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...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • Chardonnay

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

  • Zinfandel

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

  • Sauvignon Blanc

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

Popular Wineries in Rutherford View all

  • Sawyer Cellars

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

  • Hewitt Vineyard

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

  • Staglin Family Vineyard

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

  • Rubicon Estate

    Situated in Rutherford, one of the premier Cabernet Sauvignon growing regions in California, the ...

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Rutherford on Snooth

  • Sullivan Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford 2007

    Snoothrank:

    The wine definitely needed to breathe a bit, so I poured mine through an ...-rutherford-napa.htm Read More

    Wine review by jtryka


  • Freemark Abbey Chardonnay 2012

    Snoothrank:

    This smells lovely with a bit of a jolly ranch aspect to the candied lime fruit that greets the nose but its joined by aromas of freshly baked bread, spiced apples and even a suggestion of raspberries. Soft in the mouth and a touch of the creamy almond milk side of the spectrum. I expected a bit more lift on the palate, which is well endowed wi... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


  • Quintessa Sauvignon Blanc Rutherford Illumination 2010

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by ehastie


  • Rutherford Hill Napa Cabernet Sauvignon 2007

    Snoothrank:

    Wow, I was very disappointed with this vintage. It's very flat, not much pizazz and certainly not indicative of previous vintages. I cracked a bottle from multiple cases to verify my disappointment with the 2007. The fruit is muted and dominant dustiness prevails... When I read the initial review that encouraged drinking this wine immediately th... Read More

    Wine review by dsmith1970


  • Elyse Zinfandel Napa Valley Morisoli Vineyard 2009

    Snoothrank:

    This opens on the nose with a huge toast, American oak and Zinfandel explosion Spicy and sweet with a coconut note, crushed wild berry, blackberry fruit and some violet accents. The texture is super ripe and rich but not weighty. Packed with rich fruit, all black raspberry and tannins are so finely knit together that they flesh out the mouth wi... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


  • Sanctuary Estates Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford Usibelli Vineyards 2009

    Snoothrank:

    Very nice Napa Rutherford Cabernet with cooked cherry cobbler, soft and fine tannins, refined and not too big oak. This is a very well balanced wine that is easy and enjoyable to drink. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • Etude Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 1997

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by minocencio


  • Tor Cabernet Sauvignon Clone 4 2001

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by minocencio


  • Hourglass Merlot Napa Valley Blueline 2006

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by minocencio


  • Thanks for updating--that happens too rarely. Goldeneye is a little more ... a group that includes me, Rutherford HIll winery's parking lot is just a bit to the southeast and upslope--the winery is Terlato owned and I don't love the wines, but worth it for the view Read More

    Forum post in the topic Seeking Advice for Russian...


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