2010 Roblar O Pescador

Santa Ynez Valley, CA
50% Sauvignon Blanc, 50% Semillon; 13.8% alc.
$4 at the Oakland, CA store

The winery website makes this wine sound pretty appealing: a limited production of only 200 cases released at $24. The 2010 Semillon was reviewed here by TukLaw back in Feb., and he didn’t like it much, nor did Cel Elles, mentioning “asparagus pee” in the nose (not that she knows what it tastes like!). There’s a 2007 Roblar SB on the shelf at Oakland for the same price too, and it actually got some good reviews on CellarTracker; I picked this one because it’s younger, although the ’07 is lighter in color, usually indicating less oxidation. OK, four bucks: my turn in the barrel … how bad could it be?

Hum…kinda bad. The nose is full of sulfite and something funky, although there is some fruit in there, in the ripe pear and honeyed vein characteristic of the Semillon. The palate seems a bit over-ripe, with some residual sugar, spritzy CO2 and a funky-sulfitey taste to match the nose. After pouring the first glass down the drain, I recorked it and put it back in the fridge. A day later, the funk had mostly blown off along with the excess CO2; however, there was still too much sulfite. I’m more able to taste and smell the wine now; the nose is subdued but pleasant, with only a tiny hint of funk, and the fruit flavor is quite nice. I would describe the body as rich and full rather than over-ripe. It’s satisfying if not overly complex, perhaps a little heavy. More Sauvignon Blanc acidity might have helped it as an apéritif, but the richness worked well with a heavy mushroom Alfredo pasta. What a difference a day makes – yesterday it was Thumbs Down. However, the heavy sulfite presence did not entirely dissipate from the nose and was noticeable in the palate too, and in my experience, whites that have been so heavily oversulfited as to affect the flavor like this (now we know what asparagus pee tastes like!) may never recover with either time or air, so I have to rate it as merely Drinkable for now.

8 thoughts on “2010 Roblar O Pescador

    1. BargainWhine

      Hi Carol. Probably you mean the more current vintage that is currently available in GO, although I forget which it is. I did get some woody funk from the current selection, and didn’t like it much.

      1. Carol Foster

        This is the 2010 and I did not get any woody funk or sulfur. It may be that 4 years has improved it. My GO in Gardnerville, NV has several Roblars at the moment including a savignon blanc, Potting Shed which is 72% Chardonnay, 23% Sauvignon Blanc and 5% Viognier, and a Merlot. So far I like all of them a lot.

    2. Darrell

      If this is the same vintage, 2010, four years have elapsed since dluber’s evaluation and time may have improved the disliked components mentioned by others.

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  2. Dan Carleson

    Loved the review. I keep some key limes handy for white wine that’s barely drinkable. Usually, adding the juice of one lime is an improvement. Yes; I know it’s just wrong to do that.

    1. dluber Post author

      Well Dan, I know it’s wrong too, but I actually recommended a slice of citrus in a previous review, so now the “real” wine critics can sneer at both of us 😉 Adding acidity is crucial for many warm-climate wines; adding citric or malic acid tends to give a bright, almost artificial fruitiness, what BargainWhine and I refer to as “SweeTarts”, whereas adding the more expensive tartaric acid more closely replicates ripe grapes.

      Acidity also helps to preserve a wine, requiring less sulfite, and low pH shifts the chemical equilibrium of the sulfite toward SO2, which is gas that will evaporate from an open bottle or glass, removing sulfite. Too much sulfite in the nose gives the “burnt match” smell; too much in the palate can result in a number of flaws depending on what it reacts with – I don’t know the technical term for these flavor flaws, but “asparagus pee” is a pretty good descriptor!


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