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Sbragia Rancho del Oso Cabernet Sauvignon 2002

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
  • WE95
  • RP90
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Winemaker Notes

"...This is a fabulous Cabernet, drinkable now but with the structure to age for many years..."
-Wine Enthusiast Cellar Selection

Critical Acclaim

WE 95
Wine Enthusiast

True to its mountain appellation, this is a big, dark, young tannic wine. It is dramatically lush in black currant and chocolate fruit, seasoned with 100% new French oak. The tannins have been wrestled into soft, lush compliance. This is a fabulous Cabernet, drinkable now but with the structure to age for many years.

RP 90
The Wine Advocate

The more backward 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon Rancho Del Oso is a longer-term prospect. It reveals lots of wet gravel, graphite, black currant and black raspberry notes intermixed with a steely, herbal, mountain laurel character, and medium to full-bodied, gritty tannins in the finish.
Rating: 90+

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Sbragia

Sbragia Family Vineyards

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Sbragia Family Vineyards, , California
Sbragia
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.

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism, the Napa Valley is the AVA that brought worldwide recognition to California winemaking. 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.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two are St.-Helena and the valley's newest 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 District, and Mt. Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

SWS127666_2002 Item# 86334

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