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: 22 Months, 72% French Oak, 20% American Oak, 8% Hungarian Oak (35% New Oak predominantly French)
Varietal Composition: 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5.5% Malbec, 2.5% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot
A stunning expression of Rutherford terroir from a fabulous vintage, the 2013 Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon is rich, ripe and impeccably balanced. Generous blackberry and cassis aromas reveal layers of rum raisin, black licorice, violet, anise and summer savory. The flavors echo the aromas as they flow across the palate and then culminate in a deep-berry finish warmed by dark chocolate and vanilla from new oak barrels. The integrated, cocoa-powder tannins—a signature of Rutherford “dust”—enhance the opulent texture and firm structure, as well as giving cellar worthiness. Our winemakers suggest pairing the deliciously bold flavors of this Cabernet Sauvignon with braised lamb shanks, osso buco with creamy polenta, or Turkish meatballs with bulgur and smoky, grilled eggplant.
To achieve the Rutherford “sense of place” in this Cabernet Sauvignon, we selected the vast majority (86%) 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 balance of blend comes from several of our favorite vineyards in Calistoga and Oakville.
The 2013 vintage surpassed even the highly touted 2012 vintage in grape quality. A winter with very low rainfall was followed by a dry, warm spring and summer. These factors resulted in balanced vine canopies, good fruit set and small, concentrated grapes. Perfect weather throughout harvest—fostering intense, beautifully balanced and expressive wines—crowned the vintage.
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 during aging gently clarified the wine, and small amounts of other varietals broadened the spectrum of aromas and flavors.