We recently got together with Robin Akhurst of Apsara Cellars. Apsara is a relatively new producer that makes very limited quantities of quality California Sauvignon Blanc and Syrah. We met Robin at a Las Madres Vineyard Lunch a few years back and have kept in touch since. He was generous to share with us several current release wines. No question, they are very well made, and might add, very reasonably priced!
2012 Apsara Sauvignon Blanc – Light green tint to the color with a green apple nose and palate. It is crisp and clean, a textbook California Sauvignon Blanc, crafted with a hint of sulfur on the nose we found appealing. One of the better Sauvignon Blanc we have tasted in some time.
2010 Apsara Las Madres Syrah – Initially, the wine showed very tight and wasn’t revealing much. As it sat in the glass however, began to pickup a pleasant floral nose and cranberry red fruit palate. Revisiting the wine hours later, an interesting transformation took place and started to note blue fruits. A few additional hours after that, it took on an oily black olive quality. Rarely do we hold a wine over until the next day, but did so in this case, and it still drank very well. Plenty of structure remained, fruit still in a great place, think the wine could hold its own open a few more days! Overall, cannot say enough positive things about this wine. Incredible value, excellent balance, good complexity and notable age worthiness.
2011 Apsara Las Madres Syrah – At first, thought it a strong contrast to the 2010, showed more ripe fruit initially, and lower acidity. With some time in the glass, it showed more structure. Hours later, noted similar blue fruits as the 2010, and again, hours after that, the black olive component became more predominate. The fruit was dark and round, not as dense as the 2010 but still well integrated. On day two, structure still existed, the fruit softened, yet remained approachable. 2011 was a pretty challenging year for growers and winemakers, this is clearly one of those producers that overcame the odds and put out a great drinking wine.
Apsara’s case production is very limited. The current release Sauvignon Blanc is 85 cases, and Syrah, 65 cases. Both cool climate Syrahs are well made, balanced, complex and age worthy. Really great drinking wines consistent if not superior to other Syrah tasted from the Las Madres Vineyard. Highly recommended and worth getting on their mailing list.
Apsara Website – www.apsaracellars.com
Santa Rosa Fine Wine