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Sbragia Wall Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
  • ST93
  • V92
  • WS91
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Winemaker Notes

An excellent vintage, 2009 produced a wine with generous aromas and flavors of ripe black cherries, plums, cola berry, and cocoa powder, deftly balanced with the sweet toasty notes of classy French oak. Velvety-smooth, this is what I call an "instant gratification" wine, though cellaring will undoubtedly reward the collector with additional layers of complex flavors.

Blend: 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc

Critical Acclaim

ST 93
International Wine Cellar

Good deep ruby. Varietally precise aromas of cassis, licorice and menthol. Broad, serious cabernet with considerable power and concentration to its flavors of cassis and bitter chocolate. This chewy, dense wine appears to have more stuffing to support its tannins than the Cimarossa. Finishes with a lingering licorice note.
Range: 91-93

V 92
Vinous / Antonio Galloni

Another compelling wine, Sbragia's 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Wall Vineyard is full of implosive energy. Bitter chocolate, menthol, plums, licorice and tar explode from the glass in a rich, powerful wine loaded with Mt. Veeder character. The superb, vivid saline-infused finish adds to the wine's personality and energy. There is no shortage of personality here. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2029.

WS 91
Wine Spectator

Dense and earthy, with a cedary forest floor rusticity and chewy tannins. Yet for all its crushed rock and graphite chewiness, this succeeds, becoming more appealing on the finish. Drink now through 2026.

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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.

Zinfandel

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Unapologetically powerful, heady, and fruit-forward...

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Unapologetically powerful, heady, and fruit-forward, Zinfandel is often thought of as a truly Californian grape, though in fact it is anything but. This variety has followed an intriguing trajectory to reach its adoptive home, beginning, surprisingly, in Croatia. Originally known as Tribidrag, it first made its way to southern Italy where it became known as Primitivo. From there it eventually migrated to what is now unarguably its most successful outpost, in California, and has thrived throughout the state. Of course, this is also the grape of White Zinfandel, a sweet pink wine that enjoyed great popularity in the 1980s and 90s. Though White Zin still has a significant following, today the variety is increasingly associated with the red version.

In the Glass

Zinfandel commonly features a bold, plush texture and notes of dark plum, blackberry, sweet spice, black pepper, dark chocolate, leather, and licorice, and can often be described as “jammy” and a little bit sweet. Very ripe examples may express a hint of dried fruit like raisin, fig, or prune. Despite its significant alcohol and weight, Zinfandel has very smooth, gentle tannins.

Perfect Pairings

Zinfandel is a powerfully flavored wine, mingling happily with bold food like brisket, lamb shanks, pork ribs, or anything barbecued. If care is taken with regards to alcohol levels, Zinfandel’s hint of sweetness can work well with milder Indian-spiced dishes like lamb curry.

Sommelier Secret

Thanks to its popularity both for home winemaking and as communion wine, many Zinfandel vines were able to survive prohibition, leading to the abundance of "old vine" Zinfandels. These low-yielding vines tend to produce wine that is concentrated, complex, and elegant.