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Rudd Carneros Chardonnay 1999

Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
  • WS93
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Winemaker Notes

Ripe, rich and full-bodied, with layers of fig, apple, citrus and floral notes, keeping its focus and turning complex. Drink now through 2004. 3,200 cases made.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 93
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Rudd
Rudd, Napa Valley, California
1999 Carneros Chardonnay
Rudd winery was established in 1996, when Leslie Rudd purchased the 54-acre estate in Oakville. Since the purchase, Mr. Rudd has made extensive renovations to the property, to include a complete replanting of the vineyards to close-spaced, red Bordeaux varietals and the expansion and renovation of the winery, including custom-designed tanks and a gentle, gravity-flow system. In addition, 22,000 square feet of caves have been dug below the winery to provide ideal aging conditions. In April 2002, Charles Thomas joined the Rudd team as Director of Vineyards and Winemaking. Charles brings to Rudd over 25 years of winemaking and vineyard experience. Along with the proprietary red wine from Oakville, Rudd will continue to produce small quantities of Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc and Bacigalupi Vineyard Chardonnay from the Russian River Valley.

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism, the Napa Valley is the AVA that brought worldwide recognition to California winemaking. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two are St.-Helena and the valley's newest AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap District, and Mt. Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

Chardonnay

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it’s grown and how it’s made. In Burgundy, Chardonnay produces some of the finest white wines in the world, typically tending towards minimal intervention in the winery and at its best resulting in remarkable longevity. This grape is popular throughout the world, but perhaps its second most important home is in California, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay’s flavors tend towards grapefruit, green apple, minerals, and white stone fruit, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of fig, melon, and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice (as well as texture), while malolactic fermentation can impart soft, buttery acidity.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with simple seafood, light chicken dishes, and salads. Richer Chardonnays marry well with cream or oil-based sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. These Old-World style wines have been dubbed the “New California Chardonnays,” and anyone who claims they do not like Chardonnay should give them a try.

CHMRDD110_1999 Item# 49854

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