The narrative of the Rudd story is driven by the value Leslie places on tradition and family, values reflected by his desire to create a multigenerational winery with a legacy of excellence. As a young man working for his father’s wholesale liquor company in Wichita, Kansas, Leslie learned the wine and spirits business from the ground up. His dream of owning a winery took root on a trip to France in the mid 60’s when Leslie visited the legendary Haut-Brion in Bordeaux. Leslie was impressed by the Chateau’s deep appreciation not only of its heritage but also the central role played by multiple generations of family. Profoundly impacted by this experience, Leslie was determined to someday create a vineyard and winery with this same dedication and sense of place and establish the same legacy for his family.
In 1996 the fulfillment of the dream began when he purchased the 55-acre Oakville estate after concluding the site was capable of producing unique luxury wines of world class quality. The 2000 vintage was the first Rudd Oakville Estate Red bottled, and in the more than a decade since then, we have limited production in order to pursue the tradition of excellence and attention to detail, while always adhering to our philosophy of continuous improvement.
Wine Advocate #192 Dec 2010 Robert M. Parker, Jr. 99 The finest Rudd Estate Proprietary Red Rudd has yet made is the 2008. A blend of 49% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Cabernet Franc, 14% Petit Verdot and 14% Malbec, it offers up aromas of blue and black fruits, charcoal, white chocolate and flowers. The soaring aromatics are followed by a wine with fabulous concentration, a seamless integration of acidity, tannin, alcohol and wood, a brilliant texture, a fabulous personality and loads of complexity as well as full-bodied richness. This potentially legendary proprietary red already possesses remarkably sweet tannin. It will be drinkable early (because of its density, ripeness and velvety texture), but it should age effortlessly for 20-25 years. Bravo!
Ever since Leslie Rudd acquired this estate, formerly known as Girard, at the corner of the Silverado Trail and the Oakville Crossroads, he has been hell-bent to build it into not only one of the finest in Napa Valley, but in the world. This has involved a number of bold moves, including installing super-star David Abreu as vineyard manager, bringing in Pat Sullivan as the winemaker, and hiring Bordeaux’s globe-trotting consultant, Michel Rolland. The current portfolio is Rudd’s strongest to date. The Bordeaux varietal offerings come from one of Napa Valley’s classic sectors, which many people believe is the sweet spot for Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, the Oakville Corridor. Rudd’s neighbors include such renowned estates as Screaming Eagle, Dalla Valle and Plumpjack.
JS: James Suckling
BV: Bidvino Staff
RP: Robert Parker
WS: Wine Spectator
JH: James Halliday
JR: Jancis Robinson
WE: Wine Enthusiast
DM: Decanter Magazine
JD: Jeb Dunnuck
2008 Rudd Oakville Estate Proprietary Red
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