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2016 Etude Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon

2016 Etude Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon


2016 Etude Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon

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The Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon was the first appellation wine to be introduced in our Cabernet series of very small bottlings dedicated to the benchland sub-appellations of Napa Valley.

Awards & Accolades

  • 95

    "Aromas of blackberries and blueberries with some flowers and lavender, following through to a medium to full body, firm and silky tannins and a beautiful finish. Extremely refined and well manicured. Drinkable now, but better after 2022.” - James Suckling

  • 93+

    Wine Advocate

    "Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford is deep garnet-purple colored. It springs from the glass with perfumed red and black cherry notions, followed by hints of red currant jelly, warm cassis, lilacs, kirsch and boysenberries plus wafts of fallen leaves, pencil shavings and Marmite toast. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has great intensity with stacks of savory nuances and a chewy texture, finishing long and refreshing. 175 cases were made.”” - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, August 13th, 2020

  • 92

    Wine Spectator

    ”A seductive style, offering creamed plum and blackberry fruit melded with perfumy black tea, loam and singed alder hints. Shows a very silky feel through the finish, while maintaining a sense of density and weight. Drink now through 2030. 175 cases made.” - James Molesworth, November 2020

Wine & Vintage Details

Tasting Notes

Always showing its Rutherford pedigree, this full-bodied, richly decadent wine shows a dark, brick red color leading to aromas and flavors of ripe dark fruits including blackberry, dark cherry and plum with hints of dark chocolate, leather and cedar with evident oak spice and polished, classy tannins. Floral notes, classic Rutherford dust finish in a lingering, memorable finish reflective of the vintage.


The 2016 vintage was challenging, with the impact of our continuing drought requiring a deft touch in the vineyard, although there was some winter rain that helped recharge much needed groundwater. Bud break was early in February, and the march toward harvest continued through the season, with fruit arriving about two weeks earlier than normal. Shatter resulted in some blocks with lower yields, but the warm, mild growing days led to fruit with abundant flavor, good acidity and balance.

Vineyard & Winemaking Details

Rutherford AVA



Fruit from the 10.77 acre Morisoli Vineyard in the heart of the Rutherford Bench has been the sole source for this expression of Etude Cabernet since 2009. Currently under the watchful eye of fourth generation grower Gary Morisoli, this pioneering vineyard with gravelly Bale clay loam soil and classic Rutherford dust produces some of the most sought-after Cabernet Sauvignon grapes in Napa Valley. Retained heat from the ground helps to concentrate the intense crushed berry character that defines Rutherford Cabernet as having an 'iron fist in a velvet glove.'


The grapes were cold soaked for 3-5 days and fermented on their skins in open top fermenters. An extended maceration period followed fermentation to help modify the depth and mouthfeel of the wine, and to fully extract color, flavor and aromatics. The young wine was then racked into small French oak barrels – using a selection of coopers and forests to accentuate the vineyard distinctions – where it aged for 20 months in 100% French Oak (75% new). Each lot was kept separate until final blending. The resulting wine was returned to barrel for an additional nine months of aging.

Jon Priest - Winemaker

For more than a decade Jon has fashioned Etude wines with a simple creed. Inspired winegrowing diminishes the need for a winemaker to intervene in the cellar. Whether sourcing from the estate Grace Benoist Ranch in Sonoma's Los Carneros, or vineyards like Fiddlestix and North Canyon in famed growing regions of California's Central Coast, his focus is on coaxing the very best from the vineyard. It shows in every glass of Etude.

Winemaker Jon Priest

Alcohol % 14.5%
Enclosure Type Cork
Oak Treatment 100% French oak barrels (75% new) for 20 months
pH 3.63
Blend 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Case Production 175 cases

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