and Iund Vineyards. It was barrel fermented and aged on the lees (“sur-lie”) in small French oak barrels, with minimal new oak introduced. Malo-lactic fermentation was not induced, allowing the wine to retain its natural acidity and varietal focus. The result is a wine that is both rich and powerful, while refreshing and elegant on the finish. It has a ripe, spicy tropical bouquet with flavors that suggest citrus, pear and spiced apples. Well-balanced acidity gives it a crisp, clean finish, making it an excellent wine with food. Try it with cream soups, rich seafood, fowl, veal and pasta dishes.
BLEND: 30% Schug Estate; 23% Ricci; 13% Wildcat Mountain; 10% Cornerstones; 9% Sangiacomo Tallgrass; 6% Iund; 5% Wood Valley; 4% Leveroni
APPELLATION: 91% Carneros; 9% Sonoma Valley
HARVEST DATES: September 4th through October 7th, 2013
SUGAR AT HARVEST: 24.3 degrees Brix average
FERMENTATION: 100% barrel fermented
AGING COOPERAGE: Aged “sur-lie” for 8 months in 17% new medium toast French “Allier” oak barrels
ALCOHOL: 14.1% by volume
ACIDITY: TA = 0.70 g/100ml; pH = 3.44
RELEASE DATE: October 1st, 2014
WINERY RETAIL: $32 per 750ml bottle
Founded in 1980, Schug Carneros Estate Winery is the showcase and life-long dream of one of California's most celebrated winemakers. Walter Schug's reputation blossomed during his tenure as Founding Winemaker for Joseph Phelps Vineyards in the 1970s, where he made California’s first proprietary Bordeaux-Style blend (Insignia) and legendary vineyard designated Cabernets (Backus and Eisele Vineyards).
Drawing on his long experience in the production of fine wines in both Europe and California, Walter set up his own winery with his wife Gertrud in the cool, marine climate of the Carneros Appellation. Here he could focus on the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay varietals that had always been close to his heart.
Learn more at www.schugwinery.com.