In our Report #48 The Wines of Los Carneros we identified several wineries crafting outstanding Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs and other varieties One of these wineries was the Schug Carneros Estate Winery, the family operation of Walter and Gertrud Schug, originally from Germany. Prior to establishing his winery in 1989, Walter had worked for Gallo and Joseph Phelps where he made Insignia and the single vineyard Eisele and Bachus wines. In Los Carneros he was a pioneer of Pinot Noir, producing wines of elegance and refinement and sourcing grapes from his own estate and neighboring vineyards. Walter Schug passed away in 2015 at the age of 80, but his winery continues to produce excellent Pinot Noir and other varieties at amazing quality-price ratios, as exhibited in these three releases.
Schug 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Los Carneros ($30) 90 This is a lovely serviceable Cabernet Sauvignon featuring aromatic black and red berry fruit. On the palate it is soft and concentrated with pleasant blackcurrant flavors, good acidity and freshness and a perfumed finish. Great price, too.
Schug 2016 Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast ($25) 91 The 2016 Pinot Noir offers a beautiful nose of fresh red cherry fruit with a touch of wood spice. It reveals a silky palate and delicious red cherry flavors with a touch of raspberry on the palate. Aged in large neutral oak casks, it shows good balance, lively acidity, and a firm finish. A lovely cool climate Pinot Noir sourced from several Sonoma Coast vineyards. Excellent value.
Schug 2016 Pinot Noir, Carneros ($30) 92 This is our favorite Schug Pinot Noir. Blended from several vineyard lots, including the outstanding Sangiacomo Vineyard, this Pinot Noir exhibits excellent aromas and flavors of spicy dark cherry and raspberry fruit enriched by aging for 11 months in neutral oak. It exhibits excellent balance and acidity and a long satisfying finish. Superb value.