When I grabbed this Rapp Ranch Cutter’s Reserve from the cellar, it had been a year since I tasted it. Those not familiar with Rapp Ranch Wines and Shadybrook Estate Winery, co-located are also the home of Alko Equestrian Center and Napa Valley Trail Rides in Coombsville (Napa Valley). The owners, the Alkosser’s purchased the property in February 2016 and have combined two of their favorite interests, wines and horses to form Rapp Ranch. They have also hired one of the top winemakers in Napa Valley to produce their wines for both Rapp Ranch and Shadybrook Estate, Rudy Zuidema. You can read a previous story on Rudy and Rapp Ranch/Shadybrook Estate at:
The 2013 Rapp Ranch is a powerful stallion for the wine world! The alcohol level is 15.2%, but the flavor provides a remarkable depth of taste. It is comprised of 42% Petit Verdot, 33% Malbec, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Merlot. It is aged for 23 months in 55% new French oak and 45% used French oak. Here the strong and edges of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon are subdued by Merlot and Malbec. But do not be misled, this is a wild ride while enjoying this wine!
On the eyes this startlingly deep purple with medium to medium heavy viscosity, visually awakens the wine drinker. It is only the beginning. With these four varietals, on the nose and palate, a complex and layered profiles come into perfect proportion. Oak, vanilla, pipe tobacco, leather, plum and blackberries converge in the mouth. Licorice both red and black, along with cherries swirl about intermingling with some of the stronger notes. The finish is complex, with the round tannins of Merlot combined with the spiciness and edges of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The current vintage is 2017 and is listed at $70 and each year provides a different mix and percentage of Bordeaux varietals.