Rutherford Grill Wine List Review

Rutherford Grill

1180 Rutherford Road

Rutherford, CA

P: 707.963.1792

www.hillstone.com

Rutherford Grill Wine List Review

 Given that spring has arrived, more people are heading to the Napa Valley for a weekend getaway.  Therefore, we thought it was time to release our wine list review of the Rutherford Grill.  The Hillstone Group owns the Rutherford Grill and the Los Altos Grill. Barry Cothran oversees the wine programs at Hillstone’s restaurants and he does a fantastic job.  PRICING IS ONLY $5 TO $25 OVER RETAIL. If you are looking for a restaurant with a casual atmosphere, good food and a stellar wine list that won’t break the bank, then check out the Rutherford Grill.

The list at the Rutherford Grill frequently changes, but as of the release date of this review, it had the 2008 Larkmead, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon on the list for $72.  Fellow Wine Drinkers, it is nearly impossible to find wines from Larkmead at retailers or in restaurants because they sell-out all of their wines through their allocation list. If you have not visited Larkmead, then make it a point to do so the next time you are in the Napa Valley.  This represents one of the top restaurant wine values on any list in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The list is comprised of 174 selections (Sparkling 6, White 64 and Red 104), and given the favorable pricing we are only going to recommend 35 to 40 wines.

Start your evening with the 2010 Round Pond, Rutherford, Sauvignon Blanc for $36 or the 2009 DuMol, Lia, Russian River, Viognier for $44, and follow it up with the 2007 Brewer Clifton, Santa Rita Hills, Pinot Noir for $56 or the 2008 Larkmead, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon for $72.

As with all VinoServant reviews, you will see the price at the restaurant followed by the mark-up over retail (2007 Schramsberg, Brut Rose, North Coast | $48 | 1.4x | This translates into a retail price of $33).

VINOSERVANT’S TOP WINE VALUES AT RUTHERFORD GRILL

Sparkling Wines

6 selections that range in price from $42 to $68

 

2007 Schramsberg, Brut Rose, North Coast | $48 | 1.4x

Billecart Salmon, Brut Reserve, Non-Vintage | $58 | 1.3x

 

White Wines

64 selections that range in price from $32 to $66

 

2009 Pride Mountain Vineyards, Sonoma, Viognier | $42 | BELOW RETAIL

2009 DuMOL, Lia, Russian River, Viognier | $44 | BELOW RETAIL

 

2009 Grieve Family, Napa Valley, Sauvignon Blanc | $32 | BELOW RETAIL

2010 Round Pond, Napa Valley, Sauvignon Blanc | $36 | 1.6x

2009 Rudd, Crossroads, Sauvignon Blanc | $38 | 1.6x

2010 Duckhorn, Napa Valley, Sauvignon Blanc | $46 | 1.7x

2010 Spottswoode, Napa Valley, Sauvignon Blanc | $52 | 1.5x

 

2010 Monticello, Estate, Chardonnay | $30 | 1.1x

2009 Beau Vigne, Russian River, Chardonnay | $32 | 1.1x

2010 Rombauer, Carneros, Chardonnay | $54 | 1.8x

2009 Darioush, Napa Valley, Chardonnay | $56 | 1.4x

2009 Shafer, Red Shoulder Ranch, Carneros, Chardonnay | $58 | 1.3x

2009 Brewer Clifton, Santa Rita Hills, Chardonnay | $58 | 1.6x

2009 Kistler, Les Noisetiers, Sonoma Coast, Chardonnay | $58 | 1.0x

2008 DuMOL, Russian River Valley, Chardonnay | $66 | 1.1x

 

Red Wines

104 selections that range in price from $32 to $98

 

2007 Brewer Clifton, Santa Rita Hills, Pinot Noir | $56 | 1.2x

2007 Olivia Brion, Wild Horse Valley, Pinot Noir | $58 | 1.3x

2009 Belle Glos, Las Alturas, Santa Lucia Highlands, Pinot Noir | $58 | 1.4x

2008 Boheme, Taylor Ridge, Sonoma Coast, Pinot Noir | 464 | 1.2x

2009 Sea Smoke, Southing, Santa Rita Hills, Pinot Noir | $90 | 1.5x

 

2008 Davis Family, Russian River, Zinfandel | $42 | 1.4x

2007 Nickel & Nickel, Ponzo Vineyard, Russian River, Zinfandel | $56 | 1.3x

 

2007 Ilaria, Napa Valley, Syrah | $42 | 1.4x

2008 Shafer, Relentless, Napa Valley, Syrah | $78 | 1.4x

 

2006 Altamura, Napa Valley, Sangiovese | $62 | 1.2x

2000 Marchesi Di Gresy, Gaiun, Barbaresco | $70 | 1.4x

 

2008 Regusci, Stag’s Leap District, Merlot | $48 | 1.4x

2007 Paradigm Napa Valley Merlot | $58 | 1.3x

2007 Paloma, Spring Mountain, Merlot | $70 | 1.4x

2008 Fisticuffs, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon | $38 | 1.5x

2009 Vineyard 29, Cru, Cabernet Sauvignon | $56 | 1.2x

2007 Montagna, Tre Vigneti, Cabernet Sauvignon | $62 | 1.2x

2008 Chappellet, Signature, Cabernet Sauvignon | $68 | 1.4x

2007 Leviathan, Cabernet Franc | $68 | 1.4x

2008 Larkmead, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon | $72 | 1.0x

2009 Caymus, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon | $78 | 1.3x

Sparkling Wines

6 selections that range in price from $42 to $68

2007 Schramsberg, Brut Rose, North Coast

Retail Price: $33 at K&L Wines

Rating: Wine Advocate 92

  • $48 at Rutherford Grill | 1.4x

92 points Wine Advocate: A sensational effort, the 2007 Brut Rose (60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay) offers a beautiful light salmon/pink color as well as a terrific nose of framboise/kirsch and strawberries. The wine hits the palate with freshness, lots of tiny, well-defined bubbles, medium body and a fresh, long finish. This beauty is a top-notch dry rose sparkling wine.

 

Billecart Salmon, Brut Reserve, Non-Vintage

Retail Price: $45 at K&L Wines

Rating: Wine Spectator 91

  • $58 at Rutherford Grill | 1.3x

91 points Wine Spectator: “Aromatic and spicy, with cedar, honey and ginger notes matching a firm structure and lean, intense character. Fine length. Drink now.

White Wines

64 selections that range in price from $32 to $66

2009 Pride Mountain Vineyards, Sonoma, Viognier

Retail Price: $44 St. Helena Wine Center

Rating: Wine Advocate 88

  • $42 at Rutherford Grill | BELOW RETAIL

The 2009 Viognier, which comes from the Sonoma side of the vineyard, exhibits lots of tropical fruits, crisp acids and hints of peach and apricot marmalade. It is a delicious white to consume over the next year.

2009 DuMOL, Lia, Russian River, Viognier

Retail Price: $50 at Vinfolio

Rating: Wine Spectator 89

  • $44 at Rutherford Grill | BELOW RETAIL

89 points Wine Spectator: Pretty, with fragrant and floral notes that are ripe and juicy, highlighting the pear, peach and nectarine flavors with plenty of toasty, smoky details and a long, focused finish. Drink now. 575 cases made. –MW

2009 Grieve Family, Napa Valley, Sauvignon Blanc

Retail Price: $40 Grieve Winery

Rating: See comment below

  • $32 at Rutherford Grill | BELOW RETAIL

Winemaker’s Notes: The Early Pick was more transparent to the oak flavors, even from the older barrels. The Early pick flavors of grapefruit, lemongrass, and jasmine signify the cool climate in Lovall Valley and allow the expression of distinct minerality. The Late Pick was oily and rich, with a very compelling mouthfeel that balances the acidity and leaner characteristics of the Early Pick. It was hugely tropical, with loads of banana and pineapple, and had over-the-top aromatics of melon, peach and orange blossoms. The finished wine is very lively with grapefruit, pear, peach, lemongrass, jasmine, orange blossom and a weighted texture and acidity to extend the flavors on the palate. Alcohol 14.7%.

2010 Round Pond, Napa Valley, Sauvignon Blanc

Retail Price: $23 Artisan Wine Depot

Rating: Wine Spectator 88

  • $36 at Rutherford Grill | 1.6x
  • $50 at Spruce | 2.2x

88 points Wine Spectator: Crisp and clean, displaying good intensity to the lemon-lime, guava and green apple flavors, with hints of mineral and grass notes, and plenty of refreshing acidity. Drink now. 2,810 cases made. –MW

Winemaker Notes: The Estate Sauvignon Blanc at Round Pond is made in a fresh, clean style with a good acidic backbone and a lively finish. The wine is a pure expression of the fruit without any influence from oak cooperage. The fruit is harvested at the exact right moment so that the wine has a nice balance between citrus and stone fruit aromas. The wine is made to drink early and will show its best on a summer day. 100% Sauvignon Blanc, 100% Round Pond Estate, 100% Rutherford, 100% Stainless steal, 0% Malolactic Fermentation, 0% Lees stirring. “My goal with this wine is to transfer the fruit from the vineyard directly into the wine glass. I shoot for the “not-quite-tropical” fruit category. Essence of white peaches in a glass.” – Winemaker Brian Brown – Alcohol 14.5%.

2009 Rudd, Cross Roads, Sauvignon Blanc

Retail Price: $24 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 93

  • $38 at Rutherford Grill | 1.6x 

93 points Wine Advocate: It is surprising what Rudd has been able to achieve with Sauvignon Blanc. The 2009 Sauvignon Blanc comes from his vineyard on Mt. Veeder. Aged in a combination of concrete egg shaped tanks, stainless steel and barrels, it includes 6% Semillon. It boasts extraordinary minerality as well as laser-like precision and notes of honeyed melons intermixed with gun flint, nectarines and lemon blossoms. A beautifully textured, rich, fresh Sauvignon Blanc, it should drink nicely for several years. 

2010 Duckhorn, Napa Valley, Sauvignon Blanc

Retail Price: $27 at K&L Wines

Rating:  See comments below

  • $46 at Rutherford Grill | 1.7x
  • $49 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.8x
  • $50 at Waterfront Restaurant | 1.8x
  • $54 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.0x
  • $60 at EPIC Roasthouse | 2.2x

Description from K&L: Duckhorn’s 2010 Sauvignon Blanc reflects the winery’s passion for Bordeaux style blends, integrating 25% Semillon, fermenting a small amount of the wine in barrel, and aging sur lie. The result is a Napa Valley SB with a New World-meets-Old World charm. Tropical fruit aromas and flavors are supported by accents of flint, lees and spice. It’s round on the mid-palate, but with refreshing acidity, too. Try it with a fig or date salad with goat cheese and mizuna.

2010 Spottswoode, Napa Valley, Sauvignon Blanc

Retail Price: $35 at Artisan Wine Depot, Beltramo’s & K&L Wines

Rating: See comments below

  • $50 at Boulevard | 1.4x
  • $52 at Rutherford Grill | 1.5x

Winemaker’s Notes: Our Sauvignon Blanc represents what we believe to be the highest expression of this varietal—a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Musque, and Semillon from our Estate and from a handful of like-minded growers. We strive to create a vibrant, lovely, flavorful wine that pairs well with food. Due to its very limited production, this wine is offered only to our mailing list customers and to select restaurants around the country.

The 2010 is alive with vibrant, fresh acidity and perfectly balanced plush fruit characteristics. A very perfumey, floral nose with heady aromas of citrus and stone fruit is highlighted by wild sweet orange, apricot and ripe summer peaches. The beautifully integrated oak adds sweet cinnamon, honey and beeswax notes. A rich, fruit-filled palate with mineral expression and a soft, silky texture gives way to a lingering finish. Lovely, complex and smooth—simultaneously lush and lively!

2010 Monticello, Estate, Chardonnay

Retail Price: $28 @ the Winery

Rating: See comments below

  • $30 at Rutherford Grill | 1.1x

Winemaker’s Notes: This 100% Chardonnay displays is showing great aromas of tropical fruit with citrus undertones. The oak is very well integrated and lends the wine a nice tone of lightly toasted vanilla aromas. The texture of the wine is very smooth, with a lower than typical alcohol and fresh acidity that culminates in a smooth lingering finish. Drink Now through 2015.

2009 Beau Vigne, Russian River, Chardonnay

Retail Price: $28 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: See comments below

  • $32 at Rutherford Grill | 1.1x

Winemaker’s Notes: This is a delicate and pretty wine from the start.  The straw hues and honeysuckle wafts tempt the nose.  Further nuances of citrus, light, dry straw, pineapple fields and lemon drops.  The palate speaks of the Russian River with its Burgundian style mouthfeel of yeast, French Oak caramels and striking acidity. Production: 400 cases

2010 Rombauer, Carneros, Chardonnay

Retail Price: $30 at K&L Wine Merchants

Rating: See comments below

  • $50 at Waterfront Restaurant | 1.7x
  • $54 at Rutherford Grill | 1.8x

Winemaker’s Notes: Golden yellow color with a pale hue. Seductive aromas of peach, melon, and citrus are balanced with honeysuckle and vanilla. On the palate, flavors of pears, peaches and melons are backed with lively acidity. A nice touch of vanilla-scented oak provides an added flavor dimension. The creamy palate has a lingering finish of melon and citrus fruit with a satisfying buttery complexity.
Our favorite pairing for this wine includes scallops in a cream sauce, pasta carbonara, chicken risotto and Cornish game hen.

2009 Darioush, Napa Valley, Chardonnay

Retail Price: $40 at K&L Wines

Rating: See comments below

  • $56 at Rutherford Grill | 1.4x

This is Darioush’s “Signature” Chardonnay, which comes from Darioush estate vineyards in Oak Knoll and Carneros. It’s barrel fermented and age sur lie for 11 months with weekly battonage, giving the wine a rich texture to balance its expansive fruit. Lime, orange and honeysuckle scents lead the way to a an apple and peach-flavored palated, with hazelnut spice cookie accents and just a touch of minerality.

2009 Shafer, Red Shoulder Ranch, Carneros, Chardonnay

Retail Price: $45 at K&L Wines

Rating: Wine Spectator 93

  • $58 at Rutherford Grill | 1.3x
  • $95 at Boulevard | 2.1x

93 points Wine Spectator and #65 in Top 100 Wines of 2011: “Pure, ripe and richly flavored, with tiers of nectarine, fig, honeysuckle and smoky oak. Full-bodied, with touches of citrus blossom and lemon peel. Drink now through 2017.

2009 Brewer Clifton, Santa Rita Hills, Chardonnay

Retail Price: $35 at K&L Wines

Rating: Wine Advocate 92

  • $58 at Rutherford Grill | 1.6x

92 points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate: “The 2009 Chardonnay is an absolutely gorgeous wine. Understated and classy from start to finish, it shows off layers of ripe fruit, subtle oak and spices. There is plenty of acidity to balance an expression of fruit that is generous, but just short of hitting tropical notes. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2018

2009 Kistler, Les Noisetiers, Sonoma Coast, Chardonnay

Retail Price: $56 at Napacabs

Rating: See comments below

  • $58 at Rutherford Grill | 1.0x
  • $92 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.6x | TOP PICK

Winemaker Notes – Kistler Chardonnay is made using traditional French techniques, with the winemaker himself performing the cellar work on the wines. Kistler Chardonnay has a distinct character. It is completely barrel-fermented using indigenous and cultured yeasts, is aged in 50% new French oak barrels unracked and in contact with all its fermentation lees, has undergone a malolactic fermentation, receives minimal handling and processing, and is bottled unfiltered and, generally, unfined after 11-18 months of barrel age. Our low-yielding (pruned and thinned to yield about two tons per acre).

2008 DuMOL, Russian River Valley, Chardonnay

Retail Price: $58 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 93

  • $66 at Rutherford Grill | 1.1x

The generic 2008 Chardonnay Russian River (4,500 cases produced compared to 700-1,200 cases of the single vineyard offerings) is a blend of fruit from eight separate vineyards (from some high-class real estate – particularly the Heintz, Ritchie and Dutton sites). Made largely from the old Wente clone, the wine is barrel-fermented and aged 16 months on its lees. It offers lots of tropical fruit, brioche, hazelnut and subtle smoke notes, striking minerality, real opulence, amazing concentration for a generic wine and full body. This delicious Chardonnay should continue to provide pleasure for 3-5 years.

Red Wines

104 selections that range in price from $32 to $98

 

2007 Brewer Clifton, Santa Rita Hills, Pinot Noir

Retail Price: $45 at Zachy’s

Rating: Wine Advocate 93 

  • $56 at Rutherford Grill | 1.2x

93 points Robert Parker: A fabulous introduction, the generic cuvee, the 2007 Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills (just over 1,000 cases produced), possesses a deep plum/ruby hue as well as gorgeously sweet, sexy, plum, cherry, forest floor, and spring flower notes. Sensual and medium to full-bodied with great fruit, good acidity, and an incredible Burgundian-like character that suggests something from Morey-St.-Denis or further north, it should drink well for 7-8 years. 

2007 Olivia Brion, Wild Horse Valley, Pinot Noir

Retail Price: $43 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: See comments below

  • $58 at Rutherford Grill | 1.3x

Deep color, broad rich mid-palate, Damson plums, Queen Anne cherries, baking spices, and flintiness from this vineyard’s rocky, mineral-laden subsoils. There wasn’t much of this delicious Pinot Noir made, so do not wait!

2009 Belle Glos, Las Alturas, Santa Lucia Highlands, Pinot Noir

Retail Price: $41 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Spectator 92

  • $58 at Rutherford Grill | 1.4x

92 points Wine Spectator: Bold, rich and layered, exhibiting dense dark berry fruit that shows touches of spice, wild berry and blackberry, with attractive floral scents. Full-bodied, this expands on the finish, where the flavors fan out. Best from 2012 through 2020.” (08/11) This high elevation vineayrd–Las Alturas is at 1,200 feet above sea level–in the Santa Lucia Highliands and the site’s slightly warmer daytime temperature create a wine that is dense and dark, but with juicy acidity. It smells like cherry pie and prosciutto with a hint of sarsaparilla, all of which carries over the the palate. The wine has fantastic texture, with solid structure and a lingering spice quality that’s quite provocative.

2008 Boheme, Taylor Ridge, Sonoma Coast, Pinot Noir

Retail Price: $49 @ the Winery

Rating: See comments below

  • $64 at Rutherford Grill | 1.2x

Winemaker’s Notes: The 2008 crop of Swan selection Pinot noir yielded 1.88 tons per acre, the most fruitful to date. Harvested October 2nd, the clusters were de-stemmed and sorted into individual ¾ ton fermentation lots. Each received tailored cold-soak and hand punch-down treatment, then aged two years in 20% new French oak barrels. Vibrant berry and spice aromas, toasty caramel flavor and elegant tannins linger to the finish.

2009 Sea Smoke, Southing, Santa Rita Hills, Pinot Noir

Retail Price: $60 at Premier Cru

Rating: Stephen Tanzer 91

  • $90 at Rutherford Grill | 1.5x

91 points Stephen Tanzer: Deep violet color. Intense, oak-spiced aromas of dark berries, cherry liqueur, potpourri and woodsmoke. Deeply pitched black raspberry and cherry cola flavors show good breadth, surprising vivacity and a silky texture (this has a low pH of 3.3, by the way), with notes of candied lavender and sassafras coming up with aeration. In a ripe but energetic style, finishing with very good cling and lingering spiciness.

2008 Davis Family, Russian River, Zinfandel

Retail Price: $30 @ the Winery

Rating: See comments below

  • $42 at Rutherford Grill | 1.4x

Winemaker’s Notes: The Old Vine Zinfandel – vines planted in 1896, abandoned for 20 years when we purchased this property where we live some 15 years ago We only make a handful of barrels of the Zinfandel each vintage, most years only enough bottles for our wine club members…it’s one of my favorite parts, it’s like a secret you share with a good friend. The very cool climate of our vineyard and the 100+-year-old vines create a sensory experience unlike other Zinfandels. The old vines add an amazing character, a brambly complex array of flavors that keep unfolding as the meal and the evening go on…both bright red fruits like raspberry and cherry giving way to the spicy dark fruits like blackberries and plums.

2007 Nickel & Nickel, Ponzo Vineyard, Russian River, Zinfandel

Retail Price: $44 Bedford Wine Merchants

Rating: See comments below

  • $56 at Rutherford Grill | 1.3x

The 33-acre Ponzo Vineyard in California’s Russian River Valley was planted in 1920, just before Prohibition. Fortunately the vines survived, because the cooler, milder weather of the valley, the dry-farmed vineyard and the sandy loam soils make for a concentrated but balanced Zin. Creamy raspberry fruit, earthy and white pepper spice combine to create a vivacious wine with fine tannins that’s drinking well now and will continue to do so over the next decade.

 

2007 Ilaria, Napa Valley, Syrah

Retail Price: $30 Rye Brook Wine & Spirit

Rating: Wine Advocate 91

  • $42 at Rutherford Grill | 1.4x

91 points Wine Advocate: The 2007 Syrah, from the cool climate Coombsville area, exhibits classic blackberry, bacon fat, and peppery notes, medium to full body, supple tannins, and a fleshy mouthfeel. Drink it over the next 5-6 years. (12/09)

2008 Shafer, Relentless, Napa Valley, Syrah

Retail Price: $55 at Beltramos & $64 via Wine-Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 95

  • $78 at Rutherford Grill | 1.4x

95 points Wine Advocate: Another thoroughbred in the making is the 2008 Relentless. Full-bodied with sensational extract and richness, its opaque purple color is followed by terrific smoky barbecue notes, full-bodied opulence and tremendous depth, power and richness. This stunning Syrah can be drunk over the next 15-20 years. 

2006 Altamura, Napa Valley, Sangiovese

Retail Price: $50 via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 92

  • $55 at Los Altos Grill | 1.1x
  • $62 at Rutherford Grill | 1.2

92 points Wine Advocate: The dark plum/ruby-hued, seductive 2006 Sangiovese exhibits notes of sweet cigar tobacco intermixed with plums, balsamic, strawberries, and black cherries. Round, generous, medium to full-bodied, and disarming, it should be consumed over the next 4-6 years.

2000 Marchesi Di Gresy, Gaiun, Barbaresco

Retail Price: $50 Benchmark Wine Group

Rating: Wine Spectator 92

  • $70 at Rutherford Grill | 1.4x

92 points Wine Spectator: Round and spicy with cedar, berry and fresh tobacco aromas and flavors. Medium- to full-bodied, with fine tannins and a long finish. Beauty. Best after 2008. 1,150 cases made.

Winemaker’s Notes: Brilliant garnet red color with orange hues. Intense and harmonious bouquet, reminiscent of jam, sweet tobacco and white chocolate. Full and rounded on the palate with a lingering aftertaste.

 

2008 Regusci, Stag’s Leap District, Merlot

Retail Price: $35 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: See comments below

  • $48 at Rutherford Grill | 1.4x

Winemaker’s Notes: Rich, concentrated aromas of deep black plum and gingerbread, with a hint of black licorice and cinnamon. Vibrant cherry flavors on a full tilt youthful tannic structure. This merlot is packed with flavor and texture that has the durability of long term aging. ~Winemaker, Charles Hendricks

 2007 Paradigm Napa Valley Merlot

Retail Price: $46 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Ratings: See comments below

  • $58 at Rutherford Grill | 1.3x

Winemaker’s Notes: Ripe black plum and red cherry aromas. Sweet dense ripe flavors flow across the mid-palate. Bright, pure flavor, a fat round middle with good length and intensity. 90% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot.

2007 Paloma, Spring Mountain, Merlot

Retail Price: $50 at Artisan Wine Depot

Rating: Wine Advocate 91

  • $70 at Rutherford Grill | 1.4x

91 points Wine Advocate: The 2007 Merlot is a sumptuous, round, silky, generous, delicious effort offering plenty of berry fruit, mocha, and chocolatey undertones. Like so many wines that have emerged from this Spring Mountain vineyard, it offers delicious drinking. Enjoy it over the next 7-8 years.

Winemaker’s Notes: Our Merlot is a blend of Estate Merlot and Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. The percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon ranges from 12 to 18 percent depending on the vintage. The grapes for this wine are picked in very small amounts as each area of the vineyard reaches its peak of ripeness. The grapes are then de-stemmed and the individual berries cracked open by our 20-year-old Healdsburg stemmer/crusher (with the crusher rollers removed) and fermented in small open top fermenters or small stainless steel tanks. After fermentation the pomace is gently pressed in an old fashioned basket press and each pick is put into a stainless steel tank to settle off the gross lees. The wine then goes into our new or used French oak barrels for 19 months of barrel aging.

2008 Fisticuffs, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $25 at Beltramo’s

Rating: Wine Advocate 88

  • $38 at Rutherford Grill | 1.5x

88 points Wine Advocate: A very good value in Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, this dark ruby/purple-tinged 2008 reveals notes of black currants, damp earth, spicy, high quality oak and a touch of roasted herbs. Medium to full-bodied and round, it is ideal for drinking over the next 5-7 years.

2009 Vineyard 29, Cru, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $46 at Artisan Wine Depot

Rating: Wine Advocate 91

  • $56 at Rutherford Grill | 1.2x

91 points Wine Advocate: The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Cru is a fleshy wine layered with dark red fruit, flowers, spices, new leather and mocha. This dark Cabernet Sauvignon is graced with considerable depth and tons of class. A gorgeous, delineated finish adds finesse to this rich, textured Cabernet. The 2009 Cru is 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot, 5% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 3% Malbec, mostly from vineyards in St. Helena. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2019.

Winemaker’s Notes: From its very first moments in the glass, this beautiful, purple hued cabernet makes its presence known as a densely flavored and multi-layered wine. On the nose, primary aromas of dark, wild berries, mountain sage and dried mint give way to unveil ripe figs and juicy plum notes. A complex palate begins with rich toasty notes of roasted coffee beans and mocha before giving way to flavors of cassis, ripe raspberries, bing cherry and bright red fruit. A long, supple finish is accentuated with subtle hints of black pepper and cocoa. Alcohol 14.8%

2007 Montagna, Tre Vigneti, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $50 at Back Room Wine’s

Rating: Wine Spectator 88

  • $62 at Rutherford Grill | 1.2x

88 points Wine Spectator: Intense and vibrant, with a complex array of dried currant, mineral, sage, cedar, mocha, espresso and dusty oak. Full-bodied, a restrained and refined style that’s well-balanced and well-proportioned, complex without being heavy. Best from 2011 through 2017. 1,228 cases made. –JL

2008 Chappellet, Signature, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $50 at Wine.com

Rating: Wine Spectator 91

  • $68 at Rutherford Grill | 1.4x

91 points Wine Spectator:  Offers a complex mix of cedar, dried currant, pencil shavings and mineral flavors in a full-bodied style. A firm and tannic wine, ending with drying tannins. Drink now through 2022.

Winemaker’s Notes: Ripe and spicy aromas offer vibrant layers of blackberry, cherry and pomegranate intermingled with notes of clove, cinnamon and anise. A savory impression of warm crust, accentuated by baked cherry and espresso elements, adds further depth to an already tantalizing nose. The wine is rich and mouthcoating from the first sip, displaying enticing fruit. Big rounded tannins add flavor and structure, as well as a firm but gentle grip that underscores beautiful concentration and viscosity. Alcohol 14.9%

2007 Leviathan, Cabernet Franc

Retail Price: $48 at Premier Cru

Rating: Wine Spectator 90

  • $68 at Rutherford Grill | 1.4x

90 points Wine Spectator: Big, ripe and elegant, firm and spicy, this supple-textured red offers a mix of anise, currant, plum, spice, tobacco leaf and cedar, gaining depth and holding its focus on the long finish. Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot. Drink now through 2016. 1,700 cases made.”

Description from K&L: This year’s monster red is a blend of 40% Cabernet Franc, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Syrah and 14% Merlot, and it will knock your socks off with bold aromatics and flavors of blueberry, boysenberry, vanilla cookie dough and holiday spice. A wine to enjoy now in its youth for its sheer opulence and exuberance.

2008 Larkmead, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $71 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 95

  • $72 at Rutherford Grill | 1.0x

The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate (89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot aged 20 months in 60% new French oak) reveals a Medoc-like nose of cedarwood, damp earth, black currants and hints of bay leaf and unsmoked cigar tobacco. Opulence, purity and density combined with a thick, full-bodied mouthfeel and a superb finish all suggest a wine that can be drunk now or cellared for two decades.

2009 Caymus, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $60 at K&L Wine Merchants

Rating: Wine Spectator 91

  • $78 at Rutherford Grill | 1.3x
  • $90 at Waterfront Restaurant | 1.5x

91 points Wine Spectator: “Supple and creamy-textured, with mocha, ripe plum and cherry flavors that show touches of tobacco, espresso and underbrush. Full-bodied, gaining tannic traction on the finish, elegant and readily approachable. Drink now through 2018.

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