2006 Sloan Rutherford Proprietary Blend 750ml
This fabulous 13-acre vineyard on a 60-acre tract high on the hillsides above the Auberge du Soleil has a superstar team in place, viticulturalist David Abreu, winemaker Martha McClellan (the wife of Harlan Estates’ Bob Levy), and of course, who else but Michel Rolland to do some consulting work. Proprietor Stuart Sloan seems content to produce well under 400-500 cases of Cabernet Sauvignon, which is virtually nothing from a vineyard of this size, and let the market fight over the tiny production. Hopefully, they will eventually get close to 1,000 cases, but I wouldn’t be so sure. Certainly everything produced to date has been impeccable, often flirting with perfection. -RP
ROBERT PARKER REVIEW: The 2006 is performing even better from bottle than it did from barrel. Sloan and McClellan decided to bottle it later than usual, recognizing the rugged, tough tannins of the vintage could be sweetened up with longer barrel aging. Their strategy worked. The wine’s dense ruby/purple color is followed by notes of white chocolate, burning embers, creme de cassis, coffee, and scorched earth (think Haut-Brion or La Mission Haut-Brion). It possesses terrific structure, melted, well-integrated tannins, full body, and is already bursting with complexity. A great success, it is one of the vintage’s most thrilling wines. Drink it over the next 20-25 years.
WINE SPECTATOR REVIEW: An extraordinary effort, very tightly wound with a wealth of detailed flavors, exhibiting tiers of black cherry, plum, currant, berry jam, cedar, cigar box, black licorice and tobacco leaf. Full-bodied and well-structured, ending with tapered flavors that retain their focus. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot.