Round Pond Winery - 538 Wine Notes

Completed in July of 2007, Round Pond winery and hospitality facility embodies the style and hospitality of Napa Valley. Located in Rutherford, the winery is surrounded by their vineyards, allowing the fruit to arrive cool and in pristine condition at harvest. At the winery, these exceptional grapes benefit from a careful blend of artisan techniques and cutting-edge technology. This approach includes hand-sorting the grapes twice, and fermenting and aging specific vineyard blocks individually to maintain their distinctive character. To further ensure quality, this time and labor-intensive approach benefits from the use of select technologies such as the winery’s custom-built fermentors, which continuously regulate temperatures to the ideal level. 

In addition to being the perfect home for our small-lot winemaking, our winery is also a place where we can share our excellent wines in a beautiful and comfortable setting. 

Located in the heart of the Napa Valley, for more than a century the Rutherford region has been recognized for producing red wines of incomparable opulence and elegance. Although measuring a mere six square miles, this coveted winegrowing area is home to some of the oldest and most storied wineries in the United States.

Within this community are neighbored by such acclaimed wineries as Beaulieu Vineyards, Caymus, Cakebread, Honig and Frog’s Leap. 

Offering a unique mix of microclimate and soil composition, Rutherford has proven ideal for the cultivation of Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as premium Italian and Spanish olives. Offering abundant sunshine, warm daytime temperatures and only moderate cooling influences, Rutherford yields fruit with ripe, robust character. Adding to this character is Rutherford’s unique alluvial soils deposited over millennia by the Napa and Russian rivers as well as the Conn Creek. These vibrant and diverse soils add to the region’s rich palette of flavors. 

Situated at the main Rutherford crossroads, between Beaulieu Vineyards and Caymus Winery, Round Pond has been growing premium wine grapes since the early 1980s. Cultivated with meticulous care, the grapes have been sold to several of the most preeminent wineries in the region. Recognizing the estate’s ecological diversity, they also undertook the planting of several varieties of imported Italian and Spanish olive trees for the production of premium oils. 

In addition, using a small selection of extraordinary grapes from our vineyard’s 362 planted acres, Round Pond has established an acclaimed estate wine program focusing on world-class Cabernet Sauvignon produced in extremely limited quantities. 

2014 Kith & Kin Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

The Kith & Kin is a fine introduction to the Round Pond style of winemaking. The term means “friends and family”. The vast majority of the fruit comes from the estate, “the family” and supplemented by a limited amount from Napa Valley growers, “friends”. This wine is meant to be consistently approachable in its youth, with balanced tannins and a fruit forward character. 

2014 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford

The Round Pond Estate is situated in the heart of Rutherford, California, an appellation that has been famous for its world-class red wines for more than a century. The property spans 357 acres of planted vineyards, including Red Barn Ranch, Hill’s, Round Pond and MacDonnell vineyards. To maintain the integrity of the land and to ensure its continuing bounty for generations to come, Round Pond only uses sustainable farming practices in their viticulture program.

Round Pond’s soils are extremely fertile due to deposits from alluvial outflows of the Conn Creek and Napa River that took place thousands of year ago. As a result, vine health is exceptional, and the vines grow vigorously in this unique appellation. To maintain vine balance and reduce yields – both key factors for quality – they limit each vine to two clusters per shoot, making certain that no two clusters even touch one another. In addition, they carefully work the canopy to establish a good ratio of sunlight to shade. To further control vine vigor they utilize advanced technology to monitor hydration levels in the soil. When they are within days of harvesting, their skilled vineyard workers (some of whom have almost 30 years of experience) hand inspect each vine to discard bad berries, or even entire clusters. As a result, when the fruit is finally picked it represents a meticulous selection of only the finest grapes. 

The vineyards have been planted to selections of elite clones including 337, 7 and 8, each carefully matched with the optimal soil, rootstock and trellising system. Soil types include gravelly and sandy clay loam, while our trellising systems incorporate Geneva Double Curtain, Fletcher Lyre, Split Canopy Lyre and Vertical Shoot Positioning. Vine age at Round Pond averages 10 to 15 years. 

Finally, because they own their vineyards, the winemaker is in the fortuitous position of being able to initiate harvest at ideal levels of ripeness – an essential element in crafting wines with an elegantly voluptuous and drinkable style. 

In 2005, they started releasing Rutherford estate wines to critical praise, that tradition continues with each new vintage of the elegant flagship Cabernet Sauvignon. Handcrafted from the finest of our 362 acre Rutherford vineyards, these wines focus on purity of fruit, a true reflection of Rutherford and Napa’s vineyard’s terroir. 

“92 points Antonio Galloni. The nose is enticing with deep aromatics of blackberries, plum, crème de menthe, and dark chocolate. The entry is elegant and builds to a luscious mid-palate, full of freshly picked berries, black licorice, and cassis. The wine continues to build up to a brooding finish that is dark, lingering on the palate with leather and cocoa dust, begging to be revisited.” 

aris hovsepian