Wine Enthusiast Magazine
Erba 2004 Mountainside Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley);
Despite some fierce mountain tannins, there's a glamorous elegance to this Cab. It feels and tastes classic, from the fine balance to the ripe black currant and smoky oak flavors that are so deep and long-lasting. Gets better as it warms in the glass. Now through 2012, at least. - S.H.
Cabernet & Blends
Erba, 2005 Proprietary Red Wine Napa Valley
Dense crimson hue. Reserved scents of dust mocha and plum. Creamy flavors of black cherry, vanilla and chocolate imbued with velvety tannins. Layers of black fruit and vanilla drive the juicy close.
Erba Mountainside, 2004 Merlot Napa Valley
Brooding garnet hue. Intense plum, chocolate and new leather aromas. Minty blueberry and plum flavors with an edge of flinty mineral accents. Lengthy, plump finish with a lingering toasted oak nuance.
Andrea Immer Robinson, Master Sommelier
2005 Erba Mountainside Vineyard Proprietary Red Wine
Paul and Debbie Erba must have had a nose for greatness. They searched for a virgin Napa property to develop, and succeeded in spades. The fruit from this vineyard has to be Napa's sexiest. The scents and flavors of blackest cherry liqueur and sweet vanilla are tripled in intensity on the palate, all without any sense of cloying excess. The long, smoky-cherry-tobacco finish is classy.
2005 Erba Mountainside Vineyard Merlot
This is our third year to include the Erba Merlot in our club, and I think the best vintage yet of those I have tried. We repeatedly taste it blind against the standard-bearers of California Merlot (costing $75 and up) and it always wins. It is so much more complex and expressive than what California Merlot has, with a few notable exceptions, turned into. There is a charry minerality and a real depth of cherry compote fruit laced with spice, kirsch and cocoa flavors. The fantastic structure and fresh acidity are surely what carry the fruit so long into the finish, followed on by smoky, charry note. Because of the depth and complexity, I pair it with some of the same flavor elements I would a Cabernet. Try to use good-quality walnut bread and a panini press if you have one, to get a toasty element to the crostini base that will compliment the soft oak and tannins in the wine.