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Tasting: Sanctuary Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford Napa Valley 2015

With the holidays upon us, we thought it might be helpful to taste a few wines that VinoOutLOUD readers can easily obtain at reasonable prices. We bought this Sanctuary Cabernet Sauvignon at Costco for $29.99. You might not fire back $30 bottles on your Tuesday nights, but if you’re heading to a holiday gathering and want a wine with some complexity that is likely new to the hosts, this wine is worth a try.  You might even want to share a little about where it is from….

This Cabernet Sauvignon is from the Rutherford AVA of Napa Valley. AVA stands for American Viticulture Area – click here to learn more about AVAs.  Rutherford is a personal favorite of ours. It sits in the middle of the valley, produces some of the most heralded Cabernet in the valley, and we’ve experienced some incredible hospitality from Rutherford Wineries including Round Pond, Hall, Freemark Abbey, Flora Springs and Provenance just to name a few. In a valley chock-full of Cabernet vineyards and producers, cabernet from Rutherford has its own unique characteristics and tasting profile, called Rutherford Dust. There is a light-hearted debate around what Rutherford Dust really means. Some would say it refers to cabernets from Rutherford having a unique taste that comes from the terroir or land, soil, place and climate of Rutherford (click here to learn about the concept of terroir). Others interpret Rutherford Dust more literally saying it refers to dusty notes that people pick-up with flavors of cocoa powder, finely ground coffee or texture from dusty feeling tannins.  It seems both views of Rutherford Dust can be correct and similar in that the Rutherford terroir is certainly the driver of whatever in the wine evokes dusty notes. A visit to several wineries in Rutherford is a must for a visit to Napa Valley.  Make sure to ask about the dust! Learn more about Rutherford at Rutherford Dust Society.  Here is a cool map of the Rutherford vineyard, I bet you know at least a few.

Wine: Sanctuary Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford Napa Valley 2015

Price: $29.99 from Costco

Composition: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Sight: beautiful red with purple, young and looks it

Nose: Black fruit, slightly under ripe dark fruit, a bit floral

Taste: It is important to note we decanted this for two hours prior to tasting. Medium plus body, dark fruits, vanilla, bright acidity, the balance is very good on this wine, young chewy tannins, concentrated.

Overall: This is a nice bottle of wine, surprising balance, several things to enjoy and notice for a wine under $30. We will drink this again. I recommend decanting this if you have the opportunity.

What the pros say: Can’t find any reviews.


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