Sloan Proprietary Red 2014
The estate’s flagship wine since its inaugural 2000 vintage, SLOAN Proprietary Red is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot. Layered with remarkable complexity and intensity of flavors and aromas, SLOAN exhibits a gorgeous tension between elements of grace and power, balance and opulence, as well as age and vibrancy. It is a precise wine with defined structure and immense aging potential and at the same time, a seductive wine of exceptional fruit finesse, minerality, and multilayered mouthfeel. Crafted with meticulous care from vine to bottle and exacting standards for achieving the highest quality, this uninhibitedly rich and extraordinarily pure wine is a beautiful, raw expression of our terroir – a reflection of our soils, climate, and its place of origin. The 2002 and 2007 vintages of SLOAN achieved the highest critical acclaim of “a perfect wine”.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Just about pure perfection in a class, the 2014 Proprietary Red is heavenly stuff that offers a rare mix of both elegance and power. Still vivid purple-hued and loaded with notions of crème de cassis, leafy herbs, dried tobacco, graphite, and a touch of loamy soil notes, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a seamless mouthfeel, and building yet perfectly ripe tannins. It’s as concentrated as the 2015 yet offers a more polished, seamless style that’s already hard to resist. I doubt it will ever shut down, and it’s a wine that will offer pleasure today as well as in 30 years or more
Barrel Sample: 94-96
Perched on the eastern hills of Rutherford across 40 spectacular acres, overlooks the Napa Valley floor at elevations ranging from 875 to 990 feet above sea level. The 13 acres under vine were planted in 1997 on a mineral-rich, porous soil of fractured volcanic rock and sandy loam. The perfect blend of white tufa soil, a cool marine influence, and generous sun exposure forms the ideal site for growing fruit of a distinct quality and crafting exceptional wines that are compelling expressions of these elements.
The Rutherford sub-region of Napa Valley centers on the town of Rutherford and covers some of Napa Valley’s finest vineyard real estate, spanning from the Mayacamas in the west, to the Vaca Mountains on the other side of the valley.
Inside of the Rutherford AVA, bordering the Mayacamas, is a stretch of uplands called the Rutherford Bench. (These bench lands technically run the length of Oakville as well). Mountain runoff creates deep, well-drained, alluvial soils on the bench, giving vine roots plenty of reason to permeate deep into the ground. The result is wine with great structure and complexity.
Rutherford Cabernet Sauvingons and Bordeaux Blends garner substantial attention for their enticing fragrances of dusty earth and dried herbs, broad and juicy mid-palates and lush and fine-grained tannins. The sub-appellation claims some of the valley’s most prized vineyards today, namely Caymus, Rubicon and Beckstoffer Georges III.
It is also home to Napa’s most influential and historic personalities. Thomas Rutherford, responsible for the appellation's name, made serious investments here in grape growing and wine production between the years of 1850 to 1880. Gustave Niebaum purchased a large swath of land and completed his winery in 1887, calling it “Inglenook.” Today this remains the oldest bonded winery in California. Georges Latour founded Beaulieu Vineyard in 1900, making it the oldest continuous winery in the state. Latour also hired the famous enologist, André Tchelistcheff, a man credited for single-handedly defining the modern Napa winemaking style.
One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the best of these are densely hued, fragrant, full of fruit and boast a structure that begs for cellar time. Somm Secret—Blends from Bordeaux are generally earthier compared to those from the New World, which tend to be fruit-dominant.