Rudd Sauvignon Blanc 2018
Brilliant and clear in appearance, the 2018 Rudd Mt. Veeder Estate Sauvignon Blanc has both characteristic aromatics of boxwood and grapefruit, as well as an earthy, clay note. On the palate, the notes of passion fruit, lemon pith, and white peach flesh take center stage. The evolution in the glass offers focused, elegant acidity and aromatics that are lively on the mouth with luminosity, clarity, and balance at the finish. An elevated and unique expression of Sauvignon Blanc in an outstanding vintage, the 2018 has the potential to develop in complexity and texture with cellaring for 5-10 years.
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Founded in 1996 by Leslie Rudd, Rudd Estate is a multigenerational winery handcrafting small production wines that reflect the ultimate expression of its world-class terroir by respecting the traditions of the past, challenging the present and imagining future possibilities. Over the course of two decades, the team at Rudd Estate has become intimately familiar with the geologic nuances that make its terroir unique: iconic red volcanic soils, the alluvial fan, and the subterranean stream beds. Vineyards located in Napa Valley’s most celebrated Oakville appellation produce red Bordeaux varietals, and vineyards located on Mt. Veeder at a 1500-foot elevation produce Rudd’s Sauvignon Blanc and Susan’s Blanc. These white wines are a unique expression of these varietals and a rarity in the Valley given hillsides are typically reserved for red varietals.
Samantha Rudd recently took the helm of Rudd Estate and has championing organic and biodynamic farming practices with the support of the winegrowing and vineyard team. Committed to creating an environment where hard work, creativity, innovation, and craftsmanship are valued, she instituted an Unlikely Collaborators Residency Program in 2016. This multi-disciplinary residential program for individuals in the arts, sciences or business who share Rudd Estate’s values and would like to have the opportunity to collaborate with the Rudd team, exploring new ideas in the idyllic setting of the Napa Valley. In today’s device-driven world, there is little opportunity for individuals with shared values but different backgrounds to connect face-to-face and learn from and be inspired by one another. The program’s goal is to help correct this and to encourage individuals with different perspectives and sets of experiences to engage one another in order to facilitate innovative ideas and creative solutions that will add value to both parties’ present and future endeavors.
Centered at the peak for which it is named, Mount Veeder is Napa’s largest sub-AVA. But even though the entire appellation spreads over 16,000 acres, vineyards cover a mere 1,000. Scattered among Douglas firs and bristlecone pines, Mount Veeder vineyards extend south from the upper elevations of the Mayacamas Mountains—the highest point at 2,400 feet—to the border of the Carneros region. Less than 25 wineries produce wine from Mount Veeder fruit.
Winemaking began early in this appellation. In 1864, Captain Stelham Wing presented the first Mount Veeder wine to the Napa County Fair; it came from today’s Wing Canyon Vineyard. Prohibition, of course, halted winemaking and viticulture wasn’t revitalized until the founding of Mayacamas Vineyards in 1951 and Bernstein Vineyards in 1964.
The Bernstein Vineyards was actually home to the first Petit Verdot in California, planted in 1975. Today most of the Petit Verdot in Napa Valley originates from this vineyard.
Rocky volcanic clay and ancient seabed matter dominate Mount Veeder soils—perfect for Bordeaux varieties. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot enjoy spectacular success. These varieties produce wines rich in brambly blackberry and black cherry fruit with herbal and floral aromatics. Structures are moderate to assertive and wines have great staying power.
Chardonnay from Mount Veeder is lush, full and balanced mineral and fresh citrus flavors.
Capable of a vast array of styles, Sauvignon Blanc is a crisp, refreshing variety that equally reflects both terroir and varietal character. Though it can vary depending on where it is grown, a couple of commonalities always exist—namely, zesty acidity and intense aromatics. This variety is of French provenance. Somm Secret—Along with Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc is a proud parent of Cabernet Sauvignon. That green bell pepper aroma that all three varieties share is no coincidence—it comes from a high concentration of pyrazines (herbaceous aromatic compounds) inherent to each member of the family.