Schramsberg Vineyards

J. Schram Late Disgorged
1996 Sparkling Wine
Napa Valley

2017 Offering
Premiere Napa Valley
Auction 21 | Lot No. 77
Vintage

1996

Schramsberg Vineyards

J. Schram Late Disgorged

Sparkling Wine
Napa Valley

5 cases produced

Highlights

  • One-of-a-kind, late disgorged bottling that rested on the lees for 20 years in our historic caves
  • Extended yeast contact has developed extraordinary aromatic complexity and depth of flavor
  • This was our finest blancs style blend from the 1996 vintage: 85% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Noir
  • The J. Schram epitomizes our philosophy to create a wine in which no effort is spared or omitted

The 1996 J. Schram late disgorged, now aged 20 years on its yeast lees, has extraordinary depth of aroma and flavor. While quietly resting in our 19th century Diamond Mountain caves, the wine has evolved with viscosity on the palate and a long, lingering finish. Its fruit is now accentuated by aromas of warm honey, hazelnut and brioche. Flavors of peaches, apricot and Meyer lemon fill the palate. Disgorged specifically for Premiere Napa Valley 2017, this lot epitomizes our philosophy to create a wine in which no effort is spared and no care omitted. Still youthful, the 1996 J. Schram late disgorged will delight for many more years to come.


Hugh Davies

Winemaker, Schramsberg Vineyards

Winemaker, Hugh Davies

One might say that Hugh Davies was born with a wineglass in his hand, and that wouldn't be too far from the truth. Hugh was born in 1965, the same year that his parents, Jack and Jamie Davies, purchased the abandoned Schramsberg Estate in Calistoga. Hugh grew up amongst the vines, caves, tanks and barrels that make Schramsberg Vineyards what it is today; the premier producer of American sparkling wines.

Named President of Schramsberg Vineyards in 2005, Hugh had already spent multiple years as the winemaker and general manager of the winery. He had lived and breathed the winery life since he first walked the vineyards as a toddler, and as a young man, he ventured away from home to broaden his experiences; earning a master's degree in enology from the University of California, Davis, an undergraduate degree from Bowdoin College in Maine, and honing his skills at Moet et Chandon in Epernay, Petaluma Winery in South Australia, and Mumm Napa Valley. This diverse background has provided Hugh with the knowledge and skills to take the reins of Schramsberg and guide it into the future.

Hugh never rests on the successes of previous years, and is always looking to build upon the winery's venerable track record of producing award-winning sparkling wines that rival the best sparkling wines available worldwide. He has increased the number of vineyards that the winery sources grapes from to over 115 cool-climate sites across Carneros, Anderson Valley, and the Sonoma and Marin coasts; he championed the increased usage of barrel fermentation in the production process; and he expanded the small-lot base wine program to an impressive 250 lots of unique wines. These programs have provided the winemaking team with a much broader base of flavor profiles to utilize when ensuring the quality of the final blends of the 10-12 sparkling wines made each year.

For the J. Davies Diamond Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon program, Hugh was instrumental in the decision to replant the historic hillside vineyards to Bordeaux varietals. These blocks are credited as the oldest hillside vineyards in Napa Valley and are located adjacent to the winery. They are utilized by the Schramsberg winemaking team to make J. Davies Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, a wine that has received both public and critical acclaim since its first release in 2004. In 2009, Hugh led the winemaking team into another new venture, producing the winery's first still Pinot Noir wines under the Davies Vineyards brand. The family's experience with Pinot Noir dates back to 1967, when Jack and Jamie Davies first used this elegant red varietal to make their inaugural vintage of Blanc de Noirs sparkling wine. Over the 45 years following that first use, Schramsberg's winemakers have built long-lasting relationships with some of the best Pinot Noir growers in the North Coast. Additionally, Hugh's vision and guidance has led initiatives to update the winery's production and bottling line facilities and completely renovate the visitor center to provide guests with the most memorable experience possible.

As his parents were, Hugh is dedicated to protecting the greater Napa County. He served on the board of directors for the Napa Valley Vintners (president, 2006), chaired the 2013 Premiere Napa Valley, and along with his family, chaired the 2004 Auction Napa Valley. In addition, Hugh and other advisers lead the Jack L. Davies Land Preservation Fund, committed to carrying on the efforts of his father to preserve the Napa Valley for its highest uses: agricultural and open space lands.

Continuing on a path that started 50 years ago, Hugh carries on with the family legacy living on the Schramsberg property with his lovely wife Monique and three sons Emrys, Nelson and Hugh Jr.

Country born: United States

Education: Hugh holds a master's degree in enology from the University of California, Davis, an undergraduate degree from Bowdoin College in Maine, and honing his skills at Moet et Chandon in Epernay, Petaluma Winery in South Australia, and Mumm Napa Valley.

Years in the wine industry: 30+ years

Winemaking Philosophy:
Hugh never rests on the successes of previous years, and is always looking to build upon the winery's venerable track record of producing award-winning sparkling wines that rival the best sparkling wines available worldwide. He has increased the number of vineyards that the winery sources grapes from to over 115 cool-climate sites across Carneros, Anderson Valley, and the Sonoma and Marin coasts; he championed the increased usage of barrel fermentation in the production process; and he expanded the small-lot base wine program to an impressive 250 lots of unique wines. These programs have provided the winemaking team with a much broader base of flavor profiles to utilize when ensuring the quality of the final blends of the 10-12 sparkling wines made each year.

Sean Thompson

Winemaker, Schramsberg Vineyards

Winemaker, Sean Thompson

Growing up in the diverse agricultural region of Sonoma County, Sean Thompson acquired a deep interest in the cultivation and preparation of the bounty that comes from the soil. This interest to live his life with a focus on agriculture led him to his first round at the University of California, Davis, earning a Bachelor's of Science degree in Chemistry in 1992, with 'minors' in tractor maintenance and bus/truck driving.

Upon his completion of his degree, Sean began a career in winemaking, starting with Beringer Vineyards at the old Italian Swiss Colony in Asti, California. Sean would build a strong foundation for his future, by continuing his enological exploration with the fermentation of red wines, by moving to Napa for a position at Rutherford Hill Winery.

Although rich in practical experience, Sean desired broadening his enology education through the educational system. He returned to the University of California, Davis in the fall of 2002, and soon earned his Masters of Science in Viticulture and Enology.

Upon graduation, Sean continued his growth at Staglin Family Estate in Rutherford, CA, working directly with Luc Morlet on estate-driven Cabernet Sauvignons. Sean joined the Schramsberg winemaking team in the summer of 2006, as the Assistant Winemaker for the J. Davies Diamond Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon program.

Sean was promoted to position of Head Winemaker of the still wine program in 2008, focusing on the production of the J. Davies Estate wines and the development of the broader Davies Vineyards brand. In addition to his duties as the red wine winemaker, he also had active participation in blending and dosage evaluation and complete oversight of bottling and disgorging or the sparkling wine program. In 2015, he was promoted to be the Senior Winemaker for both Davies and Schramsberg Vineyards brands, overseeing the production and winemaking of all wines produced.

Sean lives in Santa Rosa, with his wife, Megan, and his Dachshund-Boxer mix Buckminster Fuller. He enjoys spending time brewing beer, gardening, restoring automobiles and motorcycles, and working on his and other friend's house projects.

Country born: United States

Education: University of California, Davis, earning a Bachelor's of Science degree in Chemistry in 1992
University of California, Davis in the fall of 2002, Masters of Science in Viticulture and Enology.

Years in the wine industry: 20-30 years

Winemaking Philosophy:
Growing up in the diverse agricultural region of Sonoma County, Sean Thompson acquired a deep interest in the cultivation and preparation of the bounty that comes from the soil.

Southern Napa Fine Wine House

2304 Main Street
Daphne  AL  36526
251-375-2800

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