Rutherford Low

Of COURSE I had to get the Rutherford–but that’s as far as I am going to venture into a no-name discount bulk-wine swill. This one shows considerably better than the “Stag’s Leap” of a few days ago–but not much. Dark, pretty ruby in the glass with powerful legs. Musty and worn on the nose: a stagnant, slightly oxidized stew of smoky ripe fruit and decent floral textures aligned with copious cinnamon and nutmeg. Decanted a bit, and with air, it blossoms into a fairly-acceptable Cabernet bouquet. But deep-down, there’s still a rotten arm-pit nuance off-putting and awkward.

In the mouth, agreeable acid greets, the fruit a slightly grape-soda thin vibrancy. Raspberry and Cran-apple make unsophisticated layerings on chemical metallic after-taste where one would hope tannins lurk. Points the sharpness make are nullified by more tired oxidation and sullied savory at odds with earthy expectations of elegant dust. The whole package comes off light and rather un-stuffed–neither a horrible thing–and quite vapid considering the company I keep. Is this wine horrible? Absolutely not! And for the probably 25% of my readers who still cherish the Wagner and Paso plonk for 3X the price: this is in your wheelhouse. Bits of leathery goodness finally flash through the absconding berry, finishing a reasonably-drinkable wine–just try not to smell it.

2016 NAPA HEIGHTS Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford Napa Valley 14.5

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