Hints of dark chocolate and leather laced with black pepper are identified immediately, but there is an intriguing floral and black cherry character that lingers with plum. The typical savory Rutherford dust is present, yet there is a freshness, a creaminess, and a sweetness of fruit that adds richness. The balance between the acid and tannin give length and really allow the wine to linger long beyond the intial sip. This wine is truly a representation of the Estate and is promised to deliver the best Rutherfod has to offer.
The 2016 growing season started early, saw ideal weather conditions throughout and finished before the first rains of the season. July and August were relatively mild. A series of warm days at the end of the growing season brought the fruit to ripeness. Another drought season produced smaller more concentrated berries resulting in another stellar year for Napa Valley wines.
94+ Tasting Panel
All three of the 2016s I was able to taste showed beautifully. Starting with the 2016 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, it’s a blend of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Petit Verdot, brought up in 50% new oak. This is classic Cabernet all the way and offers lots of cassis, green tobacco, cedar, and dark chocolate. These carry to a medium to full-bodied 2016 that has ripe, present tannins, good purity, and an old school, complex, textbook Cabernet character. Give it 3-4 years and enjoy over the following two decades. Rating: 92+