The nose offers up pleasant and mild aromas of dark fruits, boysenberry, with a few blueberries and blackberries to round it out, all with a background of biscotti in cream. The palate is a bit rougher in comparison, more disjointed and less subtle. It has big, sweet flavors of boysenberry and blueberry, half fruit and half jam, and a generous dose of vanilla. Cherries make an appearance on the mid-palate. Tannins are dusty almost to the point of feeling dirty. The finish is a bit tart and short. It tapers quickly but evenly, rather than simply dropping off . This is a rather well made Napa Cabernet for the price point, not as crude or oaken as many and offering genuine layers of flavor and transitions from attach through finish. DH

WHO: Rutherford Ranch
WHAT: Cabernet Sauvignon
WHERE: California, Napa Valley
WHEN: 2009
HOW MUCH: $15.99 (media sample)

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