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Sbragia Home Ranch Chardonnay 2012

ID No: 441936
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Trione Chardonnay River Road Ranch 2016

Rich aromas of baked apple, almonds and brown sugar foretell the mouth-filling flavors. A full, silky texture on the palate leads to a lingering, clean finish. This Chardonnay will age beautifully for another three to five years.

Review:

The 2016 Chardonnay River Road Ranch is redolent of honeydew melon, fuzzy peaches and spiced apples with touches of almond pastry and beeswax. Medium to full-bodied, the palate delivers a lot of ripe, rich fruit, with just enough freshness and a nice, long, savory finish. 997 cases produced. - Wine Advocate 90 Points

 Wine Advocate: 90
Gamba Zinfandel Family Ranches 2012

Sourced from several sites in the heart of the Russian River Valley, the grapes are vinified in our traditional style; with an extended soaking period. The vineyard lots were fermented on the natural indigenous yeasts, each lot fermented separately to highlight the distinctive characteristics and unique distinct flavor profiles of this world famous growing region. Dark ruby-garnet in color, this classic Russian River Zinfandel shows aromas of boysenberry, raspberry, brown spices, and pepper. Medium to full-bodied, the Family Ranches Zinfandel is balanced with excellent acidity: a powerful, rich and concentrated wine, with flavors of nectarine, cherry and raspberry that build through the lingering finish. This lovely wine can be enjoyed now, and will continue to develop with bottle age over the next several years. 

Loring Keefer Ranch Pinot Noir 2012

Doug Wilder (Purely Domestic Wine Report) 94 Points

"Offers focused black fruits with notes of licorice and florals in the nose. The palate shows excellent balance and finesse with lilac, dark cherry and spice, elegantly proportioned. Riveting wine."

100% destemmed and crushed.
Fermented in small (0.75 ton) fermenters.
Three to six day cold soak and then inoculated with Assmanshausen yeast.
One punchdown a day (by hand).
Pressed directly to barrel.
Racked once after ML completed.

You've heard the hype... but is 2012 really that good? With regards to Californian Pinot Noir, Jim Laube's comment in the Feb 28, 2013 Wine Spectator was: "The 2012 vintage should be stunning, perhaps the best yet." But is Jim right?

In a word: YES! So far, based on how the fruit looked when it came in from the vineyards and from how the wines taste in barrel, I think it's safe to say that 2012 will easily be considered one of the best vintages for Cali Pinot - if not (as Jim says) The Best Ever. Near perfect weather and decent yields combined to create both great wines and reasonable supply. We haven't seen that combination since 2009, which is the vintage I think the 2012s will most resemble. And if you remember our 2009s, that's definitely a very good thing. And we're another year better at doing what we do. So it's not a stretch to say Best Ever for 2012 this early in the game.

All meats ranging from traditional Pinot pairings (such as Salmon, Ahi Tuna, Pork, and Duck) to heartier fare such as Beef and Lamb.

 


Review:

"You'll find fantastically ripe black and red cherry, cola, licorice, tobacco and spice flavors in this dry, medium-bodied Pinot. But it's not really drinkable now because the tannins are too tough. Grown in one of the region's most celebrated vineyards, it needs until 2019 or 2020 to begin its aging curve. — S.H."

- Wine Enthusiast Magazine (May 1st 2014), 92 pts + Cellar Selection

 Wine Enthusiast: 92
Product Description

The family vineyards are my father’s legacy and Adam and I get so much joy from crafting wines from our Home Ranch. A mix of stone and tropical fruits – peaches, pears, mangoes, pineapple – is evident in both the aromas and flavors, along with hints of honeysuckle and roasted almond.

"Even better, the 2012 Chardonnay Home Ranch’s alcohol came in a full degree higher than the 2011's, and the wine hits the palate with a much larger tactile impression. Abundant aromas of white peach, apricot marmalade and pineapple soar from this full-bodied, pure, rich, well-made wine. It sells for a song given its quality. Enjoy it over the next 2-3 years." Wine Advocate 92 Points

Winery: Sbragia Family Vineyards

Sbragia Family Vineyards Estate

Sbragia Family Vineyards is located in the beautiful Dry Creek Valley and is where winemakers, Ed and Adam Sbragia, make their limited production wine. A third generation Dry Creek Valley vintner, Ed is well known for his position as Winemaster at Beringer Vineyards in Napa. He began working at Beringer in 1976, working under legendary winemaker, Myron Nighingale. During his career, Ed has become one of California’s most talented and respected winemakers. The Sbragia family history runs deep in the Dry Creek Valley. Ed’s grandfather came to the valley from Tuscany in 1904, where he worked in wineries, starting at the Italian Swiss Colony. Ed’s father, Gino, acquired his own vineyards near Healdsburg, growing zinfandel grapes for sale and home winemaking. "He made excellent wine," says Ed, "and he taught me that making wine is a very natural process – that good grapes and good techniques will always make good red wine."

In 2001, Ed created his own label, Sbragia Family Vineyards, to focus on making limited, individual lots of wine from grapes grown in select blocks of his favorite vineyards in Dry Creek, Napa, and Sonoma. Five of the wines, including Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot and two Zinfandels, are sourced from Sbragia family-owned estate vineyards that range in size from five to thirteen acres. Like his tenure with Beringer, Ed continues to make “big reds,” including Cabernets from Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Sonoma Mountain and Alexander Valley. The wines all exhibit Ed’s distinctive and acclaimed style – big, rich, balanced and polished.

The Sbragia Family Vineyard

At Sbragia Family Vineyards, we source grapes from about 50 acres of family-owned vineyards the Sbragias have been farming for over 100 years in Historic Dry Creek Valley. Ed & Adam also purchase grapes from their favorite vineyards throughout Sonoma and Napa Valleys. I’ve always had one foot in Sonoma and the other in Napa. Both areas mean a lot to me emotionally. I’m more attached to Dry Creek because it’s where I raised my kids. But the wines that I’ve made at Beringer are like children, so Napa is also a very special place to me.

Dry Creek Valley:
Dry Creek Valley, a premium winegrowing region, is located in Northern Sonoma County, California, only an hour north of the Golden Gate Bridge/San Francisco.
Renowned for its idyllic undisturbed beauty, Dry Creek Valley is home to over 9,000 acres of vineyards that carpet the intimate 16-mile long x 2-mile wide valley, floor to hillside. With a grape growing history going back 140 years – one of the longest in California – producing premium winegrapes is core to this region. In fact, the valley boasts one of the densest concentrations of Old Vine Zinfandel in the world.

Alexander Valley:
Located at the northern end of Sonoma County, the Alexander Valley is 22 miles long and varies in width from two to seven miles. On the hillsides to the east and west, and adjacent to the beautiful Russian River winding along the valley floor, the valley is home to a diversity of microclimates that support the growth of many wine grape varieties including Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and many more.

Sonoma Valley:
The Sonoma Valley AVA centers on the Sonoma Valley (also known as The Valley of the Moon) in the southern portion of the county. The appellation is bordered by two mountain ranges: the Mayacamas Mountains to the east and the Sonoma Mountains to the west.
Along with being the area where so much of Sonoma County's winemaking history took place, the area is known for its unique terroir, with Sonoma Mountain protecting the area from the wet and cool influence of the nearby Pacific Ocean. 
One finds a wide disparity between valley floor and mountain soils; those found in flatter, valley areas tend to be quite fertile, loamy and have better water-retention while the soils at higher elevations are meager, rocky and well-drained. In general, the structure, rather than the composition of the soil, is the deciding factor where grape plantings are concerned.

Napa Valley:
Though just 30 miles long and a few miles wide, Napa Valley is home to diverse microclimates and soils uniquely suited to the cultivation of a variety of fine wine grapes. Among the internationally acclaimed wines produced in this small region are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel and Cabernet Franc.

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Marcassin Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2013

Marcassin Sonoma Coast Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay. 


The 2013 Chardonnay Marcassin Vineyard may be even better. Notes of caramelized citrus, hazelnut, apple blossom, lemon oil and orange marmalade are all present in this wine of dazzling aromatic and flavor dimension. It is full-bodied, again shows some wet pebbles (which I equate with minerality), vibrant acidity, and no real evidence of any oak. Much like the 2012, the finish goes on for 45+ seconds. This is another killer Chardonnay from Helen Turley and John Wetlaufer. -Wine Advocate 100 Points

What an extraordinary tasting this was at the Marcassin winery just north of Santa Rosa in Sonoma County. Just when you think the duo of Helen Turley and John Wetlaufer can’t make greater wines, they bowl over the taster with an array of exquisite quality that really must be tasted to be believed. Marcassin was probably California’s greatest Chardonnay after the famous Chalone winery fell from the pinnacle and onto hard times in the 1980s (and it has yet to rebound). Moreover, Marcassin set the bar for great Pinot Noir as well. And while both their Chardonnay and Pinot Noir have many competitors these days (from the likes of Harford Court, Mark Aubert, Kistler, Kongsgaard, DuMol, Thomas Brown, Peter Michael, Martinelli and Luc Morlet, to name a few), John Wetlaufer and Helen Turley remain the reigning geniuses of these two varietals in California. Certainly, their meticulous attention to detail in both the vineyard and in the winemaking and élevage account for the quality, but they were among the pioneers who saw the unlimited potential from the Sonoma Coast, now a relatively crowded neighborhood. This was a remarkable tasting that simply blew me away, and I have been following their wines since the first Marcassins were made in the early 1990s. By the way, any doubts about aging potential should be crushed immediately, as even in the most challenging vintages in California, Marcassin Chardonnays and Pinots have aged as well as, if not better than just about any grand cru white Burgundy. For example, 1995 and 1996 Chardonnays, particularly those from the Lorenzo Vineyard, are incredibly youthful and dynamic, and the Marcassin Estate Pinot Noir, even from vintages such as 1998, is simply amazing. The three Chardonnays tasted include two perfect wines. Perhaps the closest comparison is not to anything made in California, but a Corton-Charlemagne in a top vintage from the famous Jean François Coche-Dury.



 Wine Advocate: 100