The Estate was founded in 1972 by James ("Jim") O’Neil Sullivan, a visionary and pioneer of Rutherford, a premier Napa Valley appellation for Cabernet Sauvignon. Jim's passion for creating great wine predated the 1976 Judgement of Paris which famously recognized Napa Valley wines as among the best in the world. These are the wines that make Napa special and one of the most well-acclaimed regions in the world!
Today, Rutherford is home to some of Napa Valley’s most widely recognized names like BV, Cakebread, Caymus, and Staglin to name a few. The Sullivan Estate lies on the east side of Rutherford (right behind Alpha Omega) and spans over 26 acres, mostly dedicated to vines and lush gardens. The vineyard is planted to Bordeaux varietals like Cabernet, Petite Verdot, and Merlot.
Boutique wineries in Napa have developed a cult following, but you don't hear about it all that much unless you're "in the know." These wines rarely make it to the market because they're often sold exclusively to wine club members at the cellar door. Thankfully, we were able to get our hands on a small allocation of this wine to make available just for you. This is your opportunity to discover the enchantment of a boutique Napa winery!
Aging: 20 Months in 70% New French Oak
Tasting Notes: Red Wine. 93% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Petit Verdot. Hints of dark chocolate and leather laced with black pepper are identified immediately, but there is an intriguing floral and black cherry character that lingers with plum. The typical savory Rutherford dust is present, yet there is a freshness, a creaminess, and a sweetness of fruit that adds richness. The balance between the acid and tannin gives length and really allows the wine to linger long beyond the initial sip. This wine is truly a representation of the Estate and is promised to deliver the best Rutherford has to offer.
94 Tasting Panel
All three of the 2016s I was able to taste showed beautifully. Starting with the 2016 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, it’s a blend of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Petit Verdot, brought up in 50% new oak. This is classic Cabernet all the way and offers lots of cassis, green tobacco, cedar, and dark chocolate. These carry to a medium to full-bodied 2016 that has ripe, present tannins, good purity, and an old school, complex, textbook Cabernet character. Give it 3-4 years and enjoy over the following two decades. ~92+ Jeb Dunnuck
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