2006 Rancho Del Oso Cabernet Sauvignon
« Back to Reserve Wines
Owned by Betty O'Shaughnessy, this vineyard is located at the very top of Howell Mountain and is named after the red bear that climbs the deer fence and swims in the reservoir. I love the big fruit flavors and unmistakable intensity of Howell Mountain fruit.
This is the most accessible, most interesting and most compelling of Sbragia's new Cabernets. It's extraordinarily powerful in the potent, sweetly refined tannins and ripe flavors of blackberries and cassis, leading to a long, rich finish. You can drink it now, but it will age effortlessly for a good 8-10 years.
Rancho Del Oso is one of my favorite vineyards. Owned by Betty O’Shaughnessy, this vineyard is located at the very top of Howell Mountain, and is named after the red bear that climbs the deer fence and swims in the reservoir. I love the big fruit flavors and unmistakable intensity of the Cabernet and Cabernet Franc from Howell Mountain. This is the sixth vintage for this wine, and once again my grapes came from the northern part of the vineyard, and the terroir expression comes through in the wine’s strong but elegant structure.
Napa Valley experienced a dry winter and warm, dry spring in 2007 which led to a relatively early
budbreak. The fruit set was sparse and grapes were small, with a high skin to juice ratio. Even
temperatures during the summer gave the grapes ample time for full phenolic development, and
intense heat in August brought some vineyards to maturity. After Labor Day, however,
temperatures cooled and harvest extended for several weeks through late October. Overall, it was
a smaller crop of concentrated grapes with excellent natural acidity. Grapes for the 2007 Rancho
Del Oso Cabernet Sauvignon were picked October 15th and 18th.
The richness of this wine starts in the vineyard, where Adam and Ed are adamant about only picking the fruit when the tannins have reached optimal ripeness. After crushing, the juice was fermented and then aged for two years in some of Ed’s favorite thin-staved Chateau barrels from the Nevers forest. A small amount of Cabernet Franc was blended in to extend the finish and add layers of complexity.
“I’ve always loved big mountain Cabernets, and the 2006 Rancho del Oso Cabernet Sauvignon is an ideal example of the power and grace they can demonstrate. This wine pops with rich black fruit and sweet chocolate aromas that lead into ripe fruit flavors of blackberries and plums, along with hints of vanilla bean and nutmeg. Its fine tannins perfectly complement the wine’s deep, complex flavors and touch of minerality.” – Ed Sbragia
- October 13, 2006
- 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc
- .62 g/100ml