2006 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon •Estate Vineyard
California: Napa Valley: Rutherford
What We Say
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
Today’s wine easily earns this alert. Not because Wine Enthusiast Magazine gave the wine a 90 Point Score, but because we love it so. Our focus is always on quality first, but when we feature something even more special, we issue these alerts.
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Mission Codename: Rutherford Dust
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Return to family run Rutherford Grove and infiltrate their private library. Return with their 2006 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, a wine reported to be drinking beautifully.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Rutherford Grove Winery and Vineyards
Wine Subject: 2006 Pestoni Family Estate 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 – Garnet hues and deep concentration of color, right out to the edge of the glass, give this wine a solid and serious look. A moment after swirling, tall, spindly, wine-stained tears move deliberately down the inside of the glass.
Smell – Bold intensity, with mixed dark berry compote that you can smell without even lifting the glass to you nose. Blueberry and blackberry are out in front, followed by brown spice, vanilla, cedar, leather and black cherry. As the wine opens up, soft anise and cocoa dust emerge, really rounding out the nose.
Feel – Soft and round, of front, the wine becomes grippy at the mid-palate, where the wine settles in and takes on a slightly chewy feel. Lush, medium tannins add intrigue and complexity.
Taste – Rich and expressive with bold flavors of dusty blackberry, back plum, black cherry and toasty oak. Underneath these are salty licorice, black tea leaf, dusty bramble, dried leaves and black pepper.
Finish – Very long, with dusty black fruit and softly toasted oak giving way to a lingering dusty bramble, pepper and flinty minerals that give the wine a distinctive, mouthwatering completion.
Conclusion – The 2006 Rutherford Grove Winery and Vineyards Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is delicious, concentrated and complex wine that delivers the characteristic dusty fruit of the best Napa Cabs from the Rutherford district. Big aromas leap from the glass on swirling, even before you lift glass to nose. Flavors are bold and dusty, too, with concentrated black berries and stonefruit giving way to bramble, minerals and soft spice at the end of the long finish. This delicious Cab benefits from extended decanting and is ready to drink, now. You would probably be wise to hold onto a few bottles for the next few years, as well. Enjoy this flavor-packed wine all on its own, or pair with a hearty grilled steak.
Sometimes our winemakers get really busy, and they don’t have time to sit down with us for an interview. Be sure to check back the next time we feature another fantastic Rutherford Grove 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 Colombian, 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.
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
Awards & Accolades:
90 Points – Wine Enthusiast – Ripe and gritty in tannins, this young wine brims with freshly picked red cherries, red currants, mocha, violets and sandalwood. It’s a complex, tasty Cab, but needs some time in the bottle. Better after 2011, or give it a good decanting.” – 11/1/2009
About This Wine:
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.
Our 2006 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of two single vineyard lots of Cabernet Sauvignon totaling three-acres and Estate Merlot sourced exclusively from our Estate vineyard located east of our winery and tasting room. All three vineyards are located in the heart of the Rutherford Appellation.
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.
Wine Type: Red Wine
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Aging: 20 Months in Oak Barrels, 80% French oak, 20% American oak; 60% new, 10% one-year old 30% two-year old
Winemaker: Andy Pestoni