Rutherford Hill Winery was founded in 1972 and was purchased by the Terlato family in 1996. They are especially noted for their Merlots and they really do make some good ones. The Rutherford Hill 2007 Merlot at $25 is well worth the price for a lighter style Merlot with decent fruit and a good finish. They make 35,000 cases of this, and it is, by far, their best seller. But try the Rutherford Hill 2007 Reserve Merlot ($59) next and you will get a great nose, with balanced tannins and very good fruit. This is one of the better Merlots in Napa Valley and we enthusiastically recommend it.
The 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon at $40 and the 2007 Malbec from Atlas Peak at $38 (well balanced, good fruit, soft tannins) were both good. Better yet was a Cab blend, the Rutherford Hill 2007 Devil’s Peak at $48. Along with the Reserve Merlot, though, our favorites were the Cab blend, the Rutherford Hill 2007 TFV Cardinal’s Peak ($48) and the Rutherford Hill 2007 TFV Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon ($62). All three of these are really nice wines and were essential buys. They demonstrate that Rutherford Hill Winery is now making some very good red wines thanks to the Terlato family.
Rutherford Hill is just up the drive from the famous restaurant Auberge du Soliel. Rutherford Hill also has a great picnic area with a lovely view. The picnic area may be reserved for groups or available on a first come basis to anybody who does a tasting there. Tasting fees range from $15 to $30 and are not credited toward purchase. A tasting and tour is $25. Much thanks to Sal, our host, for making our visit to Rutherford Hill so pleasant and informative.
200 Rutherford Hill Rd
Rutherford, CA 94573
Date of visit: 1/25/2012