Schug Winery 'Cuvee Elisabeth' Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2011
A blockbuster just in time for the summer from the great Schug Winery known for its Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir! This is a mighty special Pinot Noir from Schug that is named after Walter’s granddaughter-Elisabeth. When visiting Schug Estate, we are always struck by the unique cool breeze consistently blowing through the Petaluma Gap, keeping their estate vineyards and those of their famous neighbors at the ideal temperature for growing Pinot Noir. The owner and winemaker of Schug, Walter Schug, is known as one of Napa’s most famed winemakers as he was the winemaker at Phelps for 10 years and made 10 vintages of Phelps Insignia. He also was the winemaker for legendary single vineyard properties and helped make the reputation of the Bacchus and Eisele vineyards. Schug made this Reserve-tier cuvee from 4 top vineyards including Stage Gulch and the Sangiacomo vineyards. With saving of $64 on a four-pack, it is a compelling offering. Take advantage of this special, as this will be a highly sought after offering that will sell out quickly!
By Jonathan H. Newman*
Schug 2011 Cuvee Elisabeth Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
UNIT SIZE: 750.00 ml
VARIETAL: Pinot Noir
GRAPE: Pinot Noir
COUNTRY: United States
REGION: Sonoma Coast
ALCOHOL CONTENT: 13.50%
Walter Schug is a true pioneer of the California wine industry and in addition to help making the name of Phelps winery, the Eisele and Bacchus Vineyards, he has grown his namesake winery into a solid producer of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, with his son Axel helping to continue the tradition. This 2011 Sonoma Coast Elisabeth’s Cuvee has fruit from their top vineyard sites including their own Estate, Sangiacomo, Stage Gulch and Ricci. When I visited the winery and sampled with the winemaker and Axel Schug, we tasted some very nice Pinots from the 80s and 90s that are incredibly still holding up well. This wine is meant to highlight the vibrant fruit profile so there is a gentle hand on the oak profile. Fresh aromas of primarily red fruit especially cherries and raspberries. Nice acidity with a silky fruit profile, and will pair particularly well with a diversity of foods. On the palette, dark raspberries, cranberry, pomegranate, and nutmeg. Enjoy now and over the next several years. Pair with roast long island duckling in a plum sauce, game hens, veal medallions in a mushroom sauce, and wild salmon with green onions and ginger. It was released on April 24, 2013 and less than 1,000 cases were produced.
By Schug Winery
Schug 2011 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir Cuvee Elisabeth
Vineyards: 52% Stage Gulch; 18% Ricci; 17% Sangiacomo; 13% Estate
Appellation: Sonoma Coast
Harvest Dates: September 28th through October 11th, 2011
Sugar at Harvest: 24.1 degrees Brix average
Fermentation: Stainless Steel Tank with pump over 2-4 times daily, followed by malolactic fermentation in neutral oak casks.
Aging/Cooperage: Neutral oak casks, stainless steel, and neutral 60 gallon French oak barrels
Alcohol: 13.50% by volume
Acidity: TA = 0.63 g/100ml; pH = 3.61
Production: 1,500 cases (12 x 750ml)
Release Date: April 1st, 2013
Cuvee Elisabeth honors Walter Schug’s granddaughter Elisabeth Schug. The grapes for this lively wine come from distinct microclimates of the Sonoma Coast AVA include the western portion of Carneros and the Petaluma Gap. The cool climate and low yield of these vineyards allow Pinot Noir grapes to mature slowly while retaining their natural acidity, resulting in a balanced wine with bright flavors, silky texture and crisp acidity. This Pinot Noir exhibits flavors of tart cherries, raspberries and spice. Lively acidity on the finish makes it an ideal accompaniment to grilled fish and fowl or barbecued meats.
[Info provided by J.H.N.]
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.
By Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
2011 Schug Cellars Pinot Noir
A Pinot Noir Dry Red Table wine from Carneros/Sonoma, Los Carneros, North Coast, California, USA
Wine Advocate #210
Price: $20-$32 (30)
The dark ruby-hued 2011 Pinot Noir Carneros exhibits a smoky, herbal component intermixed with sweet, ripe, cherry fruit, then the wine falls off slightly on the palate. Typical of the vintage, it is a charming, essentially front end-loaded, superficial Pinot. Drink it over the next 2-4 years.
Tel. (707) 939-9363
*Jonathan Newman was Wine Enthusiasts’ Man of the Year. He also was Chairman of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, and received national recognition in Marvin Shanken’s Market Watch Magazine and many other international wine publications. He was also awarded the Guild of Sommeliers highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award. Mr. Newman's reviews have been published and quoted extensively online and in print. He travels extensively to many of the major wine growing regions and evaluates many of the wines we source from smaller and boutique wineries. We interact closely with him and the result is his rejection rate of over 96% of the wines evaluated.