I have long admired the wines of Ed Sbragia. One of the iconic producers of new world Chardonnay, Ed Sbragia has a longstanding history in the California wine industry, having been previous winemaker at Beringer before starting his namesake winery. But his roots are planted long before that as his family migrated from Tuscany in 1904 and worked in many wineries including the historic Italian Swiss Colony. For decades his family grew prunes like most farms in Dry Creek Valley at the time, and in the 1950s Ed’s father, Gino Sbragia, re-planted the fields to winegrapes, mainly Zinfandel, which Ed helped tend all throughout his youth. After 32 years in winemaking at Beringer Vineyards, he finally opened his own winery in 2006 and has been met with great critical acclaim since that time. Having met Ed on several occasions at wine events I have found him to be incredibly down to earth despite his success as one of the great producers of new world Chardonnay.
One of the great California Chardonnays that I have reviewed in the past year, the 2015 Sbragia ‘Gamble Ranch’ Chardonnay (WWB, 94) is deep and voluptuous with an incredible mouthfeel and texture. This is your Chardonnay for all Cabernet lovers. The Cabernet wines also shined, none more so than the gorgeous 2014 Sbragia ‘Monte Rosso Vineyard’ Cabernet Sauvignon (WWB, 94) which wonderfully shows off this very special mountain vineyard with delightful dark fruits and earthy terroir. This stunner will cellar well for the next two decades. Learn more about this fantastic winery at https://www.sbragia.com Here are the beautiful new wines by Sbragia Family Vineyards.
2018 Sbragia Family Vineyards ‘Home Ranch’ Chardonnay- The 2018 Sbragia Family Vineyards ‘Home Ranch’ Chardonnay is a seriously good effort from famed winemaker Ed Sbragia. On the nose this grabs your attention with baked pear, marzipan and shades of lemon cream that all fill the glass. The bright acidity is lovely here as lemon creme brûlée, ripe pineapple and shades of butterscotch flavors all enter the fray. While a delight to savor in its youth this excellent wine will cellar well for a decade or more, picking up earthy tertiary notes as it evolves. Drink 2019-2029- 91
2015 Sbragia Family Vineyards ‘Gamble Ranch’ Chardonnay- The Sbragia ‘Gamble Ranch’ Chardonnay is a stunning effort from this warm vintage in the Napa Valley. This golden hued wine begins with bananas foster and toasted brioche with shades of white pink grapefruit blossom on the nose. The palate has an incredible viscosity and texture also showing good verve. Intense butterscotch with salted praline and caramel soaked pineapple. The texture to the wine is downright ethereal. Intense and marvelous in its youth, this beautiful Chardonnay will evolve well for a decade or more. Drink 2019-2032- 94
2014 Sbragia Family Vineyards ‘Godspeed’ Cabernet Sauvignon- Sourced from the Mt. Veeder AVA in the Napa Valley, the ‘Godspeed’s is a simply gorgeous new wine by the famed winemaker Ed Sbragia. The heady aromatics really entice with mocha, tar, anise and shades of creme de cassis that all cascade together in the glass. The wine unveils a polished, silky texture, showing off gobs of dark fruits that mingle with dark chocolate shavings, dusty terroir, pipe tobacco and espresso bean flavors. Outstanding in its youth, this wine will have an exceedingly long life in the cellar. Drink 2019-2038- 93
2015 Sbragia Family Vineyards ‘Andolsen Vineyard’ Cabernet Sauvignon- Located in the Dry Creek Valley AVA, the Andolsen Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is a beautiful new wine by Sbragia. Highly perfumed, the wine unveils energetic rose petal and black licorice aromas that combine with chocolate and herbal undertones on the nose. The palate is soft and decadent, showing a bright sense of minerality and a soft mouthfeel. Cassis, tar, mocha and anise flavors all dance together on the palate. While marvelous now, this will evolve well over the next fifteen years. Drink 2019-2033- 93
2014 Sbragia Family Vineyards ‘Monte Rosso Vineyard’ Cabernet Sauvignon- One of the great historic sites for Cabernet Sauvignon, the Monte Rosso Vineyard is located in the Moon Mountain AVA and was first planted in the 1880s. The nose is quite high toned with red and dark fruits that connect with exotic spices and dusty terroir that all connect nicely in the glass. The palate is plush, yet the wine delivers an incredible balance and harmony. Red and dark fruits dance with minerals, Asian spices and shades of black licorice on the palate. A delight to enjoy in its youth, this will evolve well over the next two decades. Drink 2019-2039- 94