When Leslie Rudd arrived in Napa in 1996, he knew that this specific part of the valley was a very special place. When you can count such great names as Screaming Eagle and Bond St Eden as your direct neighbours, you get an idea of just how special this little corner of the Oakville Bench really is.
Today, Rudd Estate is still 100% family-owned, with daughter Samantha now taking hold of the reins since the passing of her father in 2018. The property has been farmed biodynamically since 2017 and continues to strive for the very best expression of their wonderful site. Samantha’s goal, along with that of winemaker Natalie Bath, is to continue to make incredible wines whilst handing down the healthiest vineyard to the next generation.
The wines have become increasingly fine and elegant over the last few years, with pristine fruit along with a noticeable reduction in oak. The picking crew now have ownership of certain rows of the vineyard to ensure maximum focus on quality. The oak is all French, with the aim to continue to use increasingly less oak as the vineyard matures. These are wines that beautifully represent both the volcanic (south) and alluvial (north) aspects of the soils at Rudd Estate with their fine iron content, fresh acidity, balanced fruit and herbaceous edge.
The estate talks about its wines as having "power but levity", a description that perfectly captures the quality of these 2019s, which represent the 20th vintage release from this special property.
The 2019 Rudd Estate is a blend of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Cabernet Franc that has a delicate floral note and a touch of graphite on the nose. There is a finesse to this wine that is not typical for Napa which makes it all the more impressive.
Only the most expressive plots of estate Cabernet Sauvignon are used to make up the single varietal Samantha’s Cabernet Sauvignon, that Leslie Rudd dedicated to his daughter. Intense on the nose and with a fine, crisp palate, the 2019 bottling is a wine that really grows in the glass.
With just 1044 cases of the Rudd Estate and 637 cases of the Cab Sav produced in 2019, we have extremely limited availability on both these wines, so do get in touch if you would like to order, with delivery expected towards the end of the year.
2019 Rudd Estate
£1080 (6x75cl) IB
96 Points | Lisa Perrotti-Brown, The Wine Independent
The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon is composed of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Cabernet Franc, aged for 22 months in French oak, 30% of it new. Deep purple-black in color, it springs from the glass with bright blackberries and blackcurrant-inspired scents, followed by hints of redcurrant jelly, dried herbs, and truffles with a waft of crushed rock. Full-bodied, the palate delivers amazing elegance and restraint, with a quiet intensity and very fine-grained tannins, lifted with wonderful tension, finishing long and mineral-laced. It should be very long lived! 1,044 cases were made.
95 Points | James Suckling
A pinpointed red with currants, cherries, plums, chocolate with walnut undertones. Medium to full body. Creamy tannins. Attractive length. Blend of 93% cabernet sauvignon and rest cabernet franc. Drink or hold.
2019 Samantha’s Cabernet Sauvignon
£720 (6x75cl) IB
96+ Points | Lisa Perrotti-Brown, The Wine Independent
The 2019 Samantha's Cabernet Sauvignon was aged for 22 months in French oak, 50% of it new. Deep garnet-purple in color, it prances out with gregarious notes of Morello cherries, warm cassis, and wild blueberries plus suggestions of lavender, damp soil, and charcoal with a waft of dried roses. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is very tightly knit with loads of red, black, and blue fruit layers, supported by exquisitely ripe, fine-grained tannins and seamless freshness, finishing long and perfumed. 637 cases were made.
95 Points | James Suckling
A lovely and soft pure cabernet with currants, hints of cedar, dust, hints of mint, and cherry. Medium to full body, creamy and delicious already. Fruit with tile and dust. Linear and fine tannins. Drink o