Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Sullivan Vineyards 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon, Estate (Rutherford)

Sullivan Vineyards

2004 Cabernet Sauvignon, Estate
(Rutherford ~ Napa Valley)

Philippe Langner, surprisingly one of the unheralded winemakers in the Napa Valley, did a remarkable job with this wine because of the torrid heat spell in the weeks before this harvest. The temperatures damaged up to 20 percent of Sullivan’s vineyard by drying some fruit. So, Langner was hard-pressed to get this wine in, particularly in the shape that he did.

The wonderful warm blackberry aromas reflect the vintage, at least for the grapes that escaped desiccation. It’s a sterling effort, really, which left this wine tasting delicious with excellent balance. There’s the telltale Rutherford fine-grained tannins, which make the wine elegant and ageworthy for the next dozen years or so.

The Cabernet and Merlot were harvested off of four separate blocks of the Sullivan estate. The wine came in at a reasonable 14.2 percent alcohol (stated), and was aged, unracked, for 17 months in French oak, a little more than 62 percent being new.

Reviewed February 20, 2008 by Alan Goldfarb.

The Wine

Winery: Sullivan Vineyards
Vineyard: Estate
Vintage: 2004
Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon
Appellation: Rutherford ~ Napa Valley
Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon (75%), Merlot (25%)
Price: 750ml $55.00

Review Date: 2/20/2008

The Reviewer

Alan Goldfarb

Alan Goldfarb has been writing about and reviewing wine for 17 years. His reviews have been published in the St. Helena Star, San Jose Mercury, San Francisco Examiner, Decanter, and Wine Enthusiast, among others. Not once has he used a point system, star system, or an iconic symbol to quantify a wine. What counts in Mr. Goldfarb’s criteria when judging a wine is: how it tastes in the glass; is it well-constructed; its food compatibility; and presence of redeeming regional attributes.