A gorgeous nose of blackberry, cedar, and cinnamon opens seamlessly into the robust yet elegant palate. Rich cassis, licorice, and cinnamon-toast flavors abound and the mouthfeel is suave. The tangy finish shows dusty tannins, big chocolate and black-cherry flavors. Well structured, it needs three to five years; should age well.
From 1973 to 1983, Walter Schug made some of the most memorable Cabernet Sauvignons and Bordeaux-style blends in California history while Winemaker for Joseph Phelps Vineyards in the Napa Valley. His own Bordeaux blend exhibits the same finesse, intensity and ageability that have made his earlier wines rare and valuable collector’s items. This complex wine has dense color and structure and features bright aromas of violets and blueberries, with ripe fruit flavors reminiscent of cherries, chocolate and cassis. Nicely integrated tannins and oak give it a rich texture and a long and elegant finish. It drinks well on release paired with rich meats and cheeses, however this wine will continue to improve with additional cellaring for up to 10 years.
Schug Carneros Estate Winery was founded in 1980 by Walter Schug—the former winemaker for Joseph Phelps Vineyards during the 1970s—and his wife, Gertrude. The couple established the winery on a 50-acre parcel in California’s cool-climate Carneros District. In 1995, Mike Cox joined the team as assistant winemaker; the following year he was promoted to winemaker, a position he still holds today. Schug’s portfolio predominantly consists of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, but the winery also produces Merlot, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and sparkling wine.