Digging into an old friend tonight, and while I have said many times I don’t think anything produced from these pillars of classic Napa cab since about 1990 will be quite as timeless as the previous 3 decades, this wine is proving a strong argument against that theory. It’s literally going NOWHERE. At least nowhere quickly. And this is a fairly chubby vintage, too–another asterisk in my book against longevity. Sure, it’s only 12–nowhere NEAR a 30- or 40-year example–but still, all signs point to a strong showing–perhaps even along those timelines. Beautiful deep crimson in the glass, with a respectable amount of barely-garnet at the rim. The nose is neither brash or abrasive, but also not cheaply-fruited. Calm and powerful, it merely shows all the tidbits of Rutherford we have come to love about this formerly second-wine.
In the mouth, more elegant shyness evolves. The fruit a slightly-polished easy blackberry, layered in chalk and sharp acidity, the former perfectly melded to the latter. There is no shrillness pointing at fruit short-comings–neither is there dangerous concentration. Licorice, fennel and cherubic peachiness deride the aggressiveness of spice and mineral, the finish a maelstrom of cherry-infused tannin. I’m happy about this. Don’t rush out and open them.
2010 BEAULIEU VINEYARD ‘Rutherford’ Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 14.5