Sullivan Rutherford Estate, Rutherford, Napa Valley (California) Cabernet Sauvignon Estate 2017

($110):   This is, in a word, a powerhouse.  But along with all the deep black fruit there’s an appealing tar-like mineral and earthy component.  Substantial but not intrusive tannins support the blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (87 percent) and Petit Verdot.  A youthful wine, it needs to sit in the glass to appreciate its complexity.  Initially, its power is awkward.  But with time in the glass it reveals itself.  Savory notes — black olives — emerge.  It’s a big, concentrated wine, focused on grabbing your attention, but, with time, plenty of complexity emerges, befitting a young wine.  It finishes with an appealing hint of bitterness that reinforces that it’s not just about fruit flavors, though there are plenty of those.  Its 14.8 percent stated-alcohol is noticeable by a touch of heat in the finish.  Those looking for subtle elegance in their Cabernet need to look elsewhere.  But if what you want is bold Cabernet to go with a grilled steak, here it is.
93 Michael Apstein Jan 5, 2021