Robledo Family Winery
2006 Los Carneros Pinot Noir
California: Sonoma County: Carneros
What We Say
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Mission Codename: The Long Wait
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Revisit our old friends at Robledo Family Winery and retrieve their much sought after Los Carneros Pinot Noir.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Robledo Family Winery
Wine Subject: 2006 Los Carneros Pinot Noir
Winemaker: Everardo Robledo
Backgrounder: It has been nearly two years since we visited our friends at Robledo Family Winery in the Los Carneros AVA. Some of our favorite California Pinot Noir comes from the independent Carneros viticultural area, a wine growing region which straddles the Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley. Originally designated in 1983, the region’s distinct Terroir and cool climate make it one of the best regions for the Burgundian varietals of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The first grapes were planted here in the early 1800s by missionaries. The cool Carneros region provides ideal growing conditions for Pinot Noir and Pinot thrives here.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep garnet with a clear dark core that shows ruby streaks when held to the light. The intense color remains to the very meniscus in the glass and when swirled, slow widely spaced thin legs fatten as they descend.
Smell – Complex red fruit and ripe berries layer over notes of smoke, sweet and hot spice, toasted oak and earthy aromas. Add to this subtle hints of cigar box tobacco, herbal and floral components.
Feel – Plush and rich, this balanced full-bodied dry wine has fine textured but supple tannins buttressed by lively acidity, spice and minerality.
Taste – Dark red fruit including red and black cherry and raspberry layered over earthy forest and exotic spice. Classic Carneros complexity with its flavors as you explore the palate of this delicious wine.
Finish – Soft and elegant on the finish with rich plush red berries that fade gently and cleanly leaving hints of earthy forest, spice and other complex flavors.
Conclusion – The *2006 Robledo Family Winery Los Carneros Pinot Noir * is a delicious example of why Pinot Noir from Carneros is so sought after. Great fruit with other complex redolent aromas on the noes. An elegant but structured mouth feel that has enough staying power to make it food friendly. Great red berries layered with earthiness, spice and other complex flavors delivery a sublime experience. A great wine that is drinking fantastic right now and will continue to evolve for several years to come.
Today I go undercover as a reporter, covering Latino-owned wineries in Sonoma County. My real mission is to discover all I can about Robledo Family Winery – and the rich heritage that lead to their wine-making prowess.
I get to the winery early, in advance of our scheduled appointment, and visit the Robledo tasting room. Its early in the day and the tasting room has just opened. The vacant bar at the far end is beautiful, hand-carved Michoacan and as I sidle up I am greeted by a young man that appears from a back room. He introduces himself as the tasting room manager and son of family patriarch, Reynaldo. No name is given.
I introduce myself as reporter, Ace DurifF, and he eyes me suspiciously. “Duriff,” He says. “Isn’t that another name for Petite Sirah?”
I play it cool and simply shrug my shoulders.
I explain that I am here to meet Vanessa Robledo, his sister and winery President. He tells me that he is aware of our meeting and assures me that Vanessa will be on time. While we wait, he regales me with family history and pours me a taste of the family’s 2006 Los Carneros Pinot Noir, a wine that I had already hear so much about.. I am instantly enamored with the wine and I sip and listen.
After a few minutes Vanessa arrives and we exchange brief pleasantries. Vanessa takes note of the wine in my glass and explains, “This wine is made entirely from grapes grown in the Sonoma Valley, an area that greatly benefited from the historical Bracero Program, which was a program that was enacted by the Federal Government during World War II. The program enabled thousands of Latino laborers to work in California agriculture while the local labor force fought the war.”
Without this program, it seems, wine in the region would not be what it is today.
“My great grandfather, Luis Robledo arrived in California as part of the Braceros program,” explains Vanessa. “The hard work that his generation of Braceros put into the vines and grapes of this area made possible the consolidation of the entire wine industry in Napa and Sonoma. The character and spirit of these Mexican agricultural workers has since prevailed in California contributing to its wealth and greatness.”
Vanessa went on to explain that father Reynaldo Robledo came to the United States in 1968 to work in California vineyards. He spent three decades working in vineyards until he eventually was managing hundreds of acres for some of the most prestigious wineries in California. Robledo slowly acquired land and planted his own vineyards, formed his own vineyard management company and finally opened his own family winery. The Robledo Family Winery features the first tasting room and winery established by a Mexican Migrant Vineyard worker in all of North America.
After some additional spirited conversation about the family and about their balanced approach to winemaking, Vanessa looks at her watch and, finally, excuses herself. She is off to more meetings and bids me a warm hasta luego.
I leave the winery, loaded up with bottles of Los Carneros Pinot – and feeling enriched for having met this warm, talented and history-steeped winemaking family.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Robledo Family vineayrds and tasting room vineyards can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
Appearance: A rich red ruby color.
Aroma & Bouquet: cherry and rose petals, anise and white pepper.
Approach: medium-bodied with delicate plum and blackberry flavors with a hint of smokiness.
Finish: lingering finish with bright acidity and a touch of toasted walnuts and oak.
About The Winery:
In 1968 Reynaldo Robledo, Sr. learned how to prune a vine. He spent the following three decades working in several vineyards learning more and more about this unique type of farming. His experience grew until he was eventually managing vineyards with hundreds of acres and many men. In 1996 Reynaldo formed his own vineyard management business, Robledo Vineyard Management, LLC. As his skills in the vineyards continued to evolve so did his affection for the product he was cultivating.
During these years the family purchased fourteen vineyards, totaling approximately 300 acres, in Napa, Sonoma, and Lake County. Although they still sell most of the fruit to other wineries, they now produce their own estate wines.
We think every bottle of wine produced by Robledo Family Winery is a small triumph. The quality of our wine displays viticulturist Reynaldo Robledo’s skills of grape culture. He overcame his humble beginnings as an immigrant field worker to become one of the most successful vineyard consultants and winery owners in California Wine Country. More than anything, Robledo Family Winery is a success because Robledo shares his knowledge and passion with his children and his grandchildren.
The Robledo Family Winery Tasting Room is always open to public by appointment to visit, enjoy or purchase the wines. The tasting room houses many of the oak barrels the winery uses for the aging process. Along the walls are many beautiful old photos from Mexico and stories about the family. The best part of a tasting there is that there is almost always a family member behind the bar. They are the ones with the most passion for the wine and are available to answer your questions.
Varietals: Pinot Noir