The 2016 Barrel-Select Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon is a rich and elegant wine offering layers of vibrant fruit aromas along with savory notes of smoked meat, soy and black tea adding to the overall complexity. By only selecting the highest quality barrels of the vintage for the final blend, this wine is a beautiful expression of what the Napa Valley can offer in one of the best of vintages; perfectly ripened fruit, dense color, fine grained and well-integrated tannins, balanced acidity and a lengthy, flavorful finish. This wine is drinking beautifully now but will age incredibly well and will reward if given time to further develop in the bottle.
A beautiful wine begins in the vineyard, and it’s no surprise that the barrels we’ve selected for this limited bottling of Cabernet Sauvignon are from exceptional sites in the Rutherford AVA. This appellation, in the center of Napa Valley, is renowned for producing extremely complex, balanced Bordeaux-heritage wines.
The 2016 vintage was an outstanding year for high quality, fully-developed fruit with concentrated color and flavor. The Napa Valley region enjoyed extensive rains during the winter months which significantly helped battle the ongoing drought. Although the region saw good winter rain, the vineyards are still seeing some effect from several years of drought conditions resulting in a lighter than average crop yield. With no spring frost or heat spikes throughout the growing season, and pleasant weather throughout harvest, this is another top-notch, excellent vintage for the Napa Valley.
After hand harvesting the fruit and then hand sorting it twice at the winery, we gently destemmed the grapes to retain at least 60 percent whole berries. Five days of cold soaking before fermentation gently extracted the opulent color and flavors from the skins. Two to three weeks of skin contact developed varietal expression while, in-barrel malolactic fermentation rounded the acidity. Aging in 40% new French Oak barrels married the rich Cabernet Sauvignon flavors with warm oak tones.