91 Points - Wine Enthusiast
Gold Medal - SF International Wine Competition
The Schug Estate vineyard, planted in 1989, sits at the base of a high ridge at the windy Western edge of the Carneros AVA in Sonoma County. This bottling highlights several clones of Chardonnay grown on individual blocks. The Wente clone grown on Northeast-facing Blocks 3 and 5 has a smaller berry which gives the wine a rich texture when young, and in time develops an oily, succulent mouthfeel. An addition of "Musqué" clone Chardonnay grown on our rocky Southeast-facing Block 7 gives the wine a rich aroma and flavor of ripe citrus. Each block is harvested, fermented and aged separately. The final blend offers intense fruit aromas of ripe pear and orange liqueur, complemented by a layer of toasty oak. Bright apple and citrus flavors give way to a full-bodied texture and a long finish. Try with shellfish, cream soups, chicken, veal, or rich pasta dishes. It will gain complexity with additional cellaring for several years after release.
BLEND: (clones): 100% Schug Estate: 52% Block 5 (G9V5 Wente);18% Block 7 (41 & 77 Musqué clones); 17% Block 2 (clone C); 7% Block 3 (F1V3 Wente); 6% Block 1 (clone 17)
HARVEST DATES: September 4th through September 12th, 2014
SUGAR AT HARVEST: 24.4 degrees Brix average
FERMENTATION: 100% barrel fermented and aged “sur lie” for 7 months.
20% of the barrels underwent malo-lactic fermentation.
AGING COOPERAGE: 22% in new French oak, 78% in 2nd & 3rd fill barrels
ALCOHOL: 14.1% by volume
ACIDITY: TA = 0.62 g/100ml; pH = 3.52
PRODUCTION: 286 cases (12 x 750ml)
RELEASE DATE: January 1st, 2016
WINERY RETAIL: $45 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.