Ed Sbragia is perhaps most well known as the Master Winemaker at Beringer for nearly 30 years. Ed made the High-Mountain-Cabernet program famous there after having the best selling wine in world for over 10-years. And Robert Parker has given him more 90+ scores than any living winemaker! On top of all this he is only winemaker to have had both a red and white wine earn the coveted #1 spot in the annual Wine Spectator Top 100.
Part of the Sbragia Family
I speak from personal experience, when I say Ed is a truly remarkable winemaker and one of the larger than life forces at work here in wine country. For nearly every weekend, for eight years (even after coming to Wine Spectrum), I spent my time at Sbragia Family Vineyards. I was part of the Sbragia Family every time I walked in to the Tasting Room.
Ed always talked about having one foot in Napa and one foot in Sonoma. Born and raised in the Dry Creek AVA of Sonoma County, when it came time to start his own project, he knew Sonoma County was the place. In October 2006, he opened the doors to his own winery, Sbragia Family Vineyards. Serving only vineyard designated gems, the winery had early success. One of my personal favorites has always been the Sbragia Monte Rosso Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Monte Rosso Vineyard
The Monte Rosso Vineyard is famous. Originally planted by the Martini family, its some of the oldest cabernet vines planted in the state. I often describe the vineyard like this, “…if heaven doesn’t look like the Monte Rosso Vineyard when I get there, I will be disappointed.” High atop a mountain, in the Moon Mountain AVA, this vineyard is pristine. Old, gnarly vines…un-trellised and proud. Surrounded by a rich, terra cotta soil with hawks soaring in the sky. Besides their caws, the only other sound you hear are the grapes growing. Quiet and stunning, you know this place is special.
When I saw this bottle in the tasting line-up, I think my heart skipped a beat. So without further gushing, here is one of my personal favorite wines of my life:
From the high-elevation site long prized by this producer, this wine opens with a sturdy tannic grip that takes time to resolve in the glass. As it does, ripe and robust layers of blackberry, currant and wild sage flavors emerge, bolstered by leather and bittersweet chocolate notes.