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ProducerScholium Project (web)
DesignationThe Sylphs
VineyardGuman Vineyard
SubRegionNapa Valley
OptionsShow neither variety nor appellation

Drinking Windows and Values
Drinking window: Drink between 2006 and 2030 (based on 1 user opinion)
Wine Market Journal quarterly auction price: See Scholium Project White Sylphs Guman on the Wine Market Journal.

Community Tasting History

Community Tasting Notes (average 91.6 pts. and median of 92 pts. in 14 notes) - hiding notes with no text

 Tasted by griffin'sdad on 1/7/2014 & rated 78 points: over the hill (724 views)
 Tasted by swillpower on 1/13/2013: The take-home lesson from this bottling: Sylphs needs crazy air time to show its stuff. Like five hours or more. By this time, it is a dizzying potpourri of hazelnuts, apples, resin, acetic, peanut brittle, all sorts of fun. The texture is maybe the nicest part...just creamy, soothing, enveloping. Feels like it should be sweet, but it is totally dry, with righteous acid to back it all up. A thrill ride of a wine, inviting discussion and meditation. (1009 views)
 Tasted by Burgundy Al on 2/4/2012 & rated 90 points: Another Saturday at Knightsbridge - mostly blind (Northbrook, IL): An exotic, eccentric wine. Rich, lush fruit that shows a slightly oxidized character with intense spice. i thought there was a sense of botrytis, but most others disagreed Super concentrated and powerful. Very interesting. Stands up well to its (declared) 15.5% alcohol well. (1638 views)
 Tasted by griffin'sdad on 9/8/2011 & rated 85 points: Previous bottles a lot more alive than this last. (1304 views)
 Tasted by ews3 on 11/1/2010 & rated 91 points: Scholium Tasting (Trestle on Tenth, NYC): honey and smoke dominate on this with a very rich mouthfeel. some oxidation already. lovely flavor and nose -- the mouthfeel gets a little flabby and could use some acid to carry it through to the finish. (1465 views)
 Tasted by jrobs7777 on 11/1/2010 & rated 92 points: Scholium Off-Line (Trestle on 10th (NYC)): Slightly oxidized character. Some salinity. Smoky. There are some secondary chardonnay notes buried down there though. Candied fruit, brown sugar. Really nice flavor profile. (1774 views)
 Tasted by Sedimentary on 8/26/2009 & rated 95 points: Phenomenal bottle, honeyed, acidic, cutting, cleansing. Weightless mouthfeel. Barely oaked. (1238 views)
 Tasted by superuser on 4/8/2007 & rated 99 points: The best Cali white I've had! I lost my notes and could only remember the takeaway... (2189 views)
 Tasted by mattowan on 4/22/2006 & rated 99 points: One of the best Chards I've ever had the good fortune to have. Beautiful nose of honey and a hint of flowers. On the palate long, luscious fruit with no hint of oak, nor neat. I challenge anyone to find a flaw. Nealy perfect. This baby will drink well for years. I wish I had another. (2748 views)
 Tasted by Purduke on 4/8/2006 & rated 93 points: Medium straw color with an immediate, big tropical nose. Initial fear that the nose\color indicated an overly alcoholic wine; reminiscent of some 12 year old Kistlers that I let get away from me. Similar worrisome first taste, with intense tropical and white peach flavors and an almost "overblown" viscosity in the mouth. But then, after a couple aggressive swirls (I had not decanted) the acidity came to the fore to balance the fruit and while all the fruit intensity remained the objectionable viscosity disappeared and the wine showed surprising lightness in the mouth. Even danced a little, and started to pick up some nuance. Young Batard-type intensity; interesting to see if it develops further nuance. Food may have been the key; paired with a Chicken Kiev with noticible garlic and red pepper in the breading; and seasoned, roasted potatoes. Immediate thought is this is a Thanksgiving wine; able to tackle the turkey\stuffing and other tastes. I wonder about the agibility, although the acid saved it this evening. (2573 views)
 Tasted by J @ y H @ c k on 2/17/2006 & rated 96 points: This wine was incredible. The complex nuttiness that you get in a well-made chardonnay with zero intrusive oak. Significantly better than the 2001 Kistler Vine Hills that got such high praise. Reminded me of the top end white burgundies. An Burgundy importer who tasted it with me used words like "Chevalier Montrachet" to describe it. (2568 views)
 Tasted by mattowan on 1/8/2006 & rated 90 points: Pear and mango on the nose with a nice gold color. Not as impressive as the Glos in my opinion. Still a rather light chardonnay with an impressive strong, though not longlasting finish. (2651 views)
 Tasted by zazim on 12/10/2005 & rated 96 points: Move aside Kongsgaard and Aubert, this is a seriously good Chardonnay. Light straw color, great viscosity. Incredibly rich nose with hints of tropical fruit and citrus. On the palate, loads of fruit, but nicely balanced by a strong dose of acidity. I expect this wine will have a long life. My favorite Chardonnay of 2005. It is a shame that only 89 cases of this wine were produced.

From a one acre vineyard planted by Nathan Fay in the 1970’s. (3022 views)

Professional 'Channels'
By Stephen Tanzer
Vinous, May/June 2006, IWC Issue #126
(The Scholium Project Chardonnay Sylphs Guman Vineyard) Subscribe to see review text.
NOTE: Scores and reviews are the property of Vinous. (manage subscription channels)

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Scholium Project

Producer Website

The aim of my winemaking is an activity; or more properly, a set and series of activities. The first set of acitivites is the winemaking itself, from studying and attending to the vineyard, to imagining when to pick the grapes, to smelling the fermentation begin . . . and on to bringing the wine to bottle. The making of the wine is, in this sense, an end in itself.

But wine has the remarkable ability to preserve within itself not only the character of a vineyard, a growing season, a fermentation– but it does so in a way that is portable. You can put it in a bottle and give it to a friend, or set it adrift in the vast sea of the market, so that it finds itself eventually in the hands, on the table, of a perfect stranger.

This possibility raises a second set of activities– those that are separate and beyond the making of the wine iteself. These are the activities that the wine can inspire and engender in others who drink it.
Beyond the essential bacchic activities that almost any wine can inspire, I have three particular ones in mind: the wines should make one feel and think of complexity. Not the complexity of arguments or syllogisms, but this kind of complexity: imagine the flat asphalt of a new mall's parking lot. Imagine the same asphalt cracked and broken after years of weathering, traffic, ground shifting underneath it. The pointless complexity of these cracks can be a feast for the eyes, even if it means nothing. The wines should present a similar complexity for their consumer to feast on.

The wines should make one sense decay, decomposition, transformation. The wines should be so distinctly wine and not fruit that one can sense both the yeast and the bacteria, on the one hand, and the passage of time, on the other hand, that transformed the unspoiled fruit into a new substance. The wines must capture and preserve decay and age.

The wines should make you happy that you are drinking them.


Specificity of vineyards: our fruit comes from the small vineyards of individual farmers. These vineyards offer sites or farming practices, or both, that cannot be duplicated. For this reason, each wine is a single-vineyard bottling and bears the name of its vineyard. We work very closely with each farmer as partner rather than client. The winemaking is inevitably guided by the fruit that the vineyard produces; but the winemaker may reciprocally influence the farming of the vineyards. But much more important than influencing, or much worse, shaping, the vineyard to the winemaker's needs– much more important is to discover excellence in the vineyard and then attend to and exalt it.

Husbandry of microbes: once we have harvested the fruit, our prime task is husbanding the microbial population of our wines. We do this by interfering as little as possible in the spontaneous development of a natural (if invisible) ecology in our fermenting wine. We do not sterilize the must, we do not add commercial yeasts. If the developing system veers toward winemaking disaster, we intervene. If not, we add and take away nothing. We observe the developing system through the signs available to our senses: we taste, we smell, we measure temperature. We punch down, pumpover, and sometimes chill the must to delay or slow down a given activity–but outside of these activities, we do nothing to interfere in the development of a stable and complex living system in our wines.

Undisturbed maturation: in general, the flavors that we seek in our wines come from ripe fruit, long macerations, and long maturation in barrel. When one of our wines demands by its own nature a variation from these principles, we vary (see the 2004 Glos). Otherwise, we seek to transmute the fruit, not to preserve it. We seek not the primary aromas of the freshly-sliced apple or the just-bitten plum, but the secondary and tertiary aromas of rose petals, chocolate, roast coffee, dried fruits, hung game, old leather, dried mushrooms, a broken firecracker. These aromas depend most of all on the undisturbed elevation of the wine in barrel. No sulfur is added in barrel, the wines are topped seldom, and they remain in barrel until they develop a ripeness that is peculiar to wine, not fruit. During this period of maturation, the microbes reach equilibrium and the wine become used to air. The result are wines that are sturdy and prone neither to bacterial spoilage nor to oxidation. They are used to, and have overcome, these threats before they ever make it into bottle. The wines that did not survive this rigorous elevage never see a bottle. They disappear.

Vineyard designation: the foundation of these wines is the vineyard that produces each one. The winemaking is very much the same for each wine. The character of the vineyard and the microbiology of the barrels each dwarfs the range of possible characteristics suggested by various varietals. For this reason, varietal designation has seemed insignificant for this project. A given wine is not a "cab" or a "merlot" in this project; it is a Tenbrink or a Hudson. Typical designations of appelation are not useful here for similar reasons. One wine is not "Napa" in character, while another is "Monterey." The specificity of the vineyard is so much more significant than the appelation that we avoid such a general (and non-specific) designation. On the other hand, the realm in which all of the project's vineyards are found is the dream-world of California. For this reason, all of the wines bear the California appelation and a single vineyard designation.


Chardonnay on Appellation America


WineAmerica (National Association of American Wineries) | Free the Grapes!


California Wines (Wine Institute of California)

California is one of the most diverse wine regions in the world, with almost 100 grape varieties grown in over 100 viticultural areas, including dozens of ­different microclimates and soil types, as well as a very individualistic set of ­winemakers, many with international experience, which adds to and deepens that diversity.

Napa Valley

Napa Valley Wineries and Wine (Napa Valley Vintners) | Article in CellarTracker

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