- WinemakerNatalie Bath
- Farming MethodOrganic Practices
- OakFrench oak (94% new oak)
- Harvest DateSeptember 30th to October 11th
Rudd Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Samantha's Oakville Napa Valley 2011
Rudd’s Oakville Estate is an absolute gem of a property, in the prized eastern edge of Napa's most expensive appellation – and only a jump away from vineyards like St. Eden, Tierra Roja, Tench, and Screaming Eagle. Samantha’s is named for Leslie Rudd’s daughter and just a spectacular cabernet that is strutting perfectly at a dozen years young!
For a whopping $125 less than the winery? Tell me more! Let’s start here...a lot of wine insiders will tell you – 2011 Napa cabs are the wines hardcore collectors should really be seeking out. The vintage was much maligned on release by the critics – many of whom have since retracted their original observations and admitted that 2011 may just be the “sleeper” vintage of the last several decades. A decidedly ‘un-Napa’ cool and damp spring delayed fruit set, and yields were terribly low. Quality in the vineyard was inconsistent, and the best wineries (like this) took great pains to ensure that only worthy grapes were accepted into the winery – dropping the already low yields even further still. But what little there was held the promise of something spectacular – when treated carefully, such as this. There’s a purity to the best wines of 2011, where the trend of overt opulence and ripeness was forcibly restrained by Mother Nature herself, with the result being Napa reds that – for the first time in quite some time – fell much more in line with a classically styled Bordeaux – and equally suited for cellaring.
As the years passed, the 2011 wines got remarkably, noticeably, better and better. Now, these wines are absolutely stellar and worthy of any cabernet or Bordeaux lover’s attention. With a rather positive and enthusiastic 93 point review from Antonio Galloni as far back as September 2014 (which you can read below) – you can only imagine what time has done to this intoxicating beauty. We tasted this a couple of weeks back – side by side with the estate’s flagship from the 2012 vintage...and this wine was the unquestioned champion! It wasn’t even close. No hint of greenness here, a beautiful vein of graphite and fresh earth, and plenty of vibrant and rich fruit character, with the slightest hint of wet tobacco and savory roast herbs. This is as close to perfect drinking as I could hope for in a stunning and premium Napa cabernet sauvignon – and the price is every bit as tempting! Over 50% off on a library steal such as this is an absolute treat – do not be the one to miss it!!!
PAIRING IDEAS: I love me some Cornish game hens. It’s like your own individual roast chicken, but more flavorful. I brine mine for 2-3 hours in a 9% salt solution, pat dry, rub with a healthy pat of butter, and roast at 425 until golden brown. Drop the temp to 300 until cooked to 160 F (if needed) and rest for 10 minutes. Serve alongside roasted root vegetables, a bright herb salad, and a mega-pint of this stunner.