Positioned in the heart of Napa Valley, the Rutherford appellation enjoys sun exposure, climate and soils well suited to Cabernet Sauvignon. The significant percentage of new barrels wove oak complexity through the dark-fruit flavors. While this wine's dynamic tannin structure promises excellent aging potential, it is approachable and food friendly in its youth. Splashes of Malbec and Petit Verdot deepened the color and added violet and plum notes.
Our 2017 Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon reveals its provenance with layers of fresh, delicate, dark berry fruits. Aromas of blackberry, mulberry, boysenberry, and black currant are present on the nose along with seductive savory notes of potpourri and rosemary. On the palate there is a darker brooding brambly berry fruit supported by pleasing sweet baking spice notes of cinnamon, cedar and clove that surround the core of black currant, chocolate covered cherries and cassis. The depth of flavor culminates in a finish with earthier black tea, bittersweet chocolate, graphite and espresso notes. The firm cocoa-powder tannins—a signature of Rutherford dust character—enhance the velvet texture and well-balanced structure, providing a mineral rich finish, as well as giving this Cabernet its cellar worthiness.
Our Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon’s “sense of place” comes from selecting the best fruit from several outstanding vineyards in the Rutherford American Viticultural Area (AVA). Much of the Cabernet is coming from our Wildwood estate vineyard, and we source most of the balance from Beckstoffer Georges III. We also use a small percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon from the Star Vineyard, located on the south side of Rutherford Cross Road, as well as a small amount from our historic Hewitt Vineyard. The Wildwood and Georges III vineyards are located on the eastern side of the appellation, while Hewitt Vineyard is located on the western Rutherford benchland near our winery. Additionally, we also sourced the Cabernet Franc and Malbec from a couple of our favorite vineyards in Calistoga, while a touch of Petit Verdot from Hewitt rounds out the blend.
After hand harvesting the fruit, we hand sorted the clusters and then, following destemming, hand sorted the individual grapes to assure the highest quality. To gently extract opulent color and flavors from the skins, we cold soaked the partially crushed grapes for three days. Two to three weeks of post-fermentation skin contact—the length depending on varietal and vineyard personality—developed varietal expression. In-barrel malolactic fermentation rounded the mouthfeel and small amounts of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot broadened the spectrum of aromas and flavors.
Trevor grew up in nearby Sonoma County, one of the wine hubs of Northern California. Wine was a staple at his family dinner table, and he enrolled in the Viticulture and Enology program at the University of California, Davis. After an internship at Sonoma-Cutrer in 2003 and two consecutive harvest internships making sparkling wine at Gloria Ferrer, Trevor joined Moon Mountain Vineyard, a small, well-regarded organic vineyard in Sonoma, shortly after his graduation from UC Davis. In March of 2010, Trevor joined the winemaking team at Hewitt Vineyard and Provenance Vineyards and was appointed senior winemaker in 2015.
"From a winemaking standpoint, we have access to some of the best fruit in Napa Valley, not just from our estate in Rutherford, but also from Carneros in the south all the way up to Calistoga in the north. Our job is to make sure that each wine is balanced, complex, exciting and representative of its terroir."