94 Points - Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com
The sensational 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford comes from clone 4 and the old Georges III Vineyard now owned by Beckstoffer. This is a floral, earthy wine with a dense purple color and a big, sweet, complex nose that follows through on the palate with loads of kirsch liqueur, black currants, dusty soil undertones, some cedar wood and spicy oak. Opaque purple, full-bodied, and generously endowed, it can be drunk over the next 15-20 years.
2015, the third vintage in a drought cycle, was a dream vintage, with quality along the lines of 2013 and 2014. A warm, dry winter caused the vines to awaken very early. Substantial rains in late February and early March relieved most of the stress and set up the vines for a vigorous start, which was followed by continued dry conditions throughout the growing season. The summer weather was perfect for the grapes, with no heat spikes or sudden temperature swings. Harvest began two or three weeks earlier than 2013 and produced outstanding fruit, dark in color, with intense aromatics, that ripened while maintaining excellent acidity.
Arriving in small picking lugs from the vineyards, the clusters were hand sorted, de-stemmed and hand sorted again, berry by berry. A two day cold soak was followed by primary fermentation in small, open-top stainless steel tanks. Following an extended maceration, the fruit was gently pressed and the wine moved to barrel for secondary fermentation. The wine was aged for 19 months in rare 100% New French Artisan Oak barrels with minimal racking. Multiple, blending trials, determined the final blend, which was bottled unfined and unfiltered.