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, French Oak, American Oak and Hungarian Oak (30% New Oak, predominantly French)
Varietal Composition: 96% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Malbec, 1% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot
Our 2012 Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon exhibits the gorgeous terroir expression inherent in the appellation, with amplification from the superb 2012-growing season. The classic Cabernet Sauvignon profile of blackberry and cassis melds with subtle mint, mocha and violet in the aromas and flavors. Hints of hazelnut, from the slowly toasted French oak barrels, linger on the dark-chocolate finish. The integrated Rutherford Dust tannins enhance the opulent texture and supple structure, as well as giving cellar worthiness. This food-friendly Cabernet Sauvignon makes a bold statement paired with sizzling rib-eye steak, Moroccan spiced lamb shanks, braised pork loin, pasta with truffles and aged cheeses, and other richly flavored food.
To achieve the Rutherford Dust signature in this Cabernet Sauvignon, we selected the vast majority of the grapes from two outstanding vineyards in the Rutherford American Viticultural Area: Beckstoffer Vineyard Georges III and Hewitt Vineyard. Both are rooted in well-draining benchland sites; Georges III is located on the eastern side of the appellation, while the Hewitt estate vineyard is on the west, as is our Provenance estate vineyard.
The relaxed, high-quality 2012 harvest was a winemaker’s dream. The ideal growing season—well-timed rains, no frost during budbreak, and perfect weather for bloom, berry-set and ripening—was textbook Napa Valley. Long stretches of sunny days coupled with foggy nights gave our 2012 wines exceptionally rich, expressive flavors and impeccable balance. We had no weather pressures, from either pending rains or excessive heat, to rush the harvest. Instead we had the luxury of waiting until the grapes reached absolutely perfect maturity.
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 mouthfeel, three rackings gently clarified the wine, and small amounts of other varietals broadened the spectrum of aromas and flavors. We chose barrels that were slowly toasted over the flame for a longer period of time, which gave hazelnut nuances to the wine.