Ed Sbragia founded the Sbragia Family Vineyards in 2001 while he was still producing the wines at Napa Valley’s Beringer Vineyards. In 2006, Sbragia purchased the old Lake Sonoma Winery facility near the end of Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma County and began producing single vineyard wines from Sonoma and Napa using estate and purchased grapes. Ed is the president and winemaster while his oldest son, Adam, is winemaker.
The winery focuses on five varieties including Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Zinfandel. At present time their single vineyard Chardonnays garner the most acclaim.
I was recently contacted by the winery and offered the chance to try the new releases of their single vineyard Zinfandels. I’m a huge fan of the wines Ed made at Beringer in the early 90’s. Wines like the ’91 Beringer Private Reserve and the ’94 Bancroft Ranch Merlot are some of the finest I have ever tasted. Of course I jumped at the chance to taste the Zins from Sbragia Family Vineyards.
2010 La Promessa Zinfandel – La Promessa, “The Promise” in Italian, is a fourteen year old vineyard planted adjacent to the Sbragia Family Winery in Dry Creek Valley. 95% Zinfandel and 5% Petite Sirah. 15.9% ABV. The wine is a light cherry red in color. Raspberries and a touch of vanilla on the nose. Rich and creamy. Gobs of red fruit, spice, orange rind and vanilla bean on the palate. The finish is sweet and unctuous. Soft tannins. Delicious, textbook, albeit young, Dry Creek Zinfandel. Drink over the next 2-3 years. Very interesting to drink this wine as I do not have occasion to drink many Zins from such a young vineyard. It will be cool to follow this vineyard as the vines age. $34 from the winery. 560 cases produced. My rating: 89 points.
2010 Gino’s Vineyard Zinfandel – Gino’s is a 55 year old vineyard located on the eastern side of Dry Creek Valley. 86% Zinfandel, 9% Carignane and 5% Petite Sirah. 14.9% ABV. Brilliant purple in color. The nose has a perfume of kirsch, currant, salmonberry and a hint of nail polish. Medium bodied with soft tannins. Strawberry, clove, tobacco and spice on the palate. Bright and lush. $30 from the winery. 694 cases produced. My rating: 87 points.
After tasting the wines I have to confess I’m a little surprised I preferred the finished product from the younger vineyard, La Promessa. I’ll definitely follow it over the next decade as the vines start to mature.
Both wines are available via the winery website. I think the La Promessa is a smart buy.
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