The Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon was the first appellation wine to be introduced in our Cabernet series of very small bottlings dedicated to the benchland sub-appellations of Napa Valley.
"Lots of terracotta and brick on the nose, as well as ripe fruit. Dusty. Full-bodied, tight and very polished with tannins that just melt into the wine. Lovely texture. This is always a classy and specific wine. Drink in 2021." - James Suckling, May 2019
Bold, attention getting and a bit of a statement wine, immediately recognizable for its Rutherford attributes. Full and richly round, aromas and flavors of black fruits framed with cassis and mints lead, with floral notes of violet and evident oak spice and cloves. Plum preserves, black currants and wild blackberry set the stage for well-integrated tannins and a lingering, memorable finish.
After three years of plentiful harvests, the 2015 vintage brought low, but outstanding yields. A mild spring and summer with almost no rain allowed the fruit to ripen at a very steady and deliberate pace, and picking began a few days earlier than 2014. The drier-than-normal conditions and abundant sunshine contributed to the smaller berry size and low yields, resulting in wines with excellent concentration, color and flavor.
Fruit from the 10.77 acre Morisoli Vineyard in the heart of the Rutherford Bench has been the sole source for this expression of Etude Cabernet since 2009. Currently under the watchful eye of fourth generation grower Gary Morisoli, this pioneering vineyard with gravelly Bale clay loam soil and classic Rutherford dust produces some of the most sought-after Cabernet Sauvignon grapes in Napa Valley. Retained heat from the ground helps to concentrate the intense crushed berry character that defines Rutherford Cabernet as having an 'iron fist in a velvet glove.'
The grapes were cold soaked for 3-5 days and fermented on their skins in open top fermenters. An extended maceration period followed fermentation to help modify the depth and mouthfeel of the wine, and to fully extract color, flavor and aromatics. The young wine was then racked into small French oak barrels - using a selection of coopers and forests to accentuate the vineyard distinctions - where it aged for 20 months in 100% French Oak (75% new). Each lot was kept separate until final blending. The resulting wine was returned to barrel for an additional nine months of aging.
For more than a decade Jon has fashioned Etude wines with a simple creed. Inspired winegrowing diminishes the need for a winemaker to intervene in the cellar. Whether sourcing from the estate Grace Benoist Ranch in Sonoma's Los Carneros, or vineyards like Fiddlestix and North Canyon in famed growing regions of California's Central Coast, his focus is on coaxing the very best from the vineyard. It shows in every glass of Etude.
|Oak Treatment||100% French oak barrels (75% new) for 20 months|
|Blend||100% Cabernet Sauvignon|
|Case Production||224 cases|