2009 Estate Sangiovese
Sangiovese •Estate Vineyard
California: Napa Valley: Rutherford
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Mission Codename: Now That’s Californian
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Send Agent Red to return to our friends at Rutherford Grove Winery. Evaluate their premium Rutherford Estate Sangiovese. If the wine is superb, secure an ample allocation.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Rutherford Grove Winery and Vineyards
Wine Subject: 2009 Pestoni Family Estate Reserve Sangiovese
Winemaker: Andy Pestoni
Backgrounder: The most widely planted grape in all of Italy, Sangiovese, is used in everything from blended inexpensive table wines like Chianti, to the finest Super Tuscans. Italian immigrants introduced this varietal to the U.S. in the 1800’s. First plantings of this grape in the Atlas Peak region of the Napa Valley were legendary and today, some of the most exciting California Sangiovese are found there. For today’s wine, Agent Red received a secret dispatch from a trusted confidential informant. This informant, a deep cover Operative, directed Agent Red directly to Rutherford Grove Winery. Read Agent Red’s tasting notes on today’s fantastic wine, followed by his mission report, to learn more about today’s superb wine
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Darkest ruby red with perfectly even coloration, from the core of the wine, out to the edge of the glass. Swirl the wine and chubby legs form high up on the glass, before crawling slowly down.
Smell – Lush and very fragrant, with sweetly spiced red cherry candy, juicy ripe red raspberry, tobacco leaf, dried orange peel, smoked meat, wild strawberry, spice and sweetwoods.
Feel – Soft and round on entry, then plush and softly grippy as a light dryness begins at the tip of the tongue and spreads its way rearward. This easy dryness spreads across the whole palate, eventually drying the lips and cheeks.
Taste – Juicy and full of flavor, leading with softly smoked dried cherry, black cherry juice, blackberry, dried cranberry, bramble bush and dried violets. These are closely followed by subtle spice, dark plum and flint.
Finish – Very long with sweet flavors that yield to more earthy elements. Flavors transition from one to another, until what is left is soft, sweet spice and flinty minerals.
Conclusion – Once again – and quite happily so – a 2009 knocks our socks off! Of course, we always expect great things from Ruterford Grove Winery, but this wine simply rocks. We fell in love with this wine at first sniff but it was our first sip that sent our tasting panel over the moon. This juicy wine is delicious, filled with flavor and soft and elegant on the palate. A very exciting and approachable wine, our tasting panel found it to be a fun wine, as well. They also all agreed that today’s 2009 Rutherford Grove Winery Estate Sangiovese is a exceptionally flexible and food-friendly wine. Pair with your favorite Italian meal or savory grilled meats. We enjoyed ours with some wonderful homemade pizzas.
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:
This extraordinary wine started out as an experiment but has now become an institution. When we went to plant this vineyard in front of our winery we noticed that the soil held some truly unique properties, properties that we felt might be well suited for a Sangiovese. We chose clones 2 and 4 and waited…. On our first tasting we knew we were right. The “Rutherford dust” had worked its magic on this Italian varietal! What small amount isn’t snapped up by our wine club is made available only here and in our tasting room.
WINEMAKER´S NOTES: This attractive wine displays a nose full of violet, black cherry and ripe plums. It has an appealing hint of black licorice and toasty vanilla that balances the dark, fruity nose.
Sweet blackberry, vanilla and baked cherries dominate in the mouth. The wine is brightly concentrated, dense and full. Wonderful drinking wine to pair with food or to drink alone
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.
Winemaker: Andy Pestoni