Vino at the Chateau: I wish they all could be California wines

Vino at the Chateau is heading Westside

Ed Sbragia has a long and fruitful history in the Californian winemaking industry.

With one foot in Sonoma and the other in Napa, Sbragia is the mastermind behind some of the region’s best and most sought-after wines.

Living by his late father’s personal philosophy, Sbragia solemnly believes that all you need to make excellent wine is good land, good grapes and even better techniques.

Wetting lips in Dry Creek
Today, he cultivates many of his top wines in the Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley, where his estate is recognised as one of the leading wineries in California.

With competition rife, Sbragia is quick to assert the difference between his grapes, mainly Chardonnay and Merlot, and his competitors.

His wines are deeply personal – not only an expression of terroir, but also of his family’s winemaking heritage.

The Gamble Ranch Chardonnay is one such wine: a powerful and exotic blend of fruits, hazelnut and American Oak.

High praise indeed
Leading wine critic Robert Parker gives the wine 96 out of 100.

“This extraordinary wine boasts a spectacular perfume of unbuttered popcorn, caramelised citrus, white peach and honey,” he noted.

“It is a gorgeously textured, opulent and full-bodied Chardonnay that offers terrific freshness, precision and length.”

It’s a delicious Chardonnay that can be enjoyed over the next three to five years, and it is best served with grilled lobster or hearty fish dishes.

At work with Family Kistler
Kistler is a small family-owned winery dedicated to the vinification of world-class Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. For over 30 years, Kistler has consistently produced some of America’s finest wines, combining old-world Burgandian techniques with New World vineyards.

Nowadays, Kistler produces around 25,000 cases of wine per year, with each and every wine characteristic of the regions tastes and terroir.

Divine wine at Vine Hill
The Vine Hill Vineyard Chardonnay is one of Kistler’s most popular creations. This 23-year-old dry farmed Chardonnay is grown in a deep, sandy subset of the Gold Ridge soil series.

Widely recognised as one of the best in the US, it has an intense flavour of exotic fruits, mango, melon and papaya.

Another triple A star!
Parker gives the wine 95 out of 100.

“From Kistler’s home property, not far from the winery, the 2011 Chardonnay Vine Hill Vineyard bursts from the glass with superb aromas of tangerine oil, white peach, pineapple and wet stones,” he noted.

“With good acidity, a long, full-bodied finish, and a precocious personality, it is a wine that can be enjoyed over the next three to four years.”
It is best served with luxurious fish dishes such as monkfish, turbot or lobster.

Socré Barbaresco
1050,- for 6 bottles

The Barbaresco is Socré’s exquisite flagship wine, made entirely from Nebbiolo grapes. It is a wine of class and elegance, representing a classic nose with notes of violets, cherries and a hint of liquorice. It is aged for 18 months in large French oak barrels, followed by six months in concrete vats before it is bottled. The bottled wine is then allowed to rest for an additional six months before sale. Best paired with red and white meat dishes, the Barbaresco is a superb and durable wine that can be enjoyed for 10-15 years. 

Socré Barbera
720,- for 6 bottles

Barbera d’Alba Superiore is a wine ubiquitous to the Piedmont region. The Barbera grapes give the wine a dense colour with pleasant acidity, making it a classic companion to the Piedmontese cuisine of hearty meat dishes and classic stews. The wine is produced from grapevines that are more than 50 years of age, giving it depth in both fragrance and taste. It is aged in large barrels for a period of 12-18 months, followed by 6-12 months in cement tanks, before finally resting for six months in the bottle before sale. A superb wine that goes down a treat!

475,- for 1 bottle

Sbracia Chardonnay
325,- for 1 bottle

Sbracia Merlot
175,- for 1 bottle