94 Points - Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com
Patel's 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon (Rutherford) emerges from one of the top sites in the appellation. Cedar, tobacco, mint, red cherry, chocolate and menthol nuances are vivid in the glass. Medium in body and yet super resonant, the Rutherford Cabernet is another stellar wine in this range. The 2016 is already quite pliant and supple. Accordingly, it will drink well with minimal cellaring.
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.
The sensational 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford comes from clone 4 and the old Georges III Vineyard now owned by Beckstoffer. The near-perfect 2016 growing season started early, saw ideal weather conditions throughout and wrapped up as the valley's first significant fall rainstorm arrived on October 14. Thanks to a relatively steady and mild July and August and then a series of warm days at the end of the growing season, vineyards were able to progress to perfect ripeness. Wines from the 2016 vintage are now quietly developing in cellars throughout Napa Valley and vintners are pinching themselves and smiling for the gift it appears Mother Nature has given them: a fifth consecutive vintage of stellar quality Napa Valley wines.
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.
95 cases produced