We’ve selected this wine, offered exclusively at the winery, from our favorite barrels of Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon. It reflects the cool 2011 vintage with its lovely, red fruit aromatics, bright flavors and underlying minerality. The red currant and brambly blackberry aromas are tinged with complex hints of sassafras, dark chocolate, hibiscus tea and espresso bean. The wine’s gentle entry on the palate reveals a beam of black cherry and toasted almond, while fine Rutherford Dust tannins and vibrant acidity provide structure and carry the flavors through a long finish. Filet of beef with Cabernet sauce; lamb roasted with garlic and rosemary; and aged white cheddar with walnut toasts would nicely complement this Cabernet Sauvignon.
This wine was sourced from Cabernet Sauvignon vines planted in three exceptional sites in the heart of Napa Valley. These vineyards are located in the Rutherford American Viticultural Area (AVA)—Beckstoffer Vineyard Georges III on the eastern side and our estate vineyards on the west—where the valley’s sun exposure, climate and soils are particularly well suited to Cabernet Sauvignon.
After hand harvesting the fruit and then hand sorting it twice at the winery, we gently destemmed the grapes to retain at least 60 percent whole berries. Three days of cold soaking before fermentation gently extracted the opulent color and flavors from the skins. Two to three weeks of skin contact developed varietal expression and was followed by fermentation, pressing and then in-barrel malolactic fermentation to round the acidity. Aging in a high percentage of new oak barrels married the velvety Cabernet Sauvignon flavors with warm oak tones.