Based in the Los Carneros and Stags Leap districts of Napa and Sonoma Valleys, Robert Sinskey has grown his 100% organic and Biodynamic certified winegrowing operation to over 200 acres of premium vineyards over the past twenty-five years.
Founded on a conviction that artisanal winemaking begins with the care of the land, Robert, along with winemaker Jeff Virnig, quietly converted their vineyards to biodynamic practices, beginning in 1991. Looking beyond the vineyard, the Sinskey estate have reduced their carbon footprint further, by generating 75% of the energy used at the winery through solar photovoltaic installations and the brewing of bio-diesel, made from used restaurant oil, to power machinery.
Robert Sinskey believes that the goals of making luxuriously elegant wines and farming with earth friendly methods are not mutually exclusive. On the contrary, he has found that caring for the land and conscientious business practices have helped to define the well-crafted and characterful Robert Sinskey wines.
Robert Sinskey’s wife, Maria Helm Sinskey, is the winery’s resident chef and her influence is clearly expressed in the wines, which are indisputably food-friendly.
Perhaps the Robert Sinskey winery’s ethos is best summarised in Maria’s matra:
Eat seasonally, drink good wine and live a long and prosperous life.
VIN GRIS OF PINOT NOIR 2016
A bright, vibrant, pinkish-salmon hue telegraphs the purity of this dry Vin Gris of Pinot Noir. Heady aromas of Spring and Summer jump out of the glass with notes of fresh strawberry, rose and ripe peach. A sip expands upon the aromatics, as flavours of freshly-picked, perfectly-ripened white peach or nectarine are balanced by a zippy, citrusy backbone of Meyer lemon and blood orange zest that come together to reveal a beautifully structured wine. The long, crisp finish is supported by a hint of tannin that makes this wine ideal for culinary exploration.
Abraxas Vin de Terroir Scintilla Sonoma Vineyard 2014
This wine is pure, fresh and vibrant with aromas and flavors of green apple, pear, pineapple, lychee, lemon verbena and river stone minerality. These juicy, mouth-watering notes suggest that this wine should be sweet but, when tasted, a dry, clean, crisp profile defines Abraxas. Meyer lemon, key lime, ripe peach, fresh pineapple, candied orange peel, ginger, cardamom and chamomile are intertwined from the first sip to the last. The wine’s complex flavor profile is matched by layers of evolving texture. This wine is ideal for the table in its youth, but will be a long-lived white wine for those who prefer the subtleties of age.
SLD Stags Leap District Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
RSV’s Stags Leap District Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is a 2012 release worth the wait! This one’s a firm handshake with a first impression of wisdom beyond its years. An aromatic greeting of boysenberry, cassis, spice, bay laurel and cocoa bean is backed by complex notes of leather, graphite and earth. After five minutes come hints of cherry and strawberry. The wine suggests old world complexity endowed with new world richness. It is both delicate and powerful with a brightness on the palate that balances the firm tannins and the weightiness of a perfectly ripened Cabernet from the SLD. A splash in the decanter while the wine is young will make it a great dinner companion or, for those with patience, a candidate to lose in the cellar for a few years… or decades!
Cabernet Franc Vandal Vineyard 2014
Consistently a fascinating wine, RSV’s Cabernet Franc from the 2013 vintage is a classic. The long, cool growing season allowed the grapes to develop flavour at lower sugars for an incredibly balanced wine. Aromas and flavours of mulberry and boysenberry are backed by hints of cacao, green olive, bramble and lavender, with just a hint of gaminess – think fine leather. The wine has an ideal structure to pair well with a broad range of cuisines and will age better than most of us!
Marcien Proprietary Red 2010
Rich yet bright, this wine has an out of this (New) world character of plum, blackberry, and cassis with a complex undercurrent of bay leaf, bramble, and dark bitter sweet chocolate. As the wine airs in the glass, subtle notes of cinnamon, clove, and citrus zest appear. This wine, no wimpy Californian, has a firm core of tannin and bright, mouth watering acidity to balance the rich fruit. This vintage of Marcien is a graceful, age-worthy wine.
Pinot Noir Los Carneros 2012
The 2012 vintage created wines that are as close to perfect as we have ever seen. The translucent, ruby red color triggers symptoms of synesthesia as you think you can almost smell or taste the wine just by looking at its vibrant color. Aromas and flavors of cranberry and raspberry are followed by a cinnamon spice and a touch of bramble. The wine is vibrant, almost nervy as the flavors explode across the palate for a nice, long, mouthwatering finish.
Orgia, Los Carneros, Napa Valley, 2014
Orgia is a trip. A bright, vibrant wine with the initial impression of a white and the gravitas of a red. The wine has a beautiful copper hue gleaned from skin contact during fermentation. The aroma is effusive with a wonderful medley of orange blossom, honey, crisp apple, and tea. The aroma follows through on the palate with the added impression of saltiness that implies this wine would be incredible with seafood. The tannin from the skin contact is apparent and lends the wine a mineral weightiness with incredible depth and length that just keeps going furthur, suggesting this wine will age gracefully for generations.