Rutherford is the heart of Napa Valley and home to Beaulieu Vineyard. For more than 20 years, winemaker, Jeffrey Stambor, has crafted our Cabernet Sauvignon, which defines the unique expression of our Rutherford vineyards with rich dark berry and cocoa, accented by well-integrated oak spices for a long finish.
This Cabernet Sauvignon truly expresses its Rutherford AVA sourcing with tremendous saturation of color, aromas and flavors. The nose is ripe with vibrant blackberry, raspberry and black cherry notes alongside nuances of violet, vanilla and sweet oak spices. The structured “Rutherford dust” tannins give this wine its signature fine cocoa powder texture and expansive mouthfeel, while balanced acidity from the fantastic growing season and lower yielding vintage provides concentration, depth and freshness on the finish.
We cold soaked the destemmed grapes for two to three days for gentle flavor extraction, which develops the elegant, layered fruit expression that is inherent in Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon. During the eight-to twelve-day fermentation, we pumped over the cap to incorporate the flavor-rich skins into the juice. To balance the bold fruit expression with toasty oak character, we chose more than half new oak for barrel aging and added Petit Verdot, Malbec and Merlot to enhance the complex flavor profile.
A mild winter across California lead to early bud break in 2015 but limited rain and moderate temperatures throughout the growing season caused the overall length of the season to be consistent with years past. The yields in 2015 were slightly lower than the previous year, which lead to exceptional quality, resulting in a Cabernet with tremendous concentration of flavors, highly saturated color, and layers of complexity.
We selected 80 percent of the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes for this wine from vineyard blocks in our historic BV Ranches No. 1, No. 2 and No.10, which provided the concentrated dark-fruit character and firm structure that we desired. These vineyards, located on the Rutherford Bench, have alluvial fan soils—composed of gravel, sand and loam—that allow the vines to root deeply and develop complex minerality in the grapes. The balance came from highly regarded growers whom we have worked closely with us for many years.