From our California wine specialist Dr. Hoby Wedler:
The 2014 Sambruno is one of the most unique, thought-provoking and highest quality white blends I have ever enjoyed. While it is full-bodied and rich with flavor and complex mouth feel, it is among the brightest and most refreshing whites I have had the pleasure of trying. The complex nature of this wine starts at the first smell of the wine out of a Burgundy wine glass.
The nose starts off by boosting strong citrus aromas of tangerine, under-ripe lime, Myer lemon, and blood orange. The nose then offers fruit aromas of under-ripe cantaloupe melon, fresh stone fruit, fresh Bing cherries, and a faint hint of ripe strawberry. Pronounced floral aromas of honey suckle, orange blossom, and blooming Daphne then permeate the aroma and are blended with whiffs of Morning Glory and fresh salvia flowers. By far the most intriguing element to the nose was a quality of herbs, a touch of mint, and spice. The aroma I’m getting at here is one slightly of menthol, Spearmint, bay laurel, and just the smallest touch of crushed evergreen needles of pine or redwood. Once oxidized, the aroma mellows and while it holds all of these components it becomes more creamy, heavy and rich.
With a wine bosting this much excitement on the nose, I could not wait to taste it. The mouth feel of this wine is second to none with a very bright acidic texture near the front palate which thickens brilliantly and becomes a bit heavier towards the mid-palate. The finish is a beautiful acidic but velvety texture that I have not experienced in any other wine. The flavors of the wine explode on the palate. The palate opens with bright fruit flavors of melon, Asian pear, green apple, fresh cherries, fresh strawberries, and slightly under-ripe blackberries.
As it moves through the mouth, the floral components similar to those of the nose are detected this time with an added note of moist pipe tobacco and scented geraniums. The finish of this wine was extremely exciting and intriguing. Here is where the slight minty and evergreen notes can be detected. You have to pay attention and search for them. When you find them, you should taste a touch of bay laurel, eucalyptus, mint, and crushed evergreen needles as in the aroma. I found this unique and exciting quality to emerge when the wine was freshly-opened and hadn’t oxidized much.
After about 30 minutes of oxidation, the wine picked up the most amazing coconut aroma and flavor. The flavor is detected on the mid to back palate and is of fresh coconut, vanilla, a hint of coffee, and caramel. It is not at all dominating but it lurks in the background and gives this wine an entirely new but equally wonderful flavor dimension. This coconut-vanilla quality is likely because the wine experienced five months sur lies. The aroma and flavor of this wine are one of a kind and truly resemble a wine of tremendous quality and aging capability.
The blend of this wine is master crafted by the wine maker to highlight each of its four varietals. The blend consists of 45% Roero Arneis, 40% Viognier, 10% Timorasso & 5% Sauvignon Blanc all sourced from single vineyards in the Piedmont region of Italy. The Roerro Arneis gives the wine a full-bodied character that is unmatched by any other white grape. The Viognier provides most of the beautiful citrus notes and gives the wine an unmistakable freshness characteristic that only Viognier is capable of. The Timorasso provides a luscious mouth feel and adds a distinctive minerality to the flavor of the finish. One more key component of the flavor profile near the finish is petrachor, or newly-moistened pavement or rock. I believe this is derived primarily from the Timorasso and Sauvignon Blanc complementing each other in this blend. The Sauvignon Blanc gives the wine brightness and important acidity.
At 12.4% alcohol by volume, this wine has enough alcohol to volatize all of the amazing aroma and flavor but not so much that the brilliant fruity nature is masked by alcohol. I often say that wine is art and this wine is one of the finest renditions of the artistry of its insightful and knowledgeable wine maker.