94 Insider Points
Ed Sbragia Doesn't Mess Around
When it comes to wine at least. Between his Sbragia labels and his smaller lot productions like we have here in his Mt. Veeder Cabernet, Ed continually pumps out stellar wines.
Black fruit and strong tobacco on the nose. Cassis, blueberry, cinnamon, oak with ripe tannin, grippy texture. raspberry and plum through the finish with a dash of tobacco popping out right at the end. A prime example of Napa Cab, ready to drink and can age another 5 years. 94 Points - JZ Sept '18
Cabernet Sauvignon,Cabernet Franc,Petit Verdot
Mt. Veeder, Napa Valley
If any single human has left a permanent mark on the California wine industry Ed Sbragia is the one. In the course of his 40-plus-year career, Sbragia has achieved what no other powerhouse talent could match as the only winemaker to make both a red and a white wine picked as The Wine Spectator's Wine of the Year.
Not one to rest on his previous laurels (or to rest—at all!), Sbragia recently embarked on a new wine project devoted to micro-production and to showcasing the unique terroir of Napa Valley’s top sub appellations. Called “Permanence,” this could be seen as Sbragia’s swan song. After a lifetime of awards and accolades, the winemaker can finally do exactly as he wants with the best source material around. His 2012 from Mount Veeder comes from a tiny section of vineyard blocks yielding the intense, concentrated Cabernet for which the appellation is famous. Just 117 cases of this Cab were produced in 2012 (a 96-point vintage, according to the Wine Advocate). A personal friendship between invino’s CEO and Sbragia gives us the opportunity to share this beautiful with Members.
· Ed Sbragia was raised in wine country and steeped in a winemaking tradition going back generations to the family’s native Tuscany. He earned his chops at Beringer Winery, working up the ranks of this massive operation to become Beringer’s winemaster--a role he relished for 32 years.
· The 2012 was vintage was perfect for Cabernet in Napa. According to the Wine Spectator: “Winemakers in Napa Valley were not only elated by the quality and quantity of the 2012 harvest, but a few see a level of excellence that supersedes past vintages, going back decades.”
· Many contend that Mount Veeder is the New World’s premier appellation for Cab. The AVA boasts the longest growing season as well as the lowest yields in all of the Napa Valley with an ideal terroir for Bordeaux varietals that’s among the most rugged and arid in the region.
· Mount Veeder is also the only hillside appellation in the Valley to border chilly Carneros and is therefore the only hillside AVA to benefit from the constant cooling influence and fog pouring in daily off the San Pablo Bay.
This wine is sourced this wine from vineyard blocks that yield the intense, concentrated Cabernet Sauvignon that Mount Veeder is famous for. Aromas and flavors of ripe black cherry, plum and cocoa powder are balanced by notes of sweet toast from aging in French oak.
From the winery:
Our family’s history in Sonoma County dates back to my grandfather, who came from Tuscany in 1904 and worked in many wineries including the historic Italian Swiss Colony. For decades we grew prunes like most farms in Dry Creek Valley at the time, and in the 1950s my father Gino Sbragia re-planted the fields on our property to winegrapes, mainly Zinfandel, which I helped tend all through my youth. Gino sold most of the grapes to other wineries, yet kept a small amount to make into wine at home. He had an old-world philosophy that winemaking was a natural process; all you needed for good wine was good land, good grapes and good techniques. He was right, and that has been my guiding principle since the start of my career.
Gino’s dream was to start a family winery, to make wine from our own grapes with our family name on the label. His dream became mine, and I made a promise to him that I would fulfill it and bring over a century of our family’s hard work into a winery that produces wines that reflect our winemaking heritage here in Dry Creek Valley. In August 2006, we opened the doors to Sbragia Family Vineyards.
After 32 years as the Winemaster at Beringer Vineyard in Napa Valley, I’ve had one foot in Sonoma and the other in Napa. Both areas mean a lot to me emotionally; I’m more attached to Healdsburg and Dry Creek Valley because it’s where I raised my kids, but the wines that I’ve made at Beringer are like children. Either way, the wines Sbragia Family Vineyards produces from both Sonoma and Napa are intensely personal, an expression of single vineyard terroir, and history that runs through it all.
I’m proud to say my son Adam now makes our wines. He has found the perfect balance of honoring how Gino and I made wine and putting his own stylistic stamp on the bottle. He continues the pedigree of high scores, awards won and a profile of all together big, rich, polished and most importantly, delicious Chardonnays, Zinfandels, and Cabernets.
Enjoy with spareribs or a hearty lamb stew.