One of the storied houses in Napa, founders Koerner and Joan Rombauer moved to Napa Valley in 1972, and came from a family that had a great appreciation for food and wine. Koerner’s ancestors originated from the famed winegrowing region of Rheingau, Germany, where wine was constantly on the table. Rombauer Vineyards was established in 1980. The winery remains family-owned and operated by first, second and third-generation members of the family.
I’ve had the chance to visit Rombauer Vineyards on several occasions. The winery is set on a mountain in a lush setting. There are beautiful gardens everywhere, as the expansive property is one of a kind in Napa. I recently had the chance to review their new release red and white wines and found them to be highly impressive from these recent great vintages. One of the great values in white wine is the 2014 Rombauer Vineyards ‘Carneros’ Chardonnay (WWB, 93) which is a dense yet balanced Chard and is a wine to buy by the case. Their 2015 Sauvignon Blanc (WWB, 92) is another fantastic value, which shows bright acidity and fruit, which was hard to achieve during this very hot vintage. Head winemaker, Riche Allen, certainly knows how to craft great Chardonnay. He absolutely nailed his latest Sauvignon Blanc as well. For those who enjoy fruity and ready to enjoy Cabernet, his Cabernet releases are for you as well. Learn more about their fantastic wines at http://www.rombauer.com/ Here are the great new release wines from Rombauer Vineyards in Napa.
2014 Rombauer ‘Carneros’ Chardonnay- The 2014 Rombauer 'Carneros' Chardonnay is an excellent new release effort from this estate. This Chardonnay was sourced from Carneros vineyards owned by the Rombauer family and other growers including the Sangiacomo family. The wine was aged 9 months in French and American Oak (33% new) prior to bottling. This wine opens with bright aromas of poached pear, creme brûlée and ripe pineapple. This leads to flavors of Pazzaz apple, Meyer lemon zest with a rich cream finish. Superlative bottling here with a bright minerality. Drink 2016-2024- 93
2014 Rombauer 'Buchli Station Vineyard' Chardonnay- Rombauer has crafted a great single vineyard Chardonnay here. Needing about 30 mins in the decanter to develop, this limited production Chard starts with aromas of roasted pineapple, creme brûlée and lemon custard. There are flavors of pineapple upside down cake, nutmeg, creme brûlée and hints of toasted Marcona almonds. A slight saline streak to this wine that lingers on the palate. Having lovely texture and fruit weight, I could see this Chardonnay cellaring beautifully for another decade. Only 125 cases made of this great wine.. Drink 2016-2026- 93
2015 Rombauer Sauvignon Blanc- The 2015 Rombauer Sauvignon Blanc is one of the best of its kind at this price point. Coming from the earliest harvest in history, this wine was 90% fermented in stainless steel, while the rest was fermented in neutral French oak for three months and then placed back in steel. This wine opens with aromas of cut grass, jalepeno, unripe pear and Granny Smith apple. There are flavors of Gala apple, Japanese pear, gooseberry, starfruit, and lemon zest that sits alongside bright acidity. Gorgeous balance to this expressive Sav Blanc. This is absolutely perfect for a hot summer day. Drink 2016-2021- 92
2013 Rombauer 'El Dorado' Zinfandel- The El Dorado Vineyard is perched 1,650 feet above sea level in the Sierra Foothills and is known for its sandy soils that grow some great Zinfandel. This impressive new release wine begins with aromatics reminiscent of prune, red cherry, dill, sage and pipe tobacco. There are flavors of blackberry jam, roasted figs, and prune with gobs of milk chocolate. Gorgeous range here with lovely texture and complexity. This is delicious on its own. Drink 2016-2025- 92
2013 Rombauer Cabernet- Grapes for this wine were sourced from a host of vineyards in the Stags Leap District, Atlas Peak, Mount Veeder, St. Helena, Calistoga, Rutherford and Howell Mountain AVAs. This impressive bottling begins with aromatics of blackberry, anise, mocha and hints of creme de cassis. There are flavors reminiscent of anise, cassis, mocha and dried figs. Lovely length and balance. Drink 2016-2026- 91
2012 Rombauer 'Diamond Selection' Cabernet- This is a gorgeous and polished Cabernet by head winemaker Richie Allen. Grapes for this wine were sourced from the Howell Mountain, Stags Leap, Calistoga, Atlas Peak, and St. Helena AVAs. The wine was aged 18 months in 100% new French oak prior to bottling and is a blend of 85% Cabernet, 9% Merlot and 6% Petit Verdot. This impressive wine starts with aromas of black tea, blackberry, cassis and anise. There are flavors of blackberry, black tea, coffee grounds and black olive with black cherry. Fruit driven and balanced wine. Drink 2016-2030- 92