Tasting Notes

Blending is at the heart of our winemaking programs. It is the
critical process of combining different wines from multiple vineyard
locations and appellations with one goal: Create a complete wine
that is superior to the individual components. Our Winemaker’s
Blend is a meritage style wine that celebrates this artistic
endeavor. The best attributes of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon,
Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot harmonize into a flavorful wine
that is fruit forward, elegant, supple and age worthy. We only
produce Winemaker’s Blend in exceptional vintages, and 2007
definitely qualifies.
Wine Profile

VINTAGE: 2007
APPELLATION: Napa Valley
VARIETAL COMPOSITION:Merlot 44%,
Cabernet Sauvignon 41%, Cabernet Franc
12%, Petit Verdot 3%
COLOR: Dark ruby
AROMA: Dark chocolate, blueberry, vanilla,
molasses, violet
FLAVOR: The palate is bright, with lots of ripe
red berries; hints of blackberry, molasses and
cayenne.  A nice, persistent smokiness comes
through the lingering finish.
ALCOHOL LEVEL: 14.4%
Winemaker

Growing up amongst the vineyards of
Santa Rosa in Sonoma County, Marisa
Taylor Huffaker seemed destined to find
a career in winemaking. At a young age,
she recalls visits to the vineyards to
watch her godfather, a vineyard
manager, work in the vines. Like most
people who grow up in Wine Country,
wine was a typical fixture at her family’s
dinner table. During those
impressionable years, Marisa
developed a deep appreciation for the
process of taking the tender grapes
from vine to the glass, generating the
spark of what would become her
professional calling.

Marisa enrolled in Santa Rosa Junior
College and by the age of 25 was
making her own wine, using Pinot Noir
from Carneros. She graduated from the
University of California – Davis, first with
a B.S. in Chemistry and then an M.S. in
Food Science-Enology. With her two
degrees, Marisa had the solid
foundation needed to excel at top
quality, artisan winemaking. A self-
described “lab rat,” Marisa continues to
have a passion for the analytical detail
needed for monitoring yeast cultures,
barrels, fermentation, blending and
ultimately, bottling.
After initially honing her skills in the lab
at Piper Sonoma and J Winery, she
became an enologist at S. Anderson
Vineyard in Yountville, where learned to
2007 Rutherford Hill, Winemakers Blend
make Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and
sparkling wine. Her natural curiosity led
Marisa to work abroad for the harvest of
1999 at the Colognole Winery in Rufina,
Italy, where she immersed herself in
winemaking and learned to vinify
Sangiovese.

Upon returning to the U.S., Taylor
Huffaker joined Williams-Selyem as an
assistant winemaker, where she further
honed her winemaking skills, making
Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in Sonoma
County.

Today, Marisa is part of a talented
winemaking team at the Terlato Wine
Group’s Rutherford Hill Winery in Napa
Valley, crafting its award-winning
Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet. She
is happy, challenged and enjoys all
aspects of winemaking. In her free time,
Marisa enjoys quilting, gardening and
entertaining family and friends.
For The Distinctive Epicurean and Wine Enthusiast
Chef   & Vintner
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