I did some cellar cleaning the other day, moving in a few bottles and poking into bins to see whether I had lost track of any wines. For years, my cellar has mostly consisted of wines in ones and twos; I don’t buy cases like I used to.
I came across a 2001 Merryvale Rutherford Beckstoffer Clone Six bottle, which I had pulled out and stood up some time ago. Having nothing else in mind to pour for some friends who stopped by to visit, I uncorked it, decanted it (there was just a little sediment) and caught it in a fine drinking mode.
Very impressive and striking for its elegance and complexity, this Cabernet had an array of red and black licorice that added a dimension to the loamy earth, dried currant, roasted herb, mineral and cedar profile. The richness of the earth and black olive shone through in this wine, ending with tannins that give the flavors traction. On the finish, it deepened in complexity, holding true to its Rutherford roots—a wine of excellent balance, range of flavor, focus and length. It should drink well for another five to eight years. 90 points, non-blind.
WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Merryvale Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford Beckstoffer Vineyards Clone Six 2001 (90, $88).
• Plus, get scores and tasting notes for more Cabernet tasting report in our Nov. 15 issue.