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. 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
Always showing its Rutherford pedigree, this full-bodied, richly decadent wine shows a dark, brick red color leading to aromas and flavors of ripe dark fruits including blackberry, dark cherry and plum with hints of dark chocolate, leather and cedar with evident oak spice and polished, classy tannins. Floral notes, classic Rutherford dust finish in a lingering, memorable finish reflective of the vintage.
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.”
After a relatively dry January significant rainfall arrived in February, along with mild temperatures. Bud break was early, but was slowed by heavy April showers. While still early by historical standards, picking began about a week later than 2015, and continued at a leisurely pace, allowing the grapes to reach full flavor maturity. The extended season helped to balance acids and add complexity to the layers of flavors. Warm temperatures arrived as harvest began, but ultimately, everything came together in the best possible way.
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.