Merlot, 2014. Rutherford Grove

Merlot, 2014. Rutherford Grove

Item #: N0920R1DC
Vintage: 2014
Varietal: Merlot
Vineyard/Appellation: Rutherford, Napa Valley
Color: Medium Magenta
Nose: Blackberry, Earth, Mint
Palate: Elongated Flowers
Finish: Medium Tannins
Rating: 98
Cellaring/Serving Suggestions: Now thru 2023/Red Meat/14.4% Alcohol by Volume

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When Albino Pestoni emigrated from Italy to the Napa Valley in 1882 he had no idea that he would end up in the wine business. Enjoying the beauty of Napa with the likes of the founders of Beringer and Inglenook changed all that and more. He went on to buy property in Napa in a place called Rutherford, now considered the premium area of the entire appellation.

That history was not lost on his grandson, Bob, who established Rutherford Grove winery with his wife, Sylvia, in 1994. Their mission was to honor their family tradition started by Bob's father and grandfather.

Winemaker Alejandro Alfaro is one of the first Latino winemakers in Napa. He began with Hess Collection in 1993 and went on to consult with many of the top wineries in Napa until he became the permanent winemaker for the Pestoni Family in 2010.

An interesting bit of history, Rutherford is where Andr? Tchelistcheff made the first BV Private Reserve in 1936. It was hailed as the greatest wine to ever come out of the new world and Rutherford became the new Bordeaux. That's a pretty heady accolade and while we're not fond of comparisons, there's no contention that Rutherford wines are truly exceptional.

Ours is no exception. From the dusty elements in the nose to the mint and spice essences culminating in rich, dark plum and blackberry, it's obvious this is one serious Merlot. The 22 months in French oak just added to the complexity as well, as it would add to a chateaubriand topped with caramelized onions and wild mushrooms.