The nose offers up pleasant and mild aromas of dark fruits, boysenberry, with a few blueberries and blackberries to round it out, all with a background of biscotti in cream. The palate is a bit rougher in comparison, more disjointed and less subtle. It has big, sweet flavors of boysenberry and blueberry, half fruit and half jam, and a generous dose of vanilla. Cherries make an appearance on the mid-palate. Tannins are dusty almost to the point of feeling dirty. The finish is a bit tart and short. It tapers quickly but evenly, rather than simply dropping off . This is a rather well made Napa Cabernet for the price point, not as crude or oaken as many and offering genuine layers of flavor and transitions from attach through finish. DH

Image courtesy of Rutherford Ranch

WHO: Rutherford Ranch
WHAT: Cabernet Sauvignon
WHERE: California, Napa Valley
WHEN: 2009
HOW MUCH: $15.99 (media sample)