Based in Napa Valley’s vaunted Rutherford district, Round Pond goes against the grain by making comparably affordable wines — including a delightfully drinkable $30 all-Napa Cabernet. Founded in 2002, the wines seem to be hitting their stride. Thoughts on three new releases follow.
2011 Round Pond Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley Rutherford – A very mild Sauvignon Blanc, with melon and fig notes in restraint. Metallic steel character is the big component here. B / $24
2010 Round Pond Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley – The entry-level Round Pond Cab, fruit-forward but not jammy, with a floral component to it. Violets on the nose and the finish, and a touch of chocolate-covered cherries. Easy-drinking, but still firmly in the Cab world, thanks to its luxuriously rich body. A- / $30
2009 Round Pond Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Rutherford – 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec. An easygoing Cab and definitely ready to drink now, with fresh and fruity currant, plum, and light spice notes filling the glass. A bit leathery and dry at times, but that doesn’t detract much from the overall experience. The finish: Violets and brighter, juicier fruit. B+ / $50