St. Supéry Rutherford Merlot 2018

Deep ruby color; cherry, raspberry on the nose; black cherry, dark plum, raspberry, blackberry, baking chocolate, vanilla, spice on the palate.

St. Supéry Rutherford Merlot 2018

Dry; lively and bright; fine-grained, Rutherford-dust tannins. Consistently good. Medium-plus body. Gentle acidity (3.60 pH) contributes to soft, easy drinking texture. Blend of 88% merlot, 10% cabernet sauvignon, 1% cabernet franc, 1% petit verdot. Fruit was hand-harvested in cool mornings; 65% of the juice fermented in oak, then matured in 100% French oak, 44% new, for 19 months.

The founding St. Supéry family, led by Robert Skalli, acquired the Dollarhide Ranch in 1982. The Dollarhide was a cattle and horse operation on more than 1,500 acres of steep and rolling hills interspersed with flatlands, seven lakes, and abundant wildlife. The estate developed more than 500 acres into vineyards and left the remainder in natural state to promote a diverse collection of flora and fauna. Shortly after the original purchase, the Skalli family purchased 56 acres in Rutherford, where the winery is stands today.

St. Supéry estate

The estate is located on Highway 29. It grows cabernet sauvignon, merlot, petit verdot, and cabernet franc. The estate merlot and cabernet sauvignon come from these acres. All St. Supéry vineyards are certified Napa Green since 2008. The winery employs sustainable farming practices on all its holdings. That includes canopy management, composting of pomace, reclaiming 100% of the water from rainfall, and maintaining more than 50 bluebird and owl boxes.

St. Supéry weed management team

All St. Supéry wines are estate-grown and managed from vineyard to bottle. The winery purchases no fruit and employs no offsite production or storage, giving the winery complete control over all operations.

St. Supéry CEO Emma Swain
St. Supéry vice president winemaking and vineyard Michael Scholz

Emma Swain has been the CEO at St. Supéry since 2009. Prior to that she worked for 13 years as the COO at Sebastiani Vineyards and Winery. Michael Scholz is the vice president winemaking and vineyards. He is a sixth-generation winemaker from Australia’s Barossa Valley and has spent more than a decade at St. Supéry.

In 2015, the Skalli Family sold St. Supéry to CHANEL, Inc. CHANEL thus expanded their holdings that already included Château Canon, Château Rauzan-Ségla, and Château Berliquet. You likely know CHANEL more for haute couture, fashion, jewelry, watches, fragrance and other upscale products.

St. Supéry Rutherford Merlot 2018 is quality merlot from conscientious maker. Good tannic structure supports the dark fruit cavalcade. Smooth, easy drinker. True varietal expression of merlot with just enough Bordeaux blending juice to deliver intrigue and complexity. Pair with beef dishes; lamb; veal; pork; wild game; poultry. Cheese—swiss, gruyere, parmesan, gouda, gorganzola, brie. $65-70

St. Supéry website

St. Supéry entrance alley