Rutherford Wine

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Just to the south of St. Helena lies Rutherford, the historic home to the old Inglenook estate and Beaulieu Vineyards and arguably the greatest spot in the country to grow Cabernet Sauvignon, though I will argue with this proposition in just a minute. Rutherford has even spawned perhaps America’s only contribution to the lexicon of wine tasting, the mysterious “Rutherford dust”, that dusty, dusky note that can merge in old California Cabernet. Rutherford occupies the heart of the Napa Valley floor. Roughly square shaped the area is at the crossroads of the valley, benefitting from some maritime influence and fog yet enjoying moderately warm average daily temperatures. There are distinct differences however between the Eastern and Western halves of the AVA. In the west the valley floor is shaded by the Mayacamas range, resulting in cooler afternoon temperatures as well as less fog in the morning. The soil here is predominantly volcanic runoff from the mountains. In contrast the Eastern side of the Read more »

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Popular wines made in Rutherford under $20

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Varietals Produced in Rutherford View all

  • Merlot

    The Occitanian word “merlot” translates to “young blackbird.” An accurate description for this popular, early-budding...

  • Sauvignon Blanc

    Sauvignon Blanc is widely grown in California -- at over 15,000 acres, it’s now the third most planted variety -- and...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

    “King of the Red Wine Grapes.” The colonizer of the vineyards, pushing native wine grapes into its shadows. The Caber...

  • Zinfandel

    Parentage of the grape: Crljenak to Austria to America. In the 1970s, claims surfaced that the Italian Primitivo is l...

  • Syrah

    The irony here is that Syrah’s origins could give Carmen Sandiego a run for her international wallet. Syrah’s deepest...

  • Chardonnay

    British wine writer and critic, Jancis Robinson, once noted that throughout the 80’s and 90’s in the United States, C...

Popular Wineries in Rutherford View all

  • Staglin Family Vineyard

    We Staglins are a family that enjoys wine and cares deeply about philanthropy. Each person in our...

  • Hewitt Vineyard

    The site that is now Hewitt Vineyard was first planted to vines in 1880, when Dennis Hanrahan bou...

  • Quintessa Winery

    THE ESTATE "In 1989, Valeria and I found the property that would become Quintessa, a remarkabl...

  • Rubicon Estate

    Situated in Rutherford, one of the premier Cabernet Sauvignon growing regions in California, the ...

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Rutherford on Snooth

  • Beaulieu Vineyard Merlot Rutherford Maestro Collection 2002

    Snoothrank:

    Lots of upfront jammy red fruit. Also noticeable "smokiness." Clearly, some oxidation, and that may be the smoky thing I'm getting. Still some tannin. I doubt this was ever more than an adequate wine. However, I am OK with it--especially, considering the sketchy storage provenance of this wine. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Bell Wine Cellars Clone 6 Cabernet Sauvignon 2007

    Snoothrank:

    Beautiful dark plum color, Something of a "tart" nose. Lots of black fruit on the tongue--blackberry, currant, and black plum. Some savoriness mid-palate.Then I notice that there is still some stout tannin, here, A big, full-bodied wine, Early front-runner as my WOTY. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Rutherford Ranch Napa Valley Merlot 2016

    Snoothrank:

    Pretty garnet color. Very light nose. Gentle introduction of red cherry on the tip of the tongue, Some nice acid tartness. Otherwise a very soft wine. It does have good tannin though. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Trader Moon Cabernet Sauvignon Velvet Moon California 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Gift from Nabozny's 9/2018. Not likely to buy this one if I ever see it again, unless it is cheaper than milk. Read More

    Wine review by raindance


  • St. Supery Cabernet Sauvignon Dollarhide Elevation 2010

    Snoothrank:

    Dark maroon in the glass. Nose of dark fruit with a touch of alcohol. Again, dark fruit on the tip of the tonguecassis, blueberry. Nice, full-bodied wine, Tannins are quite resolved. I think this wine is in a good place, right now, but if anybody wants to let theirs rest for a few more years, I think there would be no harm. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Nice, not great, wine. Not, particularly, fruit forward—some ... ... dust (obviously, not “Rutherford Dust”).  A sturdy wine, but with, pretty much, resolved tannins.  A little “sour” on the aftertast Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • Myriad Cellars Beckstoffer Georges III Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Very attractive dark purple in the glass. Subdued nose of blue/black fruit. Nice hit of dried fruitblueberry, pruneon entry. Very tame tannins. Not the most mouth-filling CS. Nice acid makes the wine quite refreshing. Another case, though, where the whole seems greater than the sum of the parts. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Becklyn Sauvignon Blanc Mcgah Vineyard 2016

    Snoothrank:

    Very herbal nose. Not so much on the tongue. On the tongue there is the grapefruit sensation that seems to be endemic with most SBs, but, thankfully there are other flavor sensations that add to the experience: definitely, some tropical fruitpineappleand, also, some slate. Nice acid provides refreshing crispness. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • We got back from a long weekend on the West Coast of Florida with my family. ... ... Cabernet Sauvignon from Rutherford. Beautiful nose, black fruit some minerality, good acidity, medium body, dry-short finish. It's a really good early drinker. Very pleasant and easy drinking for a young cab. I recommend to all of our California Cabernet love... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • Quivet Cellars Mcgah Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2016

    Snoothrank:

    Very light straw color. See straw smell straw--herbal nose. Tropical fruit--pineapple--with citrus pith--lemon or grapefruit. Serious acid creates tingling on the tongue but also provides outstanding refreshment. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • If you are a third generation wine family, I shame you for marketing this despicable example of wine, You are obviously trying to re-coop your investment from a complete failure in wine making. After three generations what did you you do to make such a bad, bad bottle of wine? For the public information I am referring to Grand Pacific 2014 Red W...

    Comment by 1565818khakli1029 1565818 khakli1029


  • I purchased a bottle of Grand Pacific 2014 Red Wine, (Rutherford Wine Company) I am 66 years old and have not had a wine this bad since I tried Ripple in the early 1070's. If you pay more then $2.99 for this wine you paid too much! This was the worst wine I have ever tasted and is NOT palatable. If you are a wino and looking for a cheap buzz, th...

    Comment by 1565818khakli1029 1565818 khakli1029


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