Browse Tag

sobon estate

Lubenko of America

Sobon Estate 2005 Zinfandel Lubenko (Fiddletown) – 15.1%. Dark pineberry fruit, parchment tannin, and brittle acidity. Sobon is a producer whose wines rarely reach the pinnacles for me, yet this is a more exciting effort than I’m used to from them. There’s some extra peppery verve to it, and that coniferous aroma is exactly what one expects from the region. I really like this. (7/12)

Sobon Estate 2005 Zinfandel Lubenko (Fiddletown) – 15.1%. Absolutely identical in every possible way. Thank the closure. (7/12)

Women on top

Sobon Estate 2008 Zinfandel Cougar Hill (Amador County) – 14.9%. It doesn’t <i>taste</i> like Cakebread. Well, jokes aside, it’s a richly-fruited zin about halfway in the jelly/syrup stage (which means that there’s still some pine-forested linkage to its expected regional character) with a lot of tannin and what seems to be a fair dollop of oak as well. This in unquestionably designed with cellaring in mind, and while it’s a bit denser than I think would be ideal for its future balance, age it should. (12/11)

Susanna or Sergei?

Sobon Estate 2008 Zinfandel Lubenko (Fiddletown) – 15.2%. Thick, resinous, and skin-dominated zin slathered in oak (not egregiously so for zin, which handles new wood pretty well, but it’s hard to miss). There’s a lot of pine needle here, which I love in zins from this area, but the wine itself is more than a bit of a slog. Maybe time will help, but I suspect it will always be a little over-structured. (11/11)

Peter & Mary think not

Sobon Estate 2008 Zinfandel Paul’s “Rezerve” (Amador County) – 15.1%. Full of effort and strain, but here – unless in the “regular” reserve bottling from the same vintage – it all works. Better fruit concentration from better-sited or older vines? Maybe. The difference lies in the notion that all the effort is in support of a purpose, rather than just that of the effort itself. Dark, nearly-but-not-quite syrupy berries, seedless jam, chocolate, bark, soil, pine bark. Long, peppery, and worthy of some cellar experimentation. (11/11)

The first Italian

Sobon Estate 2009 Primitivo “Rezerve” (Amador County) – 15.3%. The alcohol really sticks out here, as does the wood, and I think it’s because zinfandel’s non-acculturated cousin puts its acidity in a different place…“over there” rather than swimming amidst…and this exposes the wine’s other elements to accusations of imbalance. But it’s not really imbalanced (though I would, personally, prefer a little less of everything <i>except</i> that acidity), it’s just fairly incoherent. Maybe time will resolve this, maybe not, but I will say that despite the range of berries being those one would generally expect from Amador zinfandel, the structural differences do rather pointedly call back to an Old World idea of composition. Whether that’s something inherent to the grape, the particular process by which this wine was made, or merely the power of suggestion working on this taster I can’t say for sure. (11/11)

It’z not zo good

Sobon Estate 2008 Zinfandel “Rezerve” (Amador County) – 15.1%, and no the “z” isn’t a typo. Trying hard, all dressed up, plumped with the latest in fruity finery and chocolate artistry, and for all that effort and desperate straining, ultimately not all that interesting. (11/11)

Sobon mot

Sobon Estate 2008 Zinfandel “Old Vines” (Amador County) – 14.9%. A reliably slightly-better-than-mediocre bargain zin, here a little better than that. Wiry and brambly, with the pine woodsy character of the region, and as much bite as it has (at least in my memory) ever shown. Tasty, though it neither demands nor offers much. (9/10)

Sobon, farewell

Sobon Estate 2005 Zinfandel “Hillside” (Amador County) – 14.5%. Good, basic Amador zin flavors…wild, tiny, dark berries and a gnarly, twisted texture burned into some remote, grassy, sun-drenched hillside…with little in the way of complexity or nuance. Sometimes, that’s all you want. (5/08)