Contra Costa County is a land of sand, blazing sun and howling winds. Even with these extreme conditions, early colonists knew that this was a great spot to plant vines. Most of the countless vineyards they planted are long gone, covered by the tract homes and subdivision as well as the massive engineering project that created the modern delta and water infrastructure of California. But some tenacious vines and landowners hung on and now the county has more hundred year old vines than almost anywhere else.Fortunately for all of us, the likes of Tegan Passalacqua and Morgan Peterson started to shine a light on the region. Not really on anyone's radar at the time, these two along with some other intrepid types saw in the centenarian vines and phylloxera free soils the potential to produce some of the state's most intriguing, balance and terroir driven wines. Some of the wines now grace the list of the nation's best restaurants. Surely joining them on those lists in short order will be the wines of the Erggelet brothers. Growing up in southern Germany, Julian and Sebastian Erggelet were raised on the virtues of age-worthy Riesling and, after separate academic and professional careers, soon followed their passions to France, Switzerland, Australia and Spain in pursuit of making expressive, terroir-driven wines. In 2014, Julian and Sebastian embarked on a journey to California working with the likes of Ovid and Seven Stones, then Martin Estate and Hannah Nicole Winery, before venturing out to craft their own wines in Contra Costa County. Attracted by those very old vines, the unique soil and climate of the Delta, they were convinced that this was the spot where they could make the expressive elegant and complex wines that they dreamed of. Their almost OCD level of meticulous farming is coupled with low intervention but intentional winemaking, which allows Julian and Sebastian to showcase their adopted homes’ world class terroir. Their wines are delicious, exceptional and unique, light on their feet but with structure and acidity that point to ancient vines.
Aromatic , Elegant , Fruity
Discovered this wine on the wine list at "Wit & Wisdom" in Sonoma and liked it so well that I purchased several more bottles. We had never heard of the Winery but had heard of the vineyard (del Barba in Contra Costa County) - the sommelier recommended the wine and it was incredible. Very much a Zinfandel with the sweet, brambly, juicy, fruity, bold flavor but also very balanced and finessed without being over the top, in your face, and hot. Great wine overall - and since everyone seems to prefer a 100 point scale, I'd have to give this one a 90+.