Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Mosby Sagrantino Santa Barbara County 2006

Bill Mosby specializes in growing and making wine from Italian grape varieties at Mosby Winery and Vineyard in the Central Coast town of Buellton, California.  Since 1998, when he left his dental practice to follow his passion for wine, he has produced some award-winning wines using grapes like Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, Pinot Grigio and Dolcetto.

His Sagrantino Santa Barbara County 2006 comes from the Mosby estate’s “Vigna della Casa Vecchia” (vineyard of the old house) which, according to the Mosby website, has "clay loam and shale soils supporting approximately 18 acres of Italian varietals."

The wine's label explains that Sagrantino is “idigenous to the Umbrian region of Italy, particularly around the hilltop town of Montefalco,” and is usually deep red in color and fairly tannic.  His Sagrantino has an alcohol content of 13.9% abv.

Sure enough, the color of this wine is deep ruby red with just a little light getting through.  There is a lot of fruit on the nose and a lot of alcohol, too.  Upon opening, the palate is hot with alcohol and shows flavors of black cherry and plum.  Clove spice also shows. 

On the second night, this wine is still smokin' hot.  The alcohol on the nose blows off fairly quickly leaving darker plummy aromas.  Tannins are still very pronounced, but they begin to mellow after some time.   It's really starting to be enjoyable now. 

The third night's nose is beautiful - full of fruit and earth, without the smell of the alcohol   It's amazing.  The tannins have smoothed out nicely and the flavor- still dark, plummy and spicy - is the dominant feature.  This wine needs a lot of air in which to open up.  I recommend a lengthy decanting, after which it should be a thing of beauty. 

It is, however, a beauty with a mole.  Even on the third night there was a faint scent of paint present at times.  The aroma would come and go, and it was not present to a disagreeable level.  Overall, this wine is extremely enjoyable, provided it has had ample breathing time. 

The label is a beautiful work of art done by Robert Scherer of Appiano, Italy.  Mosby commissions Scherer to do labels for Artist Series of wines.

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