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Sullivan Vineyards

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Rating: B-C
Oct 15th, 2008
1090 Galleron Road, Rutherford, CA 94573

Phone: 707 963 9646

Hours: 10am - 5pm By Appointment Only

Club/Discounts: 15% Discount

Tasting Fees: 20 (not waived with purchase)

On our second visit to Sullivan, we got to taste some great wines in the family home next to the winery with Sean Sullivan, which was over the top regarding service especially as there were 14 of us. There was, however, a misunderstanding afterwards regarding the tasting fees. After being told that tasting fees would be waived with purchases, we weren't charged during our visit when paying for wines - we were charged after the fact which was annoying. Don't be misled by promises of of free tastings, apparently you have to pay for appointments regardless. The tasting and the wines however were excellent. Sullivan Vineyards is a small, family run vineyard in Rutherford with low productions. The tasting room is small and intimate and hence appointments are required. The location is very picturesque with nice gardens amongst a small lake and vineyards. It was our first visit of the day and we were very happy to stumble across Sullivan. The staff were extremely friendly and it was nice to meet up with Sean Sullivan in the tasting room where he was very happy to talk to us about the wines - He even opened up a bottle of the 2001 Cabernet in front of us to taste. Sullivan is predominantly "red only", and the wines are very big. They sell out of their wines every year through the tasting room and the club - We would definitely like to try these wines after they have been in the bottle a few years as all of the wines we had were too young. The winery is definitely recommended; especially considering it is in an area where it is hard to find a small intimate tasting room, family run, very friendly and in a beautiful setting. (C-D) August 11, 2007

Sort by : Vintage / Name / Rating
2003 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($100)Rating: C
Aug 11th, 2007
The bottle had been open for a few days and was drinking well but had probably been open for too long. It was hard to drink after the massive 04 Couer de Vigne.
2003 Reserve Merlot ($100)Rating: C
Aug 11th, 2007
Smooth, elegant merlot which we all thought was the best drinking wine at the winery. Purchased the last bottle of the 2002 Reserve Merlot (from their own cellar) because of the structure of this wine. Very nice
2004 Coeur de Vigne ($90)Rating: C
Aug 11th, 2007
49% Merlot, 41% Cabernet, 6% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petite Verdot. After drinking this I was left with zero moisture in my mouth. This wine has huge tannins, dark ruby red color. Definitely want to come back to this in a few years. 15% Alc. Too young to give a better rating. Also the bottle was just opened. Tried a bottle a week later that had been opened an hour earlier and it was a lot smoother
2004 Estate Merlot ($50)Rating: C
Aug 11th, 2007
      Best Value Wine - August, 2007

We were a little surprised to be trying a merlot after the big estate Cab, but this is a big merlot. It is not as chewy as the Cab and is definitely drinking better today as it is a lot smoother. Again we would like to come back to this after a little age. Good fruit. 15% Alc
2001 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon ($50)Rating: B-C
Mar 29th, 2008
Lighter taste than other 01's, but very nicely balanced with a smooth finish. Little fruit left, but good structure and enough tannins to hold for a few years.
2004 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon ($55)Rating: B-C
Aug 11th, 2007
75% Cabernet, 25% Merlot. This wine is chewy. Big tannins. This definitely needs to sit down for a few years, and we got a few bottles just to do that. The rating will no doubt improve as the wine gets a little age; has the potential to be very good.
2005 Private Reserve Chardonnay ($30)Rating: B-C
Aug 11th, 2007
First wine of the day at 10.30am. A palette cleanser! Not being a huge Chardonnay fan, I was pleasantly surprised by this one.It is smooth and rich, with not much butter taste. I enjoyed it.
2004 Red Ink ($25)Rating: B
Aug 11th, 2007
60% Merlot, 23% Syrah and 17% Cabernet.Interesting flavor. The wine has good fruit with nice tannins. I got a smoky finish from it. Ian mentioned a taste of "coffee". This would be a great BBQ wine
2006 Pink Ink ($15)Rating: A-B
Aug 11th, 2007
Pink Ink is a Rose with 90% Cabernet and 10% Merlot. Very perfumy nose and finish. I am sure some people would like it but definitely not for us. None of us were mad about it

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Sullivan Vineyards winery, Sullivan Vineyards

Sullivan Vineyards winery, Sullivan Vineyards

Sullivan Vineyards winery, Sullivan Vineyards

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