Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 64

YEAR'S BEST US CABERNETS & BLENDS
perfume of cherry blossoms and the tart,
dusty tannins of ripe cherry skins. Firm and
brisk, this is a wine that will take years to fully
reveal its pedigree. -J.G. (W&S 2/20; 3,622
cases)

of western Rutherford. The terroir gives a
wine that's not far off from its neighbor at
Inglenook-fragrant cabernet with deep layers of earthy tannins, dark blueberry flavors,
plump and polished. This is the kind of cabernet that may well develop grandeur with
ten years of age. -J.G. (W&S 6/20; 56 cases) §
521543

91 | Addendum
521545

95 | Kintera

$150

2017 Rutherford Napa Valley Cabernet
Sauvignon ^ All black-currant energy, this is
a sumptuous cabernet with powerful drive
to the flavors. Tom Hinde focuses it on fruit
from the western benchlands at the Morisoli
Vineyard, with a contribution from Lewelling Ranch on the St. Helena bench, aging
the wine two years in new French oak barrels.
It's sleek and spicy, savory and warm, the flavors combining notes of roasted mushrooms,
organ meats and dark-berried cabernet fruit.
As fat and fleshy as it may be, the wine holds
its shape through a beautiful finish. A delicious 2017 to decant for a New York strip
smothered in wild mushrooms. - J.G. §
517946

94 | Inglenook

$100

2016 Rutherford Napa Valley Cabernet
Sauvignon ^ While Rubicon, Inglenook's top
selection, emphasizes cabernet sauvignon,
this second selection from the estate includes
a wider range of varieties (some cabernet
franc, merlot, petit verdot and malbec). And,
given the percentage of new French oak barrels in its aging (50 percent, as compared to
75 percent for Rubicon), it is more accessible
on release-a bright, pretty cabernet that's
easy to love. The fruit feels ripe and supple,
with scents of sweet plums and tart cherries.
The tannins have a cool richness, like bitter
chocolate, along with a green herbal edge of
cilantro and hibiscus. That coolness feels like
mountain air descending off the Mayacamas
into the benchlands of Rutherford, bringing
you closer to the vineyard with each taste.
-J.G. (W&S 2/20) §
517944

93 | Inglenook

$210

2015 Rutherford Napa Valley Rubicon
Cabernet Sauvignon ^ There's a straightforward honesty to this wine that belies its
stature as one of the greats of Napa Valley.
In 2015, the vineyard produced a generous,
welcoming cabernet, a wine Philippe Bascaules and his team selected from five
parcels at Francis Ford Coppola's estate in
the western benchlands of Rutherford. It
has the springtime scent of cherry sap, the
64

WINE & SPIRITS

DECEMBER 2020

$110

2017 Rutherford Napa Valley Skellenger
Lane Cabernet Sauvignon ^ There's a warm,
tannic rub to this wine, its rasp of thyme, rose
petals and violets pumped up by alcohol,
even as the flavors of dark, chocolate-covered
cherries are substantial enough to enrich that
warmth. Built for something meaty, like an
herb-roasted leg of lamb. - J.G. §
521541

93 | Addendum

$110

2017 Rutherford Napa Valley The Hills
Block 6 Cabernet Sauvignon ^ Addendum,
a Fess Parker project in Napa Valley, includes
this wine from a vineyard on Skellenger Lane
along the western benchlands of Rutherford.
It's a fragrant cabernet, with stamina and
shapely richness. Its dark, smoky intensity
comingles fruit and earthy tannins, their soft
rose and herb notes creating a sagey pillow
for the plump fruit. Lovely as a young wine,
this is balanced to age with grace. - J.G. §
521535

93 | Donkey & Goat

$75

2018 Rutherford Napa Valley York Vine-
yard Cabernet Sauvignon ^ It may be
unusual to think of cabernet as refreshing,
but this wine's edgy energy takes it out of the
realm of typical Napa Valley cabernet. The
fruit grows at a vineyard on the west side of
the Napa River, dry farmed and organically
certified. Tracy and Jared Brandt ferment it
in a beehive-shaped clay vat, including some
whole clusters (20 percent); then they age it
in used French oak barrels for 18 months.
The initial aromas are clearly aligned with
the natural-wine camp, a little volatile and
cidery, like blackberries that have begun to
ferment on the vine, as one taster suggested.
Another, Daniel Osman of the Dream Away
Lodge in Becket, Mass., countered that "it
doesn't feel like an accident. It's bright and
aggressive, and I like the way it grabs me."
Think berries, peach pit, cigar smoke and
wild mushrooms, then pour a glass for pasta
tossed with fresh porcini. - J.G. §
520094

92 | Taub

$125

2015 Rutherford Napa Valley Morisoli-
Borges Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon ^
Tom Hinde makes this wine from a vineyard
south of Niebaum Lane in the benchlands

521536

91 | Rutherford Road

$40

91 | Long Meadow Ranch

$80

2018 Rutherford Napa Valley Cabernet
Sauvignon (Best Buy) ^ Michael Pozzan
makes this wine in a plump, rich style. Oak
aging has smoothed out the tannins, which
have the juiciness of fresh-pressed cherry
skins, but that time in wood has not diminished the violet scents or the tobacco notes of
the fruit. Pour it with grilled sausages. - J.G. §
521533
2015 Rutherford Napa Valley Estate Cab-
ernet Sauvignon ^ Long Meadow's estate
vineyard on the east side of Highway 29
grows this fragrant cranberry-and-cassisscented wine. Its soft tannins have the gentleness of Rutherford, lending the vibrant fruit
a luscious texture. It's smooth, approachable
cabernet, built for the dinner table. - J.G. §
521549

90 | Etude

$145

2016 Rutherford Napa Valley Cabernet
Sauvignon ^ Heady and spicy, this wine bursts
with cherry and cranberry flavors, highlighted with notes of orange zest and basil.
An earthy savor underneath grounds all that
fruit and checks the volatility. Braised lamb
will ground it further. - J.G. §


https://www.vinoshipper.com/shop/kintera_wine_cellars/cabernet_sauvignon_rutherford_42436 https://www.addendumwines.com https://www.michaelpozzanwinery.com/product/Rutherford-Road

Wine & Spirits - December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Wine & Spirits - December 2020

Contents
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - Cover1
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - Cover2
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 1
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 2
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - Contents
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 4
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 5
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 6
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 7
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 8
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 9
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Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - Cover3
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - Cover4
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