Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Robledo is by appointment only. So plan accordingly, except that their tasting room is as big if not larger than the average tasting room. So you could probably call on your way there. I didn't understand why it is by appointment only as there wasn't anything personalized about the tasting. The tasting room is a little nicer than the average bar style tasting room in that they have hand crafted wooden tables and chairs inside (large tables for groups and small tables for couples) as well as a counter. The staff was friendly but busy at 2pm on a Saturday. There are two flights of tastings: $5 for 5 tastes or $10 for 6 tastes of the more expensive wines. Each flight has one white and one Port. We shared one of each, but I didn't end up tasting all of them.

Here is a selection:

2008 Sauvignon Blanc, Lake County  $22
This is a great Californian-style Sauvignon Blanc. Stainless steel fermented and stored to show case the wonderful fruit and crisp acid. The nose is full of citrus and honeydew. The palate opened with tropical notes including feijoa and guava and ended with a bit of white pepper.

2007 Pinot Noir, Los Carneros  $40
This wine will be wonderful in 3 to 5 years. My nose is greeted by raspberry, strawberry, cherry, cinnamon, and dusty earth. The cherry continues onto the palate where it is joined by spice, black pepper, and dark earth as well as a touch of under ripe greenness. The tannins are still rough and astringent, but that will calm with age.

2005 Syrah, Napa Valley  $60
This wine also needs a few years, but should be phenomenal when it is ready. The nose consists of jammy cherries and other dark fruit. The palate is still quite closed, but shows hints of spice and seems quite concentrated. The tannins are also rough and the acid level is a little high which will only help the wine age gracefully.

2006 "El Rey" Cabernet Sauvignon, Lake County  $38
This is my favorite along with the Pinot Noir. The aroma is of cherries and a slight bit of bell pepper which dances with the earthy bouquet. The mouth feel is soft and full bodied. Structurally this is the best red wine of the day. The cherry and earth continues onto the palate where it is joined by red current which lingered into a long opulent finish.  Ready to drink now and for a couple years to come.  This is a steal at under $40.

2005 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley  $100
The nose was earthy with cassis, cherry, and mocha. The cherries continued onto the palate where it was joined by bell peppers. The wine has great tannins that are still slightly astringent in this full bodied Cab.

NV White Port, Lake County  $42
The nose smelled of a spirited lychee. The palate was full of peaches and nectarines.  There was too much heat from the brandy/high proof (could have used some Charbay brandy or proper timing for the alcohol to integrate with the wine). The Port has an oily texture and is very sweet. This would be great with fresh strawberries, melons, or sorbet.

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