I was amped up to talk about the vineyard behind today’s release, Lot 285 2009 Rutherford District Cabernet Sauvignon, but after some internal discussion, we need to keep most details under wraps. There are a few details I can tell you that will help you imagine the magnificence of this vineyard nestled in the finest soil of the Napa Valley. The vineyard where Lot 285 hails from was originally planted by famed vintner Andre Tchelistcheff in the early 1900’s. This classic Rutherford site straddles the old Conn Creek drainage, which has deposited gravelly loam soils there over thousands of years. What’s interesting about this vineyard is how pinpoint the soil quality is; go a couple hundred yards in just about any direction and the fruit sells for about half the price.
The 2009’s from this vineyard have yet to be reviewed (there are quite a few high-end brands sourcing here), but I can tell you that of the 2007’s and 2008’s, I have not seen a score less than 93 with most in the 95-97 point range from both the Wine Spectator and Wine Advocate with prices ranging from $95/bottle to well over $400 at auction. Let’s be honest here, Lot 285 is not from the same blocks as these wines; just as the vineyard itself is site specific, so are the blocks in the vineyard. However, I think these blocks are certainly in the top 3% of Napa Valley pricing/quality and are clearly archetypal Rutherford Cabernet. In fact, Lot 285 2009 Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon has already won a Double Gold medal in the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. It certainly goes to show you how tough things were for growers in the Napa Valley in 2009, that even a vineyard like this had fruit available.
You're going to want to give this wine a decent decant before drinking and watch the fruit move to the fore. The nose is sweet, focused and pure with ripe blackberry, raspberry and currant aromatics and an underlying sense of minerality. The palate is classically styled with pretty fruit and ripe tannins. We used about 40% new oak with this wine, mostly French with a tiny bit of Hungarian with a low to medium toast to lift the fruit. The result is a delicious Cabernet. It’s a classically styled Rutherford Cabernet notable for its faceted complexity, purity of fruit, and outstanding balance. Of course the best is yet to come and this wine will age gracefully over the next decade.
Lot 285 is absolutely phenomenal and I hope you enjoy - this is definitely one of our special cabs so be sure to get a piece for yourself.
As always, please don't hesitate to call us at 1-800-805-1971 or email us with your questions about this or any other wine. We're always happy to hear from you.