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2018 Rued Vineyard Chardonnay

Green Valley of Russian River Valley

2018 Rued Vineyard Chardonnay
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/ 750 ML bottle
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Wine Specs
Green Valley of Russian River Valley
Vineyard Designation
Rued Vineyard
Harvest Date
September 24, 2018
6.5 gm/Lit.
18 months in French oak (50% new barrels)
Bottling Date
April 2020
Alcohol %
Wine Enthusiast
Connoisseurs' Guide
Wine Profile
Tasting Notes
The wet winter got our vineyards off to a late start, then the temperate summer and harvest season let us hang the fruit until just the right day we chose to harvest, with the sugar and acid in perfect alignment. This balance shows in the wine, which combines the lusciousness and freshness we love in Green Valley Chardonnay. The nose leads with tangerine, apricot, and kiwi fruit, accented by lemon oil, orange blossom, and hazelnut. In the mouth, the fruit/floral and bright/rich theme continues, with the lychee and Meyer lemon top notes joined by Asian pear and Gravenstein apple, framed with honeysuckle and gardenia.
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 2019, blended along with the primary yeast lees, and then sent back to barrel until bottling in April of 2020. 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
The dual nature of the wine makes it pair well with both rich and light fare, like lobster roll, roasted pork, or sautéed sole. Of course, we especially love it with our tasting room cheese pairing of Valley Ford’s Estero Gold Reserve.
Other Notes
93, Blue Lifestyle