Sbragia Rancho del Oso Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
Full of power and grace, this wine leaps from the glass with ripe black fruit aromas – cherries, berries, plums – that dance across the palate at first sip. There's a chocolate note to the wine as well, and the overall first impression is of maraschino cherries rolled in cocoa powder. Supple and juicy, the wine's fine tannins and lively acidity provide structure. The Cabernet Franc, as well as oak-derived notes of spice and vanilla, add to the layered complexity and length of the wine.
The Wine Advocate - "From Howell Mountain, the dense purple-colored 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Rancho del Oso (an 1,800 foot elevation vineyard) is composed of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc. Sweet blackberry, black cherry, plum, anise and crushed rock aromas jump from the glass of this opaque purple-colored wine. Broad and full-bodied on the palate with hints of white chocolate and subtle oak/toast, it reveals terrific fruit, texture and opulence. Drink it over the next 20-25 years. "
International Wine Cellar - "Saturated deep ruby. Aromatic nose combines plum, cassis, dark chocolate, licorice and herbs. Deep dark fruit flavors are complicated by graphite, licorice and dried herbs, plus a hint of minerality. This shows firm acidity for Howell Mountain, along with sound ripeness and expressive aromatic character. Finishes suave and seamless, with a continuing mineral element. Much more satisfying than the 2006.
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 & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.