In keeping with my current desire for light summer reds, I enthusiastically gave Rutherford Ranch Merlot 2009 a pour with dinner [a somewhat eclectic menu of grilled peaches with balsamic vinegar and herbed chèvre, pecorino broccoli brown rice and veggie burgers]. Called one of Napa Valley’s great values, Rutherford Ranch Wines are produced from grapes sourced from Napa’s renowned sub-appellations. [Check out their fantastic Cabernet Sauvignon] The 3rdgeneration family run winery is committed to sustainability and exploring opportunities that go beyond the vineyard. In addition to vineyard practices such as employing natural predation by constructing owl boxes to invite owls to roost and keep the rodent population under control, and using solar power to lower energy use, they also allow areas to remain in a natural state to support indigenous wildlife, and partner with packaging producers to increase the use of biodegradable and recycled materials in both the bottle glass and labels.

Red-violet in colour, aromas of fruity cherry and earthy, salty olives rose from my glass. Juicy cherry, blackberry and tart cranberry flavours were propelled by a cleansing acidity in the light to medium body. Soft, velvety tannins ushered in the moderate finish of spicy black pepper and light, toasty oak notes. This is a smooth, easy drinking glass terrific for the table.

 

91% Merlot, 6% Syrah, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley
California
Cellared & Bottled by Rutherford Ranch, St. Helena
13.5% Alcohol
$14
Enjoy now thru 2013

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