Positioned in the heart of Napa Valley, the Rutherford appellation enjoys sun exposure, climate and soils well suited to Cabernet Sauvignon. The significant percentage of new barrels wove oak complexity through the dark-fruit flavors. While this wine’s dynamic tannin structure promises excellent aging potential, it is approachable in its youth, especially if decanted.
Barrel Aging: 21 Months, 100% Barrel Aged (40% New Oak, predominantly French)
Varietal Composition: 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Petite Sirah, 2% Malbec, 1% Petit Verdot
The synergy of great terroir and a stellar vintage gave our 2010 Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon its exceptionally pure, focused flavors. The rich, deep blackberry, cassis and juicy plum aromas reveal fragrant nuances of violet and toasted almond. Echoing the aromas, the ripe flavors expand across the palate, supported by the texturally opulent Rutherford Dust tannins. Integrated toffee, espresso and clove from new French oak barrels linger gently in the dark-fruit finish. While this wine’s dynamic tannin structure promises excellent aging potential, it is approachable and food friendly even in its youth.
Heralded as a near-flawless vintage in Napa Valley, 2010 had the latest onset to harvest in several decades. We crushed the first grapes after Labor Day, about two weeks later than average. This was due to above-average rainfall and cool temperatures that persisted into May, followed by a mostly cool, foggy summer that slowed fruit maturity. But just as we started worrying that the grapes would never ripen, Mother Nature surprised us with heat spells to boost their flavors and sugar levels. The long hangtime and full maturity added up to exceptionally richly flavored wines with exquisite balance.
After hand harvesting the fruit, we hand sorted the clusters and then, following destemming, hand sorted the individual grapes to assure the highest quality. To gently extract opulent color and flavors from the skins, we cold soaked the partially crushed grapes for three days. Two to three weeks of post-fermentation skin contact—the length depending on varietal and vineyard personality—developed varietal expression. In-barrel malolactic fermentation rounded the acidity, while 21 months of barrel aging added hints of toasted almond, espresso and clove. Finally, small amounts of five other varietals broadened the spectrum of aromas and flavors.