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Review: Urbano Cellars 2009 Dry Creek Valley Sangiovese


The Urbano has landed!

After kicking around the East Bay for what seems like an eternity, and sharing space with other wineries in Emeryville and Oakland, Urbano Cellars  finally found a place of their own on 4th Street in Berkeley. And there, in a tiny warehouse space crammed with barrels and bins, Bob Rawson and Fred Dick are really starting to hit their stride as small-lot commercial winemakers, as Urbano’s 2009 Dry Creek Valley Sangiovese attests.

This a single-vineyard wine, made entirely from Sangiovese grown on the Mountain View Ranch in Sonoma’s Dry Creek appellation. It’s decidedly food-friendly, and abundant in lush fruit. I was hit instantly with the aroma of raspberries and ripe fresh cherries, and there’s a spiciness to the nose as well. The cherries and raspberries are present on the palate as well, and they are joined by the taste of black currants.

The acidity is bright, and there are firm tannins on the palate as well. I wish the tannins were a little more moderate, but some additional bottle age would probably take care of that. The wine should play well with grilled meat and party hearty with pizza and red-sauced pasta dishes. It’s moderate 14.3% alcohol content also contributes to its affinity for food.

Production was only 133 cases, making this $24 wine a small-lot gem for those who make the trek to the Berkeley winery on a Saturday or Sunday, or who visit for ordering information.