2009 Rutherford Grove Winery & Vineyards Estate Sangiovese

Mission Codename: Now That’s Californian

Operative: Agent Red

Objective: Send Agent Red to return to our friends at Rutherford Grove Winery. Evaluate their premium Rutherford Estate Sangiovese. If the wine is superb, secure an ample allocation.

Mission Status: Accomplished!

Current Winery: Rutherford Grove Winery and Vineyards

Wine Subject: 2009 Pestoni Family Estate Reserve Sangiovese

Winemaker: Andy Pestoni

Backgrounder: The most widely planted grape in all of Italy, Sangiovese, is used in everything from blended inexpensive table wines like Chianti, to the finest Super Tuscans. Italian immigrants introduced this varietal to the U.S. in the 1800’s. First plantings of this grape in the Atlas Peak region of the Napa Valley were legendary and today, some of the most exciting California Sangiovese are found there. For today’s wine, Agent Red received a secret dispatch from a trusted confidential informant. This informant, a deep cover Operative, directed Agent Red directly to Rutherford Grove Winery. Read Agent Red’s tasting notes on today’s fantastic wine, followed by his mission report, to learn more about today’s superb wine

Wine Spies Tasting Profile:

Look – Darkest ruby red with perfectly even coloration, from the core of the wine, out to the edge of the glass. Swirl the wine and chubby legs form high up on the glass, before crawling slowly down.

Smell – Lush and very fragrant, with sweetly spiced red cherry candy, juicy ripe red raspberry, tobacco leaf, dried orange peel, smoked meat, wild strawberry, spice and sweetwoods.

Feel – Soft and round on entry, then plush and softly grippy as a light dryness begins at the tip of the tongue and spreads its way rearward. This easy dryness spreads across the whole palate, eventually drying the lips and cheeks.

Taste – Juicy and full of flavor, leading with softly smoked dried cherry, black cherry juice, blackberry, dried cranberry, bramble bush and dried violets. These are closely followed by subtle spice, dark plum and flint.

Finish – Very long with sweet flavors that yield to more earthy elements. Flavors transition from one to another, until what is left is soft, sweet spice and flinty minerals.

Conclusion – Once again – and quite happily so – a 2009 knocks our socks off! Of course, we always expect great things from Ruterford Grove Winery, but this wine simply rocks. We fell in love with this wine at first sniff but it was our first sip that sent our tasting panel over the moon. This juicy wine is delicious, filled with flavor and soft and elegant on the palate. A very exciting and approachable wine, our tasting panel found it to be a fun wine, as well. They also all agreed that today’s 2009 Rutherford Grove Winery Estate Sangiovese is a exceptionally flexible and food-friendly wine. Pair with your favorite Italian meal or savory grilled meats. We enjoyed ours with some wonderful homemade pizzas.

Mission Report:

Wine Spies Vineyard Check:

The location of the Rutherford Grove Winery and Vineyards can be seen in this satellite photo.

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