Vail Valley Finds from the Vine:Wine for Easter eats
VAIL, Colorado Easter is on the way to Colorado’s Vail Valley, and from a purely wine standpoint, this is an excuse to pop open some lovely sparkling wine. As you likely know already, only sparkling wine from the Champagne region in France should be called Champagne. The best sparkling wine producer in America is Schramsberg, a winery outside Calistoga first established in 1862 by Jacob Schram. After Jacob died in 1905, a succession of owners resulted in the property closing in 1960. The Davies family re-established the winery in 1965, specializing in sparkling wine. The 2005 Schramsberg Blanc de Noirs is a dry, white sparkling wine made primarily from pinot noir. Winemakers Hugh Davies and Craig Roemer blend 10 percent Chardonnay into the mix, barrel ferment around 20 percent of the wine, then bottle age the wine for two years on its lees. This combination of processes gives the Schramsberg Blanc de Noirs a crisp but rich body, with pear, Fuji apple, light dried cherry, almond and even ginger flavors. A lightly toasty note and perfect balance between crisp acidity and rich body make this wine a great pair with many foods. In particular, drink this with crab or lobster, aged Parmesan and Gouda, grouper and halibut, and honey-glazed ham.The 2005 Schramsberg Blanc de Noirs is $36. Hugh Davies, promoted to president of Schramsberg in 2005, uses grapes from Anderson Valley, Carneros and the Sonoma Coast, all cool regions that give the final wine its lovely crispness and clean fruit flavors. This sparkling wine is great now, and will age for five to 10 years nicely.Jarrett Osborn in the wine buyer at Riverwalk Wine & Spirits in Edwards.