Review: 2020 Sullivan Rutherford Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

Review: 2020 Sullivan Rutherford Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to receive an invitation to someone’s lovely home in the central Kentucky countryside to enjoy an evening focused exclusively on wines from Napa’s Rutherford Valley. Quality was not in short supply, with many hard-to-find vintages or bottles attainable in highly specialized shops. However, this particular selection from Sullivan Vineyards captivated my attention.

Everything to love about Napa Cabernet is present and firing on full cylinders. A core of ripe black cherry and currant is surrounded by notes of dark chocolate and cassis that never fall out of balance or threaten to migrate to syrup territory. On the palate, light notes of mint and blueberry cut through the firm tannins and linger along with the dark chocolate on the finish for a decent amount of time.

Christopher reviewed the 2015 and 2017 vintages four years ago to high praise. This, unsurprisingly, is no exception. It is engaging and enjoyable from start to finish. I went back for an encore only to find the decanter, also unsurprisingly, absent but a solitary splash. It felt criminal to let it lay to waste, so into my glass it went (it felt criminal to leave it behind).

Gut intuition says this will only continue to improve with a few years in the cellar and remarked as much to my fellow guests. Thankfully, our gracious hosts informed me they have two tucked away for this very purpose and have made purchasing the wine an annual event. Here’s hoping for an invitation and reacquaintance in 2026.

A / $150 /

2020 Sullivan Rutherford Estate Cabernet Sauvignon




Rob Theakston is a contributing editor to Drinkhacker.

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