Sbragia Gamble Ranch Chardonnay 2008
Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
This rich 2008 Chardonnay announces from the get-go that it is not a shy wine. Tantalizing aromas and flavors of fresh lemon and apple cider mingle with notes of butterscotch, vanilla and freshly-baked bread. The wine is full-bodied, viscous and creamy in the mouth, but with a good backbone of acidity that keeps it in balance. An excellent wine for shellfish, or linguini in white clam sauce.
Wine Spectator - "Perfumed, with a delicate mix of citrus blossom, ripe and baked apple character. Full-bodied, with a touch of finesse and polish, ending with a spicy aftertaste. Drink now through 2017. 1,650 cases made."
Sbragia Family Vineyards
As the master winemaker at the famed Beringer winery in Napa for over 32 years, Ed Sbragia has made wine from every great vineyard in Northern California. Sbragia Family Vineyards is a dream Ed has had for many years, a small, family-owned winery making limited lots of wine from blocks of his favorite grapes, including his family's own Dry Creek vineyards. With his son Adam, Ed also focuses on extremely small production wines from spectacular sites, such as this 2005 Rancho Del Oso Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon. View all Sbragia Family Vineyards Wines
About Napa ValleyView a map of Napa Valley wineries
It's hard not to think of Napa Valley when thinking of California wines. The region is, after all, the one that brought world recognition to California wine making. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux Blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Notable FactsWithin the Napa Valley lie smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two is St.-Helena and finally, just grated an AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap and Mount Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.