2005 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon •Estate Vineyard
California: Rutherford (Napa)
What we say
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
Today’s selection from Rutherford Grove is truly a wine of elegance and distinction. If you are a fan of the great wines from Rutherford, this wine belongs in your cellar.
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Mission Codename: Five Generations of Great Wines and Great Times
Operative: Agent White & Agent Sass
Objective: Secure an exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon from family run Rutherford Grove.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Rutherford Grove Winery and Vineyards
Wine Subject: 2005 Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker: Andy Pestoni
The Rutherford AVA is among the most famous names in the valley and is primarily know for its exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon as well as the other big Bordeaux varietals. Ironically, Rutherford was the last of the major districts to receive AVA status and is home to about 30 wineries. Its well drained soil made of a combination of marine sediment and volcanic gravel, sand and loam is distinct and contributes to its famed ‘Rutherford Dust’ component found its its great wines.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep dark garnet purple with a dark, nearly black clear core with highlighting garnet hues that sparkle as you swirl this wine. Deep garnet along the edges with alternating fast and slow medium legs that leave hints of this wine’s color on the sides of the glass.
Smell – Rich in intensity with aromas of soft blackberry, raspberry and wild bramble that are layered over complex notes of black licorice, savory herbs, toasted oak and hints of dark chocolate.
Feel – Smooth and rich, this full-bodied wine has smooth, fine and well developed firm tannins and lively acidity with a touch of minerality and the famed dust. Well structured, but not overpowering, as this wine opens up and breathes, its true elegance is revealed.
Taste – Rich and luscious earthy dusty black and blue-fruit including blackberry, bilberry, black-cherry are supported by toasted oak with vanilla hints, a touch of black licorice, dried fall herbal notes, a subtle vegital component and mocha.
Finish – This wine finishes exceptionally long and clean with lingering flavors of its herbal, oak and fruit that are well supported by this wine’s balanced structure.
Conclusion – The 2005 Rutherford Grove Winery and Vineyards Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is an exceptional example of why Rutherford is so well known for great Cab. Complex on the nose with classic fruit, oak and herbs; plush and rich on the palate; expansive but well integrated flavors and a long clean finish that begs for another sip.
Agent Sass’s Review and Food Pairing:
If platters of dates, figs and prunes, pungent cheeses and fabulous oils, grace your table, then BEHOLD, one gorgeous Cabernet for you! Deep leather and lust is evident in this very well made and somewhat syrupy swallow of grape. With a subtle hint of Herbs de Provence trickling in after time, it is easy to become engulfed right away from this wine, whether an avid Cab drinker or not. Polished and with presence, this wine by the glass can stand alone, and its accents pick up the savory markings of food, very well. Both elegant and powerful, this wine demonstrates that one CAN indeed have it all, in one glass!
About Agent Sass:
Agent Sass, currently a resident of New England, is a bond girl to the Nth degree! Speaking multiple languages, feasting on exotic game meats, drinking exclusively red wines – but for the occasional bubbly or Zind Humbrecht white – and having an affinity for leather trousers and “high fashion” shoes; Agent Sass produced an edgy wine etiquette DVD: www.sassfrommyglass.com. She has enjoyed wine with her dinner nightly, since age 10, and taught extemporaneous speaking to college students prior to today. While drinking copious reds, Agent Sass raises very pampered Cocker Spaniels and prepares all of their gourmet food from scratch. Despite her luscious crush on Malbecs, her favorite wine is tied between Ghost Horse Cabernet & Screaming Eagle Cabernet – still a delicious “menage a trois” for Sass, while she determines which it is, that truly hits the spot best for her!
With the 2010 harvest underway, we were unable to secure a winemaker interview for today’s wine. Below is a recap of Agent White’s original mission when he discovered Rutherford Grove Winery & Vineyards.
Every now and then wine mixes with another passion, specifically my love of fine historic automobiles. So it was with great pleasure that we accepted an initiation to attend a specific wine tasting event at the Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles that was featuring the wines and wineries of the Howell Mountain Vintners & Growers Association. (To honest, given the magnitude of great wines, they could have hosted the event at a stock yard and I’d be there).
I asked one of my favorite tasting partners to join me, We’ll call her Agent Fire Cracker for now. So named as she is half French and half Columbian, I’ll let you guess which side won, but she has one of the most sophisticated palates of anyone I know and I wanted her judgment since I was likely to be swayed by all the four-wheeled distractions.
With so many great wineries represented this was both a pleasure but also a daunting task. So many great wines so little time. We used the W.I.N.E. (Wine Internet Nexus Engine) to help us narrow down the specific target wineries and their selections so we could focus on only the best. Fire Cracker and I, with our cover established covertly tasted the wines on our list. So many were great and over the next few months you’ll be presented with our findings.
Today, we are pleased to introduce you to one of those great wineries, the folks from Rutherford Grove and their delicious 2004 Estate Merlot. Strategically located near Herbie – The Love Bug of Disney movie fame, this wine is equally a classic. The folks at Rutherford Grove have an extensive history of winemaker that dates back five generations. Winemaker, Andy Pestoni and the Pestoni family is committed not only producing wines of exceptional character but also to sustainable farming practices. After you taste today’s selection, we are sure you’ll agree that history, tradition and respect for the environment make all the difference.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Rutherford Grove Winery and Vineyards can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the winery says
About This Wine:
Our Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of two single vineyard lots totaling three acres from our estate vineyards located in the heart of the Rutherford Bench.
Cherry stone, green olive and dusty blackberries are characteristics that come to mind in this classic Rutherford Bench Cabernet Sauvignon. The fruit is mature, the balance is refined with great complexity in its dusty fruit and integrated oak flavors.
Vineyard Notes: This growing region is one of the best for Cabernet Sauvignon due to ideal soil and climate conditions. Wines of the Rutherford Appellation display the “Rutherford Dust” characteristic that make them distinguishable from other Cabernet Sauvignon grown in other areas and setting them apart as some of the best in the world.
About The Winery:
Nestled in the heart of the Napa Valley, Rutherford Grove Winery and Vineyards invites you to enjoy our wines, stroll through our gardens, or stay for an afternoon picnic. Conveniently located on Highway 29, we welcome visitors daily from 10am to 4:30pm. Prior appointment for tasting is not required for groups fewer than 8.
About The Winemaker:
Andy Pestoni is the fourth generation of his family to live and work in the Napa Valley. Born and raised in St. Helena, today he directs the winemaking for Rutherford Grove Winery’s Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petite Sirah, Sangiovese and Sauvignon Blanc. The winery’s total production is 10,000 cases a year and the wines are estate-grown from 50 acres of vineyards in the Rutherford and Howell Mountain appellations. The family came to the Napa Valley in the late 1880’s from the Ticino region of Switzerland, from the town of Monte Carasso.
“Even though I have winemakers in my family history, I didn’t think I’d grow up to be a winemaker,” Andy smiles. He caught the ‘wine bug’ working harvests at Beaulieu Vineyard while attending college. He went on to work in the cellar at Ferrari-Carrano in Sonoma County for several years. While he was at Ferrari-Carrano his father and uncle bought a winery formerly known as Rutherford Vintners, in the town of Rutherford, and asked Andy to ‘come home’ and help them launch it as a new family winery. Ray Corison joined the team for the first few years as a winemaking consultant, as did Bob Pepi; from the 1996 vintage on, though, Andy has directed all winemaking operations.
Production Notes: 82% Estate Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon 18% Estate Rutherford Merlot
Wine Type: Red Wine
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Aging: 24 Months in Oak Barrels – 80% French oak, 20% American oak60% new, 20% one-year old 20% two-year old
Winemakers: Andy Pestoni