Wine as Thought: An Evening with the Scholium Project

Posted by Joe Salamone

Wine as Thought
Scholium Project
2010 Midan Al-Tahrir
2010 Prince in His Caves
2010 Chardonnay Michael Faraday
Chronicles of an Evening with Abe Schoener

You just never know what to expect from the Scholium Project. And that's part of the thrill of it...

We've proudly worked with the Scholium Project's wines since the store opened. Begun in 2000, Scholium remains one of the most thoughtful, outrageous and singular undertakings in wine.

If California is undergoing a renaissance, pursuing different grapes and styles that have been the norm, the Scholium Project has to be credited as one of the critical instigators of this re-thinking of the potential of Napa and its surrounds.

These wines are a revelation, in flavor, in texture, and in the possibilities of California winemaking.

Recently, the Crush staff sat down with Abe and a couple dozen Scholium wines. Today we present our three favorites; three white wines that cover an incredibly broad range of sites, varietals, textures and flavors.

For anyone interested in California winemaking at its most fascinating, these are all highly recommended.

Unlike most wineries, Scholium makes no claims (or even aims!) for consistency. Instead, they celebrate the uniqueness of each vintage. Therefore, some details are in order.

PLAYFUL & FUN: 2010 Midan Al-Tahrir
This was one of the favorite wines of the night, an unlikely blend of Verdelho, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Gewürtztraminer from points in Napa, Sonoma (including some fruit from Matthiasson) and beyond. A good part of the wine is skin-fermented, giving it a grippy, somewhat oily texture. Still, what is most prominent is a coating mid-palate with a playful mélange of stone fruits and a really complicated minerality. This is a beautiful wine at a great price.

MYSTERIOUS: 2010 Prince in His Caves
This has been one of our favorite bottlings for many years and it has become an iconic wine for the Scholium Project. This is a 100% skin-contact Sauvignon Blanc inspired by the great whites of northeastern Italy - think Gravner and Radikon and friends. This is such a complicated and mysterious wine, with intense herbal notes, fruit skins and honey. The 2010 edition is the freshest and most elegant version of the wine we've tasted.

PROFOUND: 2010 Michael Faraday Chardonnay
This was the wine that silenced many at the table - a hush fell over the room. This is a profound Chardonnay from the Michael Faraday vineyard and it is a forceful, blanketing wine that is uniquely savory and mineral - think of Ganevat and the whites of the Jura. The vineyard is incredibly stoney, and certainly a deep wet-rock minerality emerges from this wine. Yet, the wholeness, the textural completeness of this wine is what sets it apart. Stunning juice.

An evening with Abe and his wines is rarely forgotten. There are few in the wine world who speak as honestly, as clearly and insightfully about wine and the process of winemaking than founder/owner/winemaker Abe Schoener.

There are few wines that stretch your palate and your conception of what wines can be in the way in which Scholium wines can. All of these bottles are recommended for the experience as well as for the complexity and enjoyment within.

To order, reply to or call the store at (212)-980-9463.

Joe Salamone
Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits

Scholium Project