Rombauer Vineyards has been making wine in Napa Valley for more than 35 years. Established in 1980, it is owned and operated by the Koerner family. Beginning operations at Shafer Vineyards and other wineries, they later constructed their own winery in St. Helena in 1982. They also provided custom crush facilities to many of Napa Valley’s finest wineries such as Dominus, Etude and Spottswoode. We review Rombauer’s new releases below.
Rombauer Vineyards purchased their first vineyard, seven acres of Zinfandel, in 1988. Today it owns 520 vineyard acres in Napa Valley, Sonoma County and El Dorado, many of them in cool climate areas acquired during the past twenty years. It also has long term leases with neighboring growers. Following rigorous vineyard management practices, grapes are handpicked, and each lot is kept separate for appropriate fermentation, aging, and blending. Its Chardonnays are all sourced from vineyards in Carneros, whole cluster pressed, barrel fermented and aged, and 100 percent malolactic fermented. Its Cabernets are also barrel fermented with grapes selected by optical sorters.
Winemaking at Rombauer Vineyards is under the direction of Richie Allen. The wines are well-made and stylistically California in character, revealing ripe fruit flavors with good acidity and balance.
Rombauer 2015 Chardonnay Carneros ($36) 90 A lovely rich and stylish “California” Chardonnay. It is rich and flavorful with notes of citrus and tropical fruit, a creamy mouth feel, rich toasted oak and vanilla. It reveals good acidity with a crisp and persistent finish.Rombauer 2015 Chardonnay Buchli Station Vineyard Carneros ($70) 90 The 2015 Chardonnay Buchli Station Vineyard offers aromas of apple, pear and mango. On the palate it reveals notes of citrus and vanilla with bright acidity and a sharp long finish. Rombauer 2015 Chardonnay Home Ranch Vineyard Sonoma Carneros ($70) 90+ This Chardonnay is sourced from the Sangiacomo Home Ranch Vineyard, one of the finest vineyards in Carneros. Light yellow in color, it offers aromas of orchard and tropical fruit. On the palate it reveals dry yellow fruit flavors, high acidity and a creamy mouth feel.
Rombauer 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley ($55) 91 Beautifully structured and still youthful, this Cabernet Sauvignon shows blackberry fruit with meaty aromas and dense flavors. Rich, soft and silky on the palate, it appears bigger, perhaps but not as elegant as the 2013 vintage. Rombauer 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Stice Lane Vineyard Santa Helena ($90) 92 This is a lovely Cabernet Sauvignon offering rich black berry fruit aromas and flavors. It is full in the mouth with hints of dark red fruit, tobacco, firm round tannins, a lush concentrated mid-palate and a long finish. Rombauer 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Atlas Peak Napa Valley ($90) 92+ This is arguably Rombauer’s finest single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. Sourced at the 1600′ Atlas Vineyard, it reveals aromas of rich blackberry fruit, cassis, and earth. On the palate it offers a lovely mouthfeel with dense flavors, high acidity, firm round tannins and a long meaty finish.