The 2014 Rutherford Proprietary Red Blend is an homage to Bordeaux, where many of the early winemaking pioneers of Napa Valley looked for a benchmark. Like in Bordeaux, we want to highlight the regional terroir and create a blend where the individual grape varieties are harmoniously balanced and completely mesh with each other. The result is an interplay of blackberry fruit and spice with the fine-grained tannins that typify Rutherford.
The Garvey Home Ranch in the western hills of Rutherford, just above the bench, is a certified Organic block of Cabernet Sauvignon. The cordon-pruned Clone 4 is planted in rocky loam soils on a steep, low-yielding hillside block. These vines produce loose, small-berried clusters that contribute to intense berry flavors, deep color and concentrated tannins.
The Merlot and Cabernet Franc components of the blend are sourced from vineyards on Howell Mountain and Rutherford. As this wine is a nod to the Bordeaux tradition, these two varieties add dimension and complexity with spice, tobacco and earthy loam notes.
In 2014 we opted to blend a small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon from the Muscatine Vineyard. This 1/2-acre parcel planted with clone 337 in Aiken Loam soil is tucked away in the rugged Soda Canyon at about 800 feet above sea level. The fruit from this vineyard has deep blackberry flavors with big tannins that add depth and structure to the blend.
We harvest the grapes from each vineyard at daybreak and de-stem directly into one-ton open-top fermentation vessels without breaking the skins. The berries are allowed to warm gradually over several days and begin to ferment on their native yeast. We gently punch down the skins four times each day during the active fermentation and macerate the fruit for about 30 days. Aged for 22 months in 225 Liter barrels and bottled without filtration. Only 85 cases were produced.
Click HERE for a copy of the tech sheet.