Bill Mosby, founder, owner and and winemaker was a dentist with a long passion for winemaking and distilling that he traces back to his college days. He originally purchased the property that has become Mosby Wines in the early 1970s and planted it to Chardonnay, pinot Noir, and Gewurztraminer, which was his wife’s preferred variety! Smart man.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s Bill’s attention shifted to the great wines of Italy and his hunch that the soils and climate of Santa Barbara would be well suited for a wide variety of vines was tested out using some suitcase vines which proved to adapt very well to the vineyard of Santa Barbara after a few short years. Bill went on to be an ambassador for Italian varieties, introducing them to Santa Barbara county. Sometimes clones were already available in California, such as with Pinot Grigio and Sangiovese, though they may not have been the best choice, and in other cases Bill imported clones from their regional homes in Italy.
The wines here are produced in a rather simple style, the fruit is harvested with an eye towards retaining the fruit’s acid. Fermentations are spontaneous when possible, and the wines age in mostly neutral wood, typically for two years before they are bottled. They then see another year in bottle before they are released for sale. All the wines do share an old wood, natural feel with a rather savory set of aromatics. In general these seem to be pretty faithful interpretations of what each variety is capable of here in Santa Barbara while retaining their typical character.
2011 Mosby Cortese SBC 13.8% $18
A bit sharp on the nose very polleny and somewhat balsamic, earthy, and smelling of natural yeast? A touch lower in acid than I would like but nicely mineral with a broad, creamy mid-palate filled with melon tinged citrus pith flavors that end with solid savory, earthy length. Pure, fresh and slightly grapy with a touch of spearmint on the apple fruited finish. 86pts
2011 Mosby Pinot Grigio SBC 12.8% $18
Sees a little skin contact and lees contact
Deeply aromatic on the nose in a savory vein with nuanced leather, herb stems, and pear fruit aromas. Bright and fresh on entry with lovely small scaled yet very fresh apple and pear fruit topped with a hint of creamy tangerine rind and well integrated acids. This finishes with fine almost steely minerality and notes of small river pebbles and just a little creaminess. 88pts
2007 Mosby Ossessione Montepulciano Marche, Italy 13.5% $26
A bit leafy and minty on the nose with fine black fruit that shows some tarry sweetness. In the mouth this is medium bodied, lively with black cherry fruit over mineral base notes and a little hint of sassafras oxidation. With powdery tannins and fine supporting acidity, this is very clean and brisk on the palate with a finish that shows some raw acidity lending a contrasting hardness to the rather sweet fruit. Good length, a little chewy, honest. 86pts
2007 Mosby Sangiovese SBC 13.4% $28
Dark and aromatic on the nose with stemmy, earthy, and decidedly Sangiovese character, but a bit Sangiovese on roids with more power, ripeness and depth than one typically encounters on the nose. Smooth and medium bodied in the mouth, and not as intense as the nose suggests with slightly medicinal cherry and dried plum fruit followed by supple but solid acidity and lovely austere Sangiovese tannin that support gentle mineral and mossy accents to the slightly spicy cranberry and cherry fruit. This finishes cleanly and simply, very long and fresh and with none of the ripeness one gets from the nose. 89pts
2008 Mosby Dolcetto 13.5% $26
Dark. A bit heavy on the nose with notes of carob, sour berry fruit, old wood and autumnal forest floor notes topped with hints of Chinato and mint. Broad in the mouth but bright with fine acid and lovely red plum and berry fruit on a somewhat lightweight frame that develops some nuance on the backend. Earthy and savory this remains bright and taut in the mouth finishing with juicy black cherry and wild strawberry fruit and just a hint of candied baking spices on the long finish. 88pts
2006 Mosby Primitivo 13.5% $26
Fruit purchased from Templeton
Dark, leathery, and spicy in a black way on the nose with cactus fruit and smoky sandalwood top notes. Bright and rather elegant on entry with lovely earthy blackberry fruit that shows a hint of orange pith and some nicely integrated spice notes. Really well balanced with a lovely natural feel about the wine. Finishes with nice length and attractive minerality. 87pts
2008 Mosby Teroldego SBC 13.5% $28
High toned and gently leafy on the nose with olive leaf and a slight green olive note accenting the core of dark fruit topped with with powdery spice notes. Ths is wide open on the palate with really transparent black plum skin and blackberry fruit that is supported by lively, fresh tannins. There’s good depth on the backend, though this turns a bit short on the finish but does show a really attractive palate cleansing, and slightly rustic finish. 88pts
2006 Mosby La Seduzione Lagrein French Camp Vineyard 13.9% $28
A little spicy then noticeably chocolatey on the nose with dark black cherry and almost black currant fruit framed by a hint of vanilla and dried bay leaf notes. Still powerful and relatively youthful with a nice mineral underlay early on the plummy palate. There's some nice depth here and the acid appears on the backend adding a nice tart note to the fruit before it reverts to the chocolate/mineral theme on the moderately long finish. This has lots of tannins but they are pretty finely textured and bode well for ageing. 88pts