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The Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon was the first appellation wine to be introduced in our Cabernet series of very small bottlings dedicated to the benchland sub-appellations of Napa Valley. Fruit from the Morisoli Vineyard has been an important part of the foundation of Etude’s Rutherford Cabernet since 2003, and 2009 marked the first year this celebrated vineyard served as the sole source for this wine. Currently under the watchful eye of fourth generation grower Gary Morisoli, this pioneering vineyard produces some of the most sought after Cabernet Sauvignon grapes in Napa Valley. Located in the heart of Rutherford on the true and acclaimed bench, this is where the heat from the ground helps to concentrate the intense crushed berry character that defines Rutherford Cabernet.
“This is a phenomenal 2014 with superb length and depth. Full body, energetic and bright. It dances across your palate. Oyster shell. A great finish. Lost for words – sorry. Get it. Better in 2021.” - James Suckling
The 2014 Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon captures the legacy of the best Rutherford fruit. This Cabernet is very immediate and satisfying, quite primary, with black currants, plum, blackberry and dark chocolate, highlighted by cloves and allspice. There is amazing depth and concentration with present firm tannins and layers of complexity. The palate is rich and weighty, leaving a lengthy mouthwatering finish.
Despite drought conditions, the 2014 vintage proved to be ideal, with excellent quality reminiscent of 2012. The winter was one of the driest on record in California, but substantial rains in early spring were timely and set up the vines for a strong start. Summer temperatures were milder than expected with no extremes, and after early bud break and veraison, harvest was unusually early in 2014. The overall dry season made for a short harvest and was ideal for producing concentrated and balanced Cabernet Sauvignons.
Etude’s philosophy remains steadfast and this Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon was crafted with very minimal winemaking intervention. The grapes were cold soaked for 3-5 days, and an extended maceration period followed fermentation to help modify the depth and mouthfeel of the wine, and to fully extract color, flavor and aromatics. The young wine was then racked into small French oak barrels where it aged for 22 months.