Clear bright ruby thinning ever-so-slightly to warm garnet. Considerably staining and perfectly clear. A Double-mint-laced leather and soggy rain cloud offsets fruit dredged hard through the spice-drawer. So lean and lithe. Razor-focused and NOT for the lush-ripe crowd. But it indescribably woos you on so many levels–all the while maintaining old-school texture.
If you have ever had Martini Monte Rosso you understand this bottling to be merely a somewhat more user-friendly, updated, version from this esteemed vineyard. While the Martini definitely belongs in the Smithsonian, I like what they have done with the mountain fruit here, not sacrificing structure for ripeness but plumping it up just enough to reward here at a half-decade. Long-lived would not even BEGIN to describe this wine.
If you can cut through the incredible mint and briar of the nose, the buttery fruit becomes visible, swaying you into early-retirement fantasies. But they are NOT to be. One sip and the focus of this wine becomes crystal-clear. This baby ain’t going NOWHERE. I feel like there’s a little PV or CF in here. An instant harsh awakening of gritty fruit, brilliant high-notes of pine-pitch and white-pepper, laying down sagebrush tracks of herbal green through an elegant Vick’s-induced coma of clean, plump delirium. A fresh pour–even out of decanter–starts the whole now-predictable process over again: Old-worldy funk; Briar and mint; Braised cherries and toasted sawdust; Raisins and cinnamon; Granny-Smith, rhubarb pie; Screeching brakes of tannin skidding off long and relentless, dragging all this edgy syrup behind. Rinse. Repeat. Rinse.
This is The Best Cab producer in Sonoma. Period. End of conversation. And the amazing part is, I can buy this wine at two or three grocery stores within 20 miles. There’s no waiting list, there’s no allocation, there’s no club-only or TR. To quote High Fidelity, “She’s IN the PHONE BOOK! She’s an extra-terrestrial–not a person in a phone book!” Blows me away every time I see it on a grocery shelf alongside the Usual Suspects of fat, ridiculous also-ran’s. Bottom line: Find this wine. Experience what Cab in CA is supposed to be about.
2009 SBRAGIA FAMILY VINEYARDS Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma Valley Monte Rosso 14.8