The REAL Red Mountain

Dark garnet, thinning to crystalline stained glass at the edge. A bit of bottle-funk had me scared for about 5 minutes, but the fruit started pouring off it and decided to decant gently. Persimmon and prune-plum, thick-skinned and smoky, a mint-chocolate-chip ice-cream burns bright holes in soggy peat, carved into neat rectangles of firm mineral composition. A bit of boozy cherry preserves and a really old-skool sort of flabby rock mist explains in no uncertain terms we are not in Napa, and no pedantic french oak obscuring all that luscious–fut seriously mature–fruit.

I don’t have to tell you who Ed Sbragia is, right? This isn’t Wine101. Buy a book or something.

In the mouth, instantly dark and impressing with brooding and burning tertiary more than any fresh spirit. I have several of these and am going to put them on a sooner-rather-than-later drinking schedule. Old lady perfume applied on fairly flaccid berry causes the mint and eucalyptus to do funky things on your tongue Napa or Paso would probably not approve of. A red-dirt seriousness is cheerful enough in theory, but a bit of burn traveling with it reminds you it means business. Gorgeous and full through most of the mouthfeel, strong banana-blueberry evolves out of the nose late in the tasting–but more burn and fresh swirls pop up more of that funk. Very dry and one-dimensional in the finish, fruit chugs through and tannins are at a nice resolution-point, but of course more burn.

This is not a mind-bogglingly good wine, but definitely a place-mark of this ridiculous vineyard. Clear and bright and an absolute chameleon of nuances–sorry for the disjointed notes–it’s a big bold beauty from the master.

2009 SBRAGIA FAMILY VINEYARDS Cabernet Sauvignon Monte Rosso Vineyard Sonoma Valley 14.8

sbragia.com

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