2017 Sbragia Family Vineyards Chardonnay Home Ranch Dry Creek Valley
Ed Sbragia was, for many decades, the winemaking genius behind the great wines of Beringer Vineyards including, of course, the ground-breaking Private Reserve Chardonnay, a wine that, you could argue, created the template for the rich, wood-influenced style of Chardonnay that became the benchmark for Chards from one of the state to the other for the past quarter century. Sbragia left Beringer to return to his family’s ranch in the southeastern part of the Dry Creek Valley and, together with son Adam, develop Sbragia Family Vineyards.
Grapes growers since the 1960s in Dry Creek, they had a ready supply of great grapes with which to work. Though they’re also making Zinfandel, Cabernet and several other wines at Sbragia, Ed certainly didn’t lose his touch with Chard when he left Beringer, that’s for sure. And unlike Beringer where he sourced grapes from all over California, the lion’s share of Sbragia’s production comes from his own vineyards and the level of control he asserts over the whole project has been a major driver in the quality of the wines. The Home Ranch Chardonnay comes from a vineyard a few minutes’ walk from the Sbragias’ Dry Creek winery and proves that the Sbragia style of Chardonnay translates well to Sonoma County as well as Napa.
Barrel fermented and aged for fifteen months in wood, it’s a richer, more intense style of Chardonnay with plenty of heft (14.5% ABV) and a broad, broad palate rich in bright Golden Delicious apples, skinned hazelnuts and the barest touch of vanilla. The 2017 Home Ranch has just been released, and though it’s obviously still a very, very young wine, it won’t be long before it settles down and begins to gain weight and intensity. The winery has been kind enough to pass along a restaurant-only price to allow it to be featured by the glass, but we’ve also stuck aside a small allocation for those of you who might be looking for a phenomenal deal in a top-quality, richer style of Sonoma County Chardonnay for your summer barbeques and all-around enjoyment! We recommend at least a case as you’ll be shocked at how quickly you’ll drink this!