2006 Erba Mountainside Vineyard | Estate Proprietary Red | Napa Valley, CA

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(17) 90+ point Scores from Robert Parker & Wine Enthusiast

    • From the moment the cork is popped, the wine quickly opens up with lofty aromas of dark berries, violets, English toffee, tobacco and cedar. On the palate, the concentrated flavors expand with deep notes of dark cherry, black raspberry, cassis, chocolate truffles, dried sage, and roasted walnuts. From there, the velvety texture is further lifted with a balanced attack of bright acidity, firm tannin, and a long elegant finish.

      • Alcohol by Volume: 14.5%
      • Appellation: Eastern Slope of Atlas Peak, Napa Valley, California
      • Varietal: 97% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 1 % Petit Verdot
      • Vintage: 2006
      • Located on the Eastern slope of Atlas Peak, Erba Mountainside Vineyard typically receives early morning and mid afternoon sun. The soils are volcanic and porous enabling the heat to radiate. Cooling breezes typically rush through the mountains at times taking the temperature down 30° F by late afternoon. The temperature change is vital to maintain acid structure in the grapes. Planted to all five Bordeaux varietals as well as Syrah, the Erba Mountainside Vineyard team has been blessed with a 'next to perfect' setting nestled well above the fog line. The vineyard is a twenty acre parcel consisting of fourteen blocks. Each row receives abundant sunshine through the early morning and mid-day, followed by forgiving Westerly breezes and cooling shade in the afternoon. To put it simply, each acre of Erba Mountainside wines consistently display a dark and richly complex, site specific character that you would only expect from the most seasoned wines. It all begins in that 'next to perfect' setting.
      • Production: 500 cases
      • Drink: Now-30 yrs
    • Kristof Anderson has been making wine in the Napa Valley since 1992. Former winemaker at Lewis Cellars and in years prior, the protégé of consultant Nils Venge, (Saddleback/Venge/Del Dotto/PlumpJack/Carter Cellars) his time has been well spent honing the skills required of an accomplished craftsman. Additional experience from working at ETS Wine Labs in St. Helena combined with cellar time at Pine Ridge and Grgich Hills provide a well rounded and balanced background. He has been making the wines at Erba Mountainside Vineyards since 2003. He was assistant winemaker for Nils Venge at Saddleback until 2001 and made the 2002 Lewis wines. He also makes wines for Garguilo and has his own label Pella. He has been very active in managing the vineyard throughout the growing season and in making harvest decisions. All wines are made from the estate grapes. 2003 was the first commercial vintage for Erba Mountainside Vineyards. We are very enthusiastic about the quality of the new releases of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah to be released in 2006.
    • New York Strip Steak with Brandied Mushrooms and Fresh Thyme - Recipe by Food Network's Tyler Florence
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      • 95 Points: Planet Grape’s Master Sommelier Catherine Fallis, aka grape goddess®
      • Lusciously fruity, rich, and layered, this Napa Valley red blend offers notes of apple, raspberry, plum, cassis, dark roast coffee bean, vanilla Haagen Daz, sandalwood, sweet cedar, cigar box, white mushroom, tomato juice, dried leaves and eucalyptus. There is a gamey undertone – pork cracklings perhaps - that adds another dimension. The balance is impeccable as usual with the fruit from this pristine vineyard and the deft winemaker’s touch. It is full, dry, noticeably tannic, but balanced. Bright natural acidity brings everything together beautifully.

      • 95 Points:  “Sommelier to the Stars” Christopher Sawyer, @sawyersommelier
      • From a sommelier’s standpoint, the process of purchasing a wine with the intention of aging it in the cellar begins with integrity of the contents inside the bottle. Where did the grapes come from? Did the blend taste balanced or was it too high in alcohol? Was there enough acid to support the fruit flavors as the wine matures? Ultimately all of these factors come into play when the decision is made to purchase these prized bottles of wine.

         I bring this point up because it makes it even more special when you find a winery that purposely cellars their own wines until they feel they are ready to drink. The latest example is the Erba 2006 Proprietary Red Wine. Made by proprietors Paul and Debbie Erba, this Bordeaux blend is comprised of Merlot and smaller amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot grapes grown on the rugged hillsides at the Erba Estate property in Napa Valley.

         From the moment the cork is popped, the wine quickly opens up with lofty aromas of dark berries, violets, English toffee, tobacco and cedar. On the palate, the concentrated flavors expand with deep notes of dark cherry, black raspberry, cassis, chocolate truffles, dried sage, and roasted walnuts. From there, the velvety texture is further lifted with a balanced attack of bright acidity, firm tannin, and a long elegant finish.  In short, think of it as a special cellar selection that keeps on giving!

         For food pairings, try this sophisticated wine with roasted root vegetables, mushroom risotto, seared duck breast, grilled steak, rack of lamb, blue cheese, or chocolate desserts.


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