The Rutherford Wine Company operates at least eight different sub-brands (many of which we’ve reviewed here previously), but Rutherford Ranch is arguably its flagship. Today we look at two new releases, both dense reds, from this property in the heart of Napa Valley.
2016 Rutherford Ranch Malbec Reserve Napa Valley – 87% malbec, 9% cabernet sauvignon, 4% petit verdot. A bit gritty but quite expressive, this malbec layers in earth and licorice notes atop dried blackberries and distinct hints of violets. A hint of roasted meats, some wood influence, a bit of green pepper, and a general spice element add additional nuance, but the overall impact is one of a more general Napa meritage. That’s not a slight. B+ / $75
2015 Rutherford Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley – 90% cabernet sauvignon, 7% petit verdot, 2% malbec, 1% petite sirah. Vibrant and fresh, this is a bold Napa cab, fresh with plums, cherries, and currants, and a hint of orange peel adding some bitterness and acidity. Velvety on the tongue, with a fresh and quite approachable finish. B+ / $35