A quartet of wines from our buddies at Rombauer — who are riding high now that they are basking in that Gallo acquisition money. Well done, folks!
2022 Rombauer Sauvignon Blanc – 76% Sonoma fruit, 24% Napa. Ultra-tropical, this is a Dole Whip in a glass, full of pineapple and cream and… well, that’s it. In the heat of summer, this would delight anyone with its fruity exuberance, but it’s a bit too sweet to pair well with food — unless you’re having Hawaiian tonight. B+ / $28
2021 Rombauer Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands – This is a delightful and approachable pinot noir, bright with notes of cherries, some strawberry, and a pinch of baking spice. While so much of today’s pinot tends to be brooding and extracted, this bottling presents a refreshing character with hints of orange blossoms and lemon curd to brighten up the experience. A touch of vanilla on the finish provides a note of sweetness, but only just so. A- / $65
2019 Rombauer Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley – Boldly raisiny with a lush punch of plums and currants, this wine eludes any overt sweetness by tempering its fruitier character with some herbal notes and a slightly savory edge — touches of wood smoke and anise influencing the lengthy, immersive finish. A licorice note endures on the slightly dusky finish, though darker fruit notes keep any astringency in check. Surprisingly deft, it’s a wine that stands up on its own or as a food companion. A- / $75
2020 Rombauer Zinfandel California – A mutt of a zin, but laser-focused on target for the style. Notes of strawberry and cherry cola find a happy companion in notes of vanilla and gentle spices — almost Christmassy at times. At an embarrassing 15.9% alcohol you are setting yourself up for nothing but trouble with this wine, the sweetness on the finish evoking Port notes over table wine. Still, it works. B+ / $38