PSA Ruston Family Wines sale 25% off

I used to buy quite a bit of wine from John Ruston as my cellar was pretty heavy on Napa Cab’s. This was always one of my top reco’s when folks asked for either balanced more classic cabernet or great cab values under $75.

John is doing a sale 25% off for 25 years of Ruston Family Wines. Great pricing across their entire line up which has expanded to a Sonoma Pinot and Chardonnay including one from the Charles Heintz vineyard. Wines on sale are the 18 Chards, 18 Mahalia(Merlot blend from their estate vineyard west of St Helena), 19 Cabernet and 18 La Maestra( Cabernet from their estate vineyard). AG has been a fan of the La Maestra calling it a super classic wine and last reviewed the 15 giving it an excellent review.

If your interested in getting the email offer you can sign up here

I’m going with the Napa Cab, La Maestra and Heintz chard. To good an offer to pass up even with BD week !


Ruston is a bit of a puzzle for me. I’ve bought from them several times over the last 3-4 years, but John is inconsistent in sending me his offer emails. Sometimes I don’t hear about offers until you post about them here, Fred, including this time. I’ve also had difficulty with getting orders filled as purchased, and with getting wines to ship in a reasonable amount of time and without multiple requests.

I know John has had his hands full with an ill wife, who is now sadly deceased, which certainly gets him a big pass. It just feels like he could use some help running the business at this point and that customer service, at least in my case, has been pretty challenging. Seems like a good guy and I would love to support him more, but it’s hard when I’m never quite sure how it’s going to go or what I’m going to end up with.

I used to buy a lot of them. I received the email but will probably pass (Sandlands and BD).

Sorry to hear that Andrew. I do think he’s pretty much a one man shop though he has Robbie Meyer as the winemaker. I would usually catch him on his cell. Never had any issues with getting wines shipped. I haven’t bought in a while but some of my friends still buy all the time. Looking forward to trying these wines. I think they’ve only gotten better. I’ll send you his contact info if your interested.

I thought I had a pretty good cab franc from them maybe a decade or so ago.

CT showed I had the 07 so probably so.

I always thought the La Maestra was their best wine and they put out a heck of a Napa designate Cabernet for the $.

I’ll post back after I try the wines we’ve ordered.

Another anecdotal data point to add-

Learned about Ruston on this site and this thread urged me to sign up on their website. Got the 25% off offer email and called John yesterday inquiring about ordering. He called back a couple of times yesterday which I missed and he called again today. Chatted for 15 mins and ordered up a mixed case of wine on the phone, which he’ll hold until March for me (Minnesota…). Not quite as easy as ordering through an on-line portal, but I just got to talk with a vineyard owner & winemaker for 15 minutes! Still pretty easy-peasy and cool. (Ruston also has an order form that you can fill out, scan or take pix, and email to them.)
Just wanted to add my recent experience so far to the picture.

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They used to make a Stagecoach vineyard Cab that was pretty good.

Yep I really liked that Stagecoach cab too.
All my dealings with John have been really good.

Here’s an interesting story folks might be interested in. John partnered with Gail and Tom Benson to create a wine for a new label and wine from his home vineyard right outside of St Helena. Only available in New Orleans restaurants for now but may be commercially available at some point.

Opened the 2019 Napa from the release with friends last night. This is the best straight Napa cab I’ve had from John. It has plenty of dark fruit and black currant with fine tannin and a modest level of richness. It has a nice vein of acidity in the background as well. It’s drinking surprisingly well now and should please folks looking for value in Napa Cabernet. I believe the offer is still available.

I haven’t tried the 18 La Maestra. I’ll probably give that one some more time.

That Stagecoach was a great wine.

I opened the 2018 La Maestra two weeks ago. Drank it over two days. It was wonderful. I expect it to be a next-level crowd pleaser with some time…I should probably order more.

Thanks for the update Blake. Did you give it any decant time ?

I did not. Opened on Friday night (largely due to eagerness!) and had a a glass with my wife. Friends came over Saturday and we polished it off (along with a few other wines!) the aromas were an outright bouquet explosion. All good things. All good things. La Maestra was the wine of the week.

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My Ruston wines arrived early March after I requested a weather-hold on shipping- so just as I specified & expected.

Last week opened a 2018 La Maestra, Ruston’s version of a Reserve Cab. Back of the label says “Cab Sauv” but previous versions (from website) contain Petit Verdot & Cab Franc.
Dark purple. Smelled something other than just fruit in the glass, kirsch-like. Dark fruit.
Didn’t love this right off. A bit of sharpness in the mid-palate I associate with too much petit Verdot (if a wine has more than 5-7% PV in it, I won’t like early, if ever.) big blackberry, spice, clove, bit of cherry. Little bit of alcohol. A bit of tannin, but not too much oak. Medium acid, Mid to heavier bodied.
Disappointed in this the first night. Thought I would check another bottle in 2-3 yrs, but such is my relationship with PV.
*revisited this on day 3 (vacu-vin), and again tonight, day 7. Feeling much better about the wine today, prefer it immensely to last week. Still a bit of sharpness on the finish, but very nice wine.

Tonight opened the 2018 Cuvée Mahalia. Bordeaux style blend: 56% merlot, 22% Cab, 20% cab franc, 2% Petit Verdot.
Darker red, purple. Pop n pour, sat in glass for 20-30 mins.
More opulent nose, full of dark, vibrant fruit. Plush in the mouth, very round and ready for business. Wasn’t expecting that based on the La Maestra. Little bit of creaminess but light oak, imo. Tannins on the finish, but not harsh tannins, very smooth. Mid-weight. No idea how this will age, but stupendous now. And I think quite a value.

Have only tried these 2 so far. Imo, LaMaestra needs time but is very cellar worthy. Cuvée Mahalia is ready to enjoy right now, not sure about age-ability but gorgeous now. Both are nice values.

Can’t load pics! Or had too much to drink….

Was trying to place the Cuvée Mahalia in a Napa context with pricing. At $30, nice, approachable but complex Napa Bordeaux blend? This compares very favorably to Chappellets Mountain Cuvée for $35. Lighter on the sweet tannins, but I consider that a good thing.



Thanks for posting Tom. I would agree the La Maestra is one to give 6-8 years from vintage or several hours of air. The Mahalia is a terrific blend and value for the price.

We’ve only tried the 19 Napa so far. It is very open and was really good with a short decant. It’s a silly value and a great base Napa Cab.

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