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. For more information on Schug wines, visit our Schug Wine Ratings.
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.
Defines Carneros in its rich, nuanced aromas of fig, ripe peach, tangerine, nutmeg and oaky vanilla. Winemaker-induced complexities from barrel fermentation and lees aging. Tremendous depth of flavor, it just sings on the palate and is so rich and spicy. The ultralong finish is sweet and satisfying.
Specially selected lots account for this top-of-the-line bottling. It’s really very good. The fruit tends toward raspberries and cherries, and it’s smooth as silk in the mouth. The nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon and peppery notes last for a long time on the finish. The difference between this and the typical Carneros bottling is intensity; the fruit is more focused. It’s…
A complex, Bordeaux-style wine. Has currant, mint, vanilla, berry and plum aromas. Remarkably soft, almost lush, and delivers waves of berry, oak and spice flavors. Great extract and density. Contains 12% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Franc. An ager.
Complex aromas of peaches, pears and tropical fruits mingle with leesy, oaky notes and Oriental spices. The palate shows ripe, fruity flavors wrapped in a dense, creamy texture. Crisp acidity makes it bright and inviting.
What a terrific Merlot. Cool Carneros is a natural home to the variety, and this wine is so ripe in blackberry, cherry, coffee and leather flavors, and so dry and balanced. The tannins are pure and supple. All in all, it’s just a tremendously rewarding red wine.
What a great job Schug is doing with Bordeaux varieties. This is an extraordinarily rich Cab, with ripe blackberry flavors folded into thick, fine tannins. There’s a cut of acidity that brings balance, and will help the wine age for six years or so. Compared to Napa Cabs, it’s more structured and angular, but right up there.
If you’re looking for a Cabernet that has all the hallmarks of California cool-climate ripeness and balance, without demanding to be noticed for itself, try this one. It’s dry, elegant and juicy, teasing the palate with fruit, yet wisely pulls back at the last moment, so the food can star. The black currants and smoky oak will perfectly match a charred steak.