By Chris Gill
Fans of California’s Beringer wines may recognize the Sbragia name from several of their finest wines, including their outstanding Limited Release Chardonnay. Ed Sbragia left Beringer in 2008 after spending 32 years making wine for them to devote his efforts full-time to Sbragia Family Vineyards, which made its debut with the 2000 Rancho Del Oso Cabernet Sauvignon. Today, Sbragia Family Vineyards offers an impressive selection of Napa and Sonoma wines that include two Chardonnays, two Sauvignon Blancs, a Merlot, three Zinfandels, and six Cabernet Sauvignons.
I sampled several recent examples of Sbragia’s Cabernet Sauvignon wines during a recent visit to their winery in Geyserville, and my favorite was their 2007 Wall Vineyard, produced from grapes grown nearly 50 miles south of Geyserville on the Napa side of Mt. Veeder. This wine has the concentration and tannic structure that makes Napa’s mountain wines so appealing and age-worthy, but it also offers fresh, forward flavors of blackberry, cola, and cassis that provide plenty of drinking pleasure in its youth. The 2007 vintage was made from 89 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 11 percent Cabernet Franc, which gives the wine a fascinating Bordeaux-like complexity that will certainly deepen with age. Currently priced around $70 a bottle, this classy Cabernet is an incredible bargain.
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