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Swanson Vineyards Rutherford

Impressive and stylish wines are produced at this family-run Napa winery established in 1985. Although production is not small quality has remained good to very good. As well as the three principal releases, Sangiovese, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, super premium Face Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and two late harvest whites have been produced in recent […]

Quintessa Winery Rutherford

This winery was originally part of FRANCISCAN. Quintessa is now solely owned by Agustin Huneeus whose other properties/partnerships include the Chilean winery VERAMONTE and the Sonoma Coast FLOWERS winery as well as a number of other projects. Illumination is a Sauvignon Blanc made from a small plot established at the Quintessa property. Faust is a […]

Mumm Napa Wines Rutherford

One of several California sparkling-wine operation with a leading Champagne house as owner. The regular Champagne from the parent can occasionally disappoint but the California Brut Cuvée Prestige offers a very attractive, well-priced alternative. It is fresh and forward with just a touch of bready yeast character. A Reserve Brut is also offered. The DVX […]

Lail Vineyards Rutherford

Although this is a newly established small-scale winery, owner Robin Daniel Lail’s family history goes back to the beginnings of viticulture in Napa itself. One of her ancestors, Gustav Niebaum, established the original Inglenook winery in 1879. Five wines are now made here. The J Daniel Cuvée is a Bordeaux blend of two-thirds Cabernet Sauvignon […]

Grgich Hills Estate Winery Rutherford

Mike Grgich made his reputation at CHATEAU MONTELENA before going on to establish a formidable track record under his own label. All the wines are now coming solely from estate fruit and the vineyards are farmed biodynamically. Chardonnay is big, full and typically opulent in a classic ripe and forward tropical Napa style. It is […]

Frog’s Leap Winery Rutherford

John Williams established Frogs Leap with Larry Turley, who went on to make superstar Zins at TURLEY CELLARS. The emphasis of the marketing here is on fun, reflected in the labelling. Pull a cork and you’ll see what I mean. However, the wine is serious and can be very impressive. The style is for forward, […]

Peter Franus Wine Company Rutherford

Impressive small producer with a range sourced from a number of committed grape growers. The style is very much one of minimal intervention and the wines are impressive without being overdone. Cabernet comes from a number of Napa sources. Zinfandel is always stylish and vibrant: the Napasourced example is impressive but better is the stylish […]

Caymus Rutherford Vineyards

Caymus Rutherford Vineyards – Two good to very good Cabernet Sauvignons are vinified here. The Wagner family also produce very stylish Chardonnay at their Central Coast winery MER SOLEIL as well as Pinot Noir under the BELLE GLOS label. Conundrum is a classy white, blended from an unusual mix of Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, Chardonnay, Viognier […]

Cakebread Cellars Rutherford

Now a fairly substantial operation which the Cakebread family have been running for well over two decades. Production now runs to 18 wines, including an extensive premium range. Chardonnay and Sauvignon are both rich and oaky in style, with the Reserve Chardonnay adding an extra element of depth and texture. Regular Merlot and Cabernet are […]

Beaulieu Vineyard Rutherford

Historic Napa winery founded in 1900. The Beaulieu reputation was established by the legendary André Tchelistcheff. While quality was distinctly variable during the 1980s, the late 90s though saw a marked improvement. An enormous range of wine is offered under Coastal, Maestro Collection, Napa Valley and Reserve labels and some good wines can be found […]

Bacio Divino Cellars Rutherford

Claus Janzen’s small operation is now the source of a number of labels. The Bacio Divino red is a very stylish, impressive and unusual blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese and Petite Sirah. Part of Claus Janzen’s inspiration was tasting the red at Domaine de Trevallon in Provence, itself a blend of unconventional varieties. The Bacio […]

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