Rutherford Wine

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Just to the south of St. Helena lies Rutherford, the historic home to the old Inglenook estate and Beaulieu Vineyards and arguably the greatest spot in the country to grow Cabernet Sauvignon, though I will argue with this proposition in just a minute. Rutherford has even spawned perhaps America’s only contribution to the lexicon of wine tasting, the mysterious “Rutherford dust”, that dusty, dusky note that can merge in old California Cabernet. Rutherford occupies the heart of the Napa Valley floor. Roughly square shaped the area is at the crossroads of the valley, benefitting from some maritime influence and fog yet enjoying moderately warm average daily temperatures. There are distinct differences however between the Eastern and Western halves of the AVA. In the west the valley floor is shaded by the Mayacamas range, resulting in cooler afternoon temperatures as well as less fog in the morning. The soil here is predominantly volcanic runoff from the mountains. In contrast the Eastern side of the Read more »

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Popular wines made in Rutherford under $20

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Varietals Produced in Rutherford View all

  • Merlot

    The Occitanian word “merlot” translates to “young blackbird.” An accurate description for this popular, early-budding...

  • Zinfandel

    Parentage of the grape: Crljenak to Austria to America. In the 1970s, claims surfaced that the Italian Primitivo is l...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

    “King of the Red Wine Grapes.” The colonizer of the vineyards, pushing native wine grapes into its shadows. The Caber...

  • Sauvignon Blanc

    Sauvignon Blanc is widely grown in California -- at over 15,000 acres, it’s now the third most planted variety -- and...

  • Chardonnay

    British wine writer and critic, Jancis Robinson, once noted that throughout the 80’s and 90’s in the United States, C...

Popular Wineries in Rutherford View all

  • Hewitt Vineyard

    The site that is now Hewitt Vineyard was first planted to vines in 1880, when Dennis Hanrahan bou...

  • Quintessa Winery

    THE ESTATE "In 1989, Valeria and I found the property that would become Quintessa, a remarkabl...

  • Sawyer Cellars

    In the heart of Napa Valley exists a charming, family-owned winery and estate dating back to the ...

  • Staglin Family Vineyard

    We Staglins are a family that enjoys wine and cares deeply about philanthropy. Each person in our...

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Rutherford on Snooth

  • Cameron Hughes Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Lot 342 2008

    Snoothrank:

    Had this again yesterday 12 October 2014, very nice, loads on the nose, vanilla, raisin, plum, cedar...began as a bruiser and a little sharp alcohol, but rounded out. Interesting though after about 10 minutes in the glass, began to deteriorate. Still good though. Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


  • Provenance Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford 2006

    Snoothrank:

    Herbal, viney nose but with some hints of berry fruit. Initial hit of currants on the tip of the tongue. Then, there are hits from tannin and acid. A perfectly functional wine, but it does not seem to have much depth and complexity. Additional air seemed to calm down the tannin, but that only seemed to add to the berry fruit. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Sullivan Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford Napa Valley 2012

    Snoothrank:

    The wine is a lovely ruby color in the glass with a dark indigo towards the ...-rutherford-napa.htm Read More

    Wine review by jtryka


  • Frog's Leap Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Good Read More

    Wine review by mikeg325


  • Piña Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford Firehouse Vineyard 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Dark ruby and concentrated with an aromatic core of black cherry and prune ... ... Like many 2011 Cabs from the Rutherford AVA, its packed with savory complexity that will get even better with age. 89p Read More

    Wine review by Fred Swan


  • Frank Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford Winston Hill 2011

    Snoothrank:

    This wine, decadent and unctuous, may show less vintage influence than any other Rutherford 2011 Ive tasted. Aromas include milk chocolate, coconut, ripe black currants, brown spice and oak. Its full-bodied in the mouth yet balanced by acidity and fine-grained, grippy tannins. Flavors include mint, tart black currant, spice, oak and coconut. 92pts Read More

    Wine review by Fred Swan


  • St. Supery Cabernet Sauvignon Dollarhide Elevation 2010

    Snoothrank:

    This sensuous wine pulls you in with its aromas of black currant, black cherry, dark spice, tobacco, oak and vanilla. The full-bodied palate, surprisingly lush for 2011 but plenty juicy, is brimming with mocha, tangy black currant and spice. Fine-grained, chalky tannins are well-balanced by fresh fruit. Only 340 cases made. 92pts Read More

    Wine review by Fred Swan


  • Staglin Cabernet Salus 2011

    Snoothrank:

    From its dark ruby color to the aromas of earthy black currant, tobacco, caramel and spice this wine exudes lithe masculinity. Medium-to-medium-plus body. Ripe but energetic black fruit and savory spice glide on a stage of very fine-grained and chalky tannins. Juicy throughout the lengthy finish. 92pts Read More

    Wine review by Fred Swan


  • Sojourn Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Just 169 cases were made and its sold out at the winery. There should still be some at restaurants. Another unusually ripe wine for the vintage with dark ruby color and aromas of black cherry jam, both sweet and sour red cherries, dark spice, dry herb, potting soil and oak. The palate is virtually full-bodied and very fresh with moderate tannin... Read More

    Wine review by Fred Swan


  • Peju Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford Napa Valley 2011

    Snoothrank:

    This is an intriguing wine interwoven with contrasting flavors working magic together. There are baked red cherries, fresh red currant, cinnamon candy, smoke, dried meat, savory spice and dark, dried flowers on the nose. The fresh palate has medium-plus body and slightly grippy tannins of fine powder. Slightly sweet, chewy red cherries are surro... Read More

    Wine review by Fred Swan


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