Provenance Vineyards2003 Cabernet Sauvignon, Georges III Vineyard
(Rutherford ~ Napa Valley)
We loved the 2003 Hewitt Cabernet made by Tom Rinaldi (see review). Now comes its little brother that doesn’t have the power or finesse of the Hewitt. But at a lower price (the Hewitt is $75) this is a good deal on a beautiful Napa Valley Cab from a storied vineyard. (Georges III used to be one of the sites that went into the Beaulieu Georges de Latour Reserve.)
The wine displays slight herbal notes(*) and is extremely well balanced – but what else would you expect from a Rinaldi wine? One niggling point, the finish falls off a bit quickly. Hold onto it for a year and then drink it over the ensuing dozen years.
* A note regarding the descriptor “herbal.” This adjective is too often confused these days with “herbaceous.” The former connotes mint, eucalyptus, agave, etc. This, to my palate, is a good thing – and by the way, indigenous to the terroir of Rutherford Cabs. While the latter is a pejorative, conjuring up images of greenness or under-ripeness, which every winemaker in the Napa Valley strives to rid from their grapes.
But I digress, back to the wine. Rinaldi destemmed the grapes, but did not crush them, adding depth from extended skin contact. The wine was aged for 1½ years in 72 percent French oak, 18 percent Hungarian, and 10 percent American wood. A little more than half of the barrels were new. The listed alcohol is 14.5 percent and there were nearly a whopping 20,000 cases produced.
Reviewed August 10, 2006 by 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.