2016 Rutherford Estate Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

  • 2016


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Tasting Notes

Deep hues of purple and red illustrate the density of this wine. Red cherry, plum, and raspberry, and goji berries encompass nuances of coffee, black pepper, a hint of graphite, and toasted oak. Sweet ripe blackberry and plum dominate with integrations of anise and charred oak. This is a centered wine with nice texture.

Technical Note


2016 saw a near-perfect growing season. A warm spring jumpstarted bud break followed by an ideal June and July. August was cooler allowing for an even and steady growing season which encouraged the fruit to ripen uniformly under slow, steady conditions. Harvest of Cabernet Sauvignon in Rutherford kicked off on September 24th. Yields were as expected; the quality of the fruit, exceptional. The fruit was hand-harvested in the cool morning hours and brought to the winery in half ton bins. Clusters were sorted using a double sorting system. First, they were hand-sorted, then they ran through a small destemmer and individual berries were sorted to ensure that the most ideal grapes were chosen.

These berries were delivered to a fermenter where there was a period of resting on skins. Warm fermentation temperatures and gentle cap maceration helped to achieve the desired color and structure before an extended maceration time on skins prior to final pressing. The wine was transferred directly to barrel for 19 months of maturation. Thirty percent of the berries used in this blend were fermented in French Oak barrels to add layers of complexity. After fermentation, the wine remained in those same barrels for aging.

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93 Points, Jeb Dunnuck – Similarly colored to the Dollarhide Estate release, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford Estate is slightly more forward and charming, with terrific blue fruits, toasted bread, spice, and incense aromatics. Full-bodied, sweetly fruited, elegant, and charming, with no hard edges, drink this pleasure-bent beauty any time over the coming 15+ years. The blend is 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, all aged 19 months in 53% new French oak.

93 Points, James Suckling – This is nicely crafted with extremely polished, fine tannins that caress your palate. Underneath, there are blackberry, blueberry and chocolate-powder undertones. It’s complex and very pretty.

92 Points, Wine Spectator – Polished and ripe, with enticing cassis, plum sauce and anise notes that are nicely melded together, ending with a subtle mesquite accent. Drink now through 2028.

91 Points, The Wine Advocate – The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford Estate is blended of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. It has a deep garnet-purple color and delivers pronounced crème de cassis, spice box, tapenade and wood smoke with wafts of rose hip tea and mincemeat pie. Medium-bodied with ripe, grainy tannins providing a solid frame for the muscular fruit core, it finishes long and savory.



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