Rutherford Hill Merlot Reserve 2009

Winemaker's Notes:

Everything that Merlot can and should be; dense blackberries and cherries, rich, silky, spicy, and supple from start to lingering finish. The dense core of fruit will radiate concentrated fruit flavors for more than a decade, yet the supple tannins and balance make it unlikely youGll be able to keep from drinking it before then. This wine is so delicious that the best description is, GWow!G

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Rutherford Hill Winery:
Founded in 1972, Rutherford Hill Winery is a pioneer in the development of California Merlot. The grape growers who founded Rutherford Hill carefully studied the geography of the region and capitalized on climate and soil conditions that resembled those of Pomerol, the small but distinctive Merlot-growing region of Bordeaux. And what a promising discovery that was - one that has borne plenty of... Read more
Founded in 1972, Rutherford Hill Winery is a pioneer in the development of California Merlot. The grape growers who founded Rutherford Hill carefully studied the geography of the region and capitalized on climate and soil conditions that resembled those of Pomerol, the small but distinctive Merlot-growing region of Bordeaux. And what a promising discovery that was - one that has borne plenty of fruit - specifically, the lush, purple-black grapes that have contributed so much to Rutherford Hill's success. Today, Merlot remains the flagship wine of the company with 75 percent of Rutherford Hill's production dedicated to this varietal, one of the leading Merlots of Napa Valley. When the Terlato family of the Terlato Wine Group (TWG), Lake Bluff, Illinois, purchased the winery in 1996, they immediately began to apply their guiding principle: Quality is a way of life. The pursuit of excellence began with a comprehensive review of all aspects of the facility that resulted in significant enhancements. TWG Chairman Anthony Terlato works with Rutherford Hill winemakers to tackle the challenges of consistently improving the wine, vintage after vintage. The philosophy that the Terlatos apply to all their ventures was evident at Rutherford Hill from the start. Their first step was to reduce production by 14,000 cases. This eliminated inferior lots from the final blend, and met the demanding new quality standard they had set. Building on Tradition Another way of putting quality first was to create an environment in which reserve wines could be given the time, care and consideration they needed within the Rutherford Hill portfolio. A new state-of-the art facility for the production of reserve wines - a "winery within a winery" - began taking shape in spring of 2000 and was functional in time for that year's harvest. Costing more than $4 million, the 5,100-square foot winery addition has 24 fermentation tanks ranging from 1,500 to 6,000 gallons. It is self-contained, complete with its own crusher/de-stemmer, press, refrigeration capabilities (tanks are jacketed for both warming and cooling glycol) and harvest crew. Rutherford Hill was an innovator in Napa Valley in the building of caves and employment of a pallet-stacking system within those caves. Year-round, 8,000 wine-filled French and American oak barrels age in an ideal wine-storage environment of 59ºF/90 percent humidity. The result is a substantial reduction in wine evaporation, creating wines with lower concentrations of alcohol. The improvements in the caves that began in 1999 illustrate the big-picture view that embodies the Terlato family's commitment to quality. Year-round, 8,000 French and American oak barrels age wine in an ideal, consistent storage environment of 59ºF, and up to 90 percent humidity. Read less

Member Reviews for Rutherford Hill Merlot Reserve

Add your review
Snooth User: Richard Jennings
780161112,966
4.00 5
04/11/2013

Medium dark ruby color; focused berry, blackberry nose; ripe berry, blackberry, baked berry palate; needs 1-2 years; medium-plus finish. (90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon; 18 mos. in French oak; 14.1% alcohol) 92 points


Snooth User: dgriff
141522220
2.50 5
11/27/2013

A little lite, but very balanced. For 20 bucks, a good find


External Reviews for Rutherford Hill Merlot Reserve

External Review
Source: eVintner Wines and Spirits
02/08/2013

Rutherford Hills Merlot is an elegant, refined blend of classic Bordeaux varietals that create its rich aroma and flavor. An abundance of cherry and plum fruit flavors are backed by a rich, balanced structure for an intensely complex Merlot. Silky, full-flavored, firm, and built for todays enjoyment with smooth tannins and lush layers of flavor. Rutherford Hill Website


External Review
Source: CityWineCellar.com
10/15/2009

Aromas of ripe red currant, earth, leather and exotic spices converge on the palate, where they turn austere. Yet there's enough ripe fruit to hold your interest. Drink now through 2010. 150 cases made.


External Review
Source: We Speak Wine
11/01/2013

Color: GarnetAroma: Intense aromas of raspberry and plum with a hint of dried cherries.Taste: Exceptional mouthfeel, with concentrated flavors of red fruit. Plush tannins confer the wine a rich finish; with a hint of cocoa, caramel, and dry currants. - Winery


External Review
Source: WineExpress.com
12/12/2014

Here's a wine you're not going to want to miss. This Barrel Select Bordeaux style blend from Napa Valley legend Rutherford Hill, has been slow-aging in the their underground caves. So right now this 5 year old is soft as silk and seductively complex. A blend of the varietals that Rutherford Hill is famous for, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, all from their prime Napa Valley vineyards. The wine was blended and then aged 21 months in 100% French oak barrels. The pedigree alone should put this in the super premium price category but lucky for all of us, it's a healthy cut below that and an amazing value.


External Review
Source: The Wine Buyer
10/23/2013

Flavors of dark cherries and chocolate abound in this soft and fleshy, balanced Merlot. The finish is silky and lingering with a hint of vanilla, cinnamon and tobacco.


External Review
Source: We Speak Wine
12/24/2014

Color: Garnet Aroma: Intense aromas of raspberry and plum with a hint of dried cherries. Taste: Exceptional mouthfeel, with concentrated flavors of red fruit. Plush tannins confer the wine a rich finish; with a hint of cocoa, caramel, and dry currants. - Winery



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Everything that Merlot can and should be; dense blackberries and cherries, rich, silky, spicy, and supple from start to lingering finish. The dense core of fruit will radiate concentrated fruit flavors for more than a decade, yet the supple tannins and balance make it unlikely youGll be able to keep from drinking it before then. This wine is so delicious that the best description is, GWow!G

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