Wine Consumer

Magazine

What’s Charming, Pretty, and Young in the Rutherford Appellation?

WineConsumer Magazine, Staff
07/23/2013

It’s the 2010 Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon!  WineConsumer Magazine was honored to attend this year’s “Day in the Dust,” a media event hosted by the Rutherford Dust Society (rutherforddust.org) and marketed by Balzac Communications (balzac.com).  

The event showcases the craft of Rutherford’s expert winemakers and celebrates the unique characteristics that truly distinguish Rutherford as one of Napa Valley’s finest wine growing regions.  The 2010 Rutherford Cabernet delivers the legacy of the region’s renowned history through youthful, playful, eager-to-please, intriguing wines full of potential.

The 2010 vintage experienced a wet winter, cooler temperatures and some heat in August, leading to yields lower than normal. The vintage was harvested before rainfall reached two inches.  In contrast, according to Davie Pina (pinanapavalley.com), this year’s vintage did not get enough rain and is looking to be an “early pick.”

Beaulieu Vineyard’s winemaker, Jeffrey Stambor, commented that these wines have bright acidity, moderate alcohol levels, non-aggressive tannins, long finish and—despite being young wines—they do not forget to tell the story of Rutherford with every sip.  These are wines you can spend time exploring and enjoying.  Early drinking is recommended; however, they will only become more complex and interesting with (no more than) five to nine years of aging.  Decanting is highly recommended.

Six members of the Vintners Hall of Fame have made their mark in Rutherford along with other legendary vintners and growers who have collectively made Napa Valley world-renowned for its Cabernet Sauvignon.  Indeed, it was the famous winemaker, André Tchelistcheff, who said, "It takes Rutherford dust to grow great Cabernet."  While discussing this regional phenomenon, Rutherford winemaking legend and Director of Winemaking at Provenance Vineyards (provenancevineyards.com), Tom Rinaldi, commented about the recent, extraordinary results being achieved by winemakers—and, attributed these exceptional wines not only to the distinctive, unique terroir, but also to current advances in technology (sorting tables) and the quality of barrels now available—two factors that allow winemakers to make a “more thoughtful extraction.”

Out of the 18 wines presented to media tasters in Beaulieu Vineyard’s Rutherford House (center for Diageo’s trade relations), three wines stood out to WineConsumer’s tasters; however, all of the wines tasted are beyond excellent and consumers will be exceedingly pleased with Rutherford’s 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon.  These are young wines with a lively and rewarding future.

WineConsumer’s Favorites:

  1. 2010 Georges De Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Beaulieu Vineyards: $125.00 (SRP) 7,700 Cases Produced
  2. 2010 Collector’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Martin Estate: $135.00 (SRP) 350 Cases Produced
  3. 2010 INEO, Staglin Family Vineyard: $250.00 (SRP) 45 Cases Produced
  4. 2010 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford, Rutherford Grove Winery: $45.00 (SRP) 336 Cases Produced