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2017 Rued Vineyard Chardonnay

Green Valley of Russian River Valley

2017 Rued Vineyard Chardonnay
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/ 750 ML bottle

Wine Specs
Green Valley of Russian River Valley
Vineyard Designation
Rued Vineyard
Harvest Date
September 11, 2017
5.8 g/L
18 months in French oak (50% new barrels)
100% barrel fermentation, 100% malolactic fermentation, bottled unfiltered, stirred lees
Bottling Date
May 2019
Alcohol %
Wine Spectator
Wine Enthusiast
Wine Profile
Tasting Notes
Explosive apple, Asian pear, and lemon/lime fruit are interlaced with gardenia and lemon blossom in the nose. The mouth is decadently creamy, with lychee and orchard fruit compote kept lively by a core of focused citrus. The wine finishes with a wonderful combination of brightness and richness, like a lemon cake with butter brickle ice cream on the side.
94, Wine Enthusiast. 92, Anthony Dias Blue. 92, Wine Spectator. 90, Planet Grape. A-,
Vineyard Notes
In 1969 Warren Dutton planted this scenic Chardonnay vineyard on a redwood ringed, east-facing hillside in Green Valley. Originally budded as Old Wente selection, it turns out that over half of the wood he received was a so-called “chardonnay musqué” selection, which produce wines of floral, high-toned fruit aromas, and exceptionally rich mouthfeel. The selection has since been propagated across California and is referred to as the “Rued Clone.” Like all of the Wente offshoots, these are not truly “clones” but field selections propagated from preferred vineyard cuttings, rather than a single shoot in a nursery. But the clone is just a small part of the distinction of this magical place. The soil is super sandy Goldridge series, the old vines are dry-farmed, impressively healthy, and amazingly consistent, whatever the weather throws at us. The berries are thick-skinned and tiny for chard, and produce a wine of solid acidity, unusual minerality, an enticing depth of flavors and tremendous ageabilty. Old vines with deep roots and strong canopies like those at Rued barely notice weather vagaries, maintaining their stoic presence no matter what Mother Nature brings. If anything, the Labor Day weekend heat spike gave the fruit a bit of extra concentration that shows immediately in the vivid aromatics of the 2017 vintage.
Winemaker Notes
The exceptional fruit from this old vineyard enables the winemaker to pull out all the stops and still produce a wine of great structure and fruit focus. Rued is 100% barrel fermented, and undergoes full malolactic fermentation. A large portion of the barrels are fermented using native yeast for richness and complexity, while some are inoculated with cultured strains that showcase the floral aromatics of the clone. The blend for this wine was barrel selected in April 2018, blended along with the primary yeast lees, and then sent back to barrel until bottling in May of 2019. For this special wine our signature barrel blend combines the fresh ginger and high-toned spice of Seguin Moreau Premium barrels, the structure and richness imparted by Taransaud, and a touch of Fouquet's ebullience. With the great solidity and concentration of this fruit, long barrel aging elicits a wonderful combination of lushness and complexity in the wine.
Food Pairing Notes
Enjoy with luxurious foods like Crab Louie, sturgeon in a mushroom cream sauce, and fettuccine Alfredo, or cheeses with a salty bite, like Valley Ford’s Estero Gold Reserve.
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