Taking Rombi Tasting Vertical: A Wine Find
August 24, 2012
It’s hard not to have a good feeling about the wine you’re going to drink when you know the winemaker spends time every day in his tiny Cachagua vineyard attending to his vines like they’re his infant children.
Earlier this summer, in fact, Salvatore Rombi spent two weeks straight trimming leaves and executing more than 1,000 cuts.
Sure enough—the Rombi Vineyard Cabs are arresting: Floral, full, balanced, smoky, complex and luxurious on the finish.
Only problem: They’re almost impossible to find, available only at his brother’s Joe Rombi’s Italian restaurant in P.G. and via the website.
Until this weekend, anyway, when Carmel Valley’s 15th tasting room opens with Rombi wines at 1 One Center St. (659-7200).
I knew I liked the Cab—it’s easily my favorite in the area, particularly the ’08—so the Foodie Newsletter team tried the 2006-08 Merlots, which he grows on about a third of his land (to the Cab’s two-thirds).
Our impressions diverged. We agreed each enjoys a mineral-rich, almost dusty nose and first taste, with the 2008 being more intensely plummy, the other two more mellow and light.
Joel Ede was into the 08’s crisp minerality, and it was my favorite bouquet, but if I had to choose one I’d opt for the ’06’s smoothness, as the terroir is clearly still there. (The 2007 settled in between the two for both of us.)
But it’s no easy call—which makes the fact that he is pouring just the 2008 Cab and Merlot noon-6pm weekends a little bit of a relief. And it’s a reminder that when a guy pays attention like Rombi does, no vintage comes away disappointing, only different.
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