Sullivan Family Vineyards
2016 'Coeur de Vigne' Rutherford Estate Red
Red Blend •Sullivan Family Vineyard
California: Napa Valley: Rutherford
The ❤️ of the matter
- the fear of an abrupt end to a string of seemingly endless, back-to-back extraordinary deals from Sullivan Family Vineyards.
- an uncontrollable feeling of paranoia for missing out on hot Bordeaux blends while reading all the blabber on Wine Spies.
Been a wild run since our very first Sullivan back in April of 2020. Estate Cab, Petit Verdot, Merlot… all from the best recent vintages 2014-2016. Pallets and pallets of one insane offering after another, from arguably the best-kept secret in Rutherford, in and out the door as they came. We barely had room to breathe when this happened.
Sullivan has AMAZING varietal reds, and we all know that by now. They also have a FLAGSHIP blend that has always featured an artist label, by the acclaimed Kelleen Sullivan, the founder’s daughter. Named “Coeur de Vigne”, French for Heart of the Vine. This barrel select reserve showcases the absolute best of a harvest. Behind the scenes, every time we featured a Sullivan, we kept BEGGING for an opportunity to show this wine to you. Until today, finally, and proudly…
Coeur de Vigne, Operatives! 2016 too, with accolades AND phantasmagorical savings of 55%. The unfathomable has been fathomed. The unimaginable has been imagined. The unthinkable has been thunk… or something like that, you get the drift while we get our grammar together.
This ‘Greatest Hits’ compilation of Sullivan’s top lots is half Cabernet in 2016, the remainder is comprised of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petite Verdot in descending order. Fascinatingly, each varietal does lend a personality trait here, as they are grown and raised lovingly with care as part of the Family Estate, making this wine truly the Heart of the Vine.
The glass before us resonates with an intense - nearly pitch black in the core yet vivid around the edges - ruby. A tight nose blooms with steadfast swirling as classic notes of cassis, blackberry, pencil shavings, cardamom, sage, and Valrhona chocolate emerge. Once sipped, layers upon layers unfold, ranging from mulberry to Damson plum chutney to subtle hints of camphor, with Turkish coffee-like powdery tannins rounding out the long, impressive finish begging for bottle age. Strongly advise opening it in the morning and serving with a feast, should you run out of cellaring patience with this collectible along the way.
Here’s a brand new cool video tour of the Sullivan Estate, by the way, promise it’s not as long as the wine’s finish!
Coeur de Vigne has been an insiders’ favorite since the inaugural 1991 vintage, for which a CellarTracker review sums it all up nicely, don’t let it happen to you…
“Killer bottle. Wish I had more.”
92+ Points – Jeb Dunnuck
“All three of the 2016s I was able to taste showed beautifully. In the same ballpark, the 2016 Estate Coeur de Vigne checks in as 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Malbec and Petit Verdot, all of which spent 21 months in 60% new French oak. As with the Cabernet, it has an old school, textbook bouquet of green herbs, ripe tobacco, cedar, and new leather. It has a touch of green, but it’s varietal, not vegetal. More chocolate and black fruits emerge with time in the glass, and it’s medium to full-bodied, has a tight, backward vibe on the palate, and outstanding length. It needs 4-5 years of bottle age and will keep for 10-15+ years. Drink 2024-2039.”
Resonates with an intense - nearly pitch black in the core yet vivid around the edges - ruby
Classic notes of cassis, blackberry, pencil shavings, cardamom, sage, and Valrhona chocolate emerge
Layers upon layers unfold, ranging from mulberry to Damson plum chutney to subtle hints of camphor
Turkish coffee-like powdery tannins rounding out the long, impressive finish begging for bottle age
Strongly advise opening it in the morning and serving with a feast, should you run out of cellaring patience
What the Winery Says
- Jeff Cole
- 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Franc, 5% Malbec, and 2% Petite Verdot
- Rutherford, Napa Valley
- Sullivan Estate Vineyard
- 21 months
- 60% new French oak