Dark, black-ruby color. The aromas reflect classic "Rutherford dust" notes of black cherry, loamy mineral-earth tones, and licorice, along with fine new oak vanilla highlights. Medium full-bodied, with deep cherry-mineral, currant –anise flavors, this vintage has a fine veneer of tannins combined with good acidity to support 10-15 years aging. Rich, supple fruit softens the texture. The sweet fragrance and taste of vanilla from the new oak add measurable length and structure in the finish. A fine wine to drink young with grilled steaks, roast leg of lamb with shallots, or a ripe wedge of Fontina or aged Vermont cheddar cheese.
In 2002, moderate to cool summer conditions gave way to a heat spell in mid-September that accelerated ripening. Fortunately, the first two weeks of October saw a return to lovely fall days, and the grapes achieved near perfect maturity, with excellent balance and bright, ripe fruit flavors.