Retrospective Tasting Notes We are extremely proud of this Cabernet, as it is possibly the best we have produced to date. Though some of the 2010 vintage was a struggle both in the vineyards and in the winery, this year’s Panek Cabernet Sauvignon is a gorgeous example of the best of 2010. The nose on this is packed with dark fruit – summer-ripe blackberries, black cherry, and a distinct blueberry aroma that makes Panek one of our favorite sites in the Rudius portfolio. The palate this is full-weight with an amazing silkiness to the fruit that is supported by just enough tannin to give the wine structure and texture through to the entirety of the palate. Flavors of stewed meats, warm cloves and a delicate undertone of fresh mint trail off to a rich finish. Age is a friend to the 2010 Panek, as with all our young Cabernets, but if you must open now (don’t worry, we’re impatient too) we suggest decanting for at least an hour prior to drinking. But you really can't go wrong with more time in the decanter, it will live for days – or years in your cellar!
Retrospective Tasting Notes The 2011 Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay shows amazing minerals and citrus notes, characteristic of the Hyde Vineyard, with a refreshing floral component with hints of honeysuckle and apple blossom. On the entry, this wine has medium weight with a delicate crystalline quality to the fruit. The mid-palate is flush with Meyer lemon and subtle hints of flowering rosemary, while the acidity characteristic of the Robert Young selection keeps the finish bright, lengthy and fresh The 100% Malolactic fermentation gives this Chardonnay great body and texture but the inherent acidity from the site carries this weight perfectly. Because of this distinct balance, our Hyde Chardonnay is not one to drink too cold. As with all our red wines, decanting can do wonders for the wine, and letting is warm to near room temperature will allow you to experience all the unique aspects of our inaugural Chardonnay.
Retrospective Tasting Notes Balance in this wine is the key to its beauty. While there are loads of lush fruit, it is held in perfect balance by the bright acidity and supple tannin structure. The nose on the 2010 Oakville Cabernet clearly shows to its origins within the Napa Valley. There are plentiful dark fruits, spicy white pepper, and subtle undertones of fresh mint that just scream 'Oakville'. The palate carries rich, full weight from the sweet round tannins, while flavors of roasted meat, black currants and menthol impress all the way through to a long finish. There is no doubt that this bold wine will age for 10+ years, but we are sure that you will love it if you open it tonight with dinner as well.
Retrospective Tasting Notes This Grenache is not your typical, sledge-hammer California Rhone. Aromatics of vibrant rose petal, damp earth, and bright fresh red cherries jump from the glass. On the palate, this ruby-colored wine has medium weight with expansive flavors of red licorice and warm baking spices. The finish carries tremendous length without any excessive, cloying thickness. After having this wine many times and following it over the course of several days, we can honestly say that it is nearly impossible to give this earthy, age-worthy wine too much air. Open a day ahead or decant for several hours and enjoy!
Retrospective Tasting Notes June 2012This wine has gained a bit of weight since its original release. Still every bit the spicy Rhone you'd expect from Rudius but with a few more mineral and floral undertones. You could certainly pop this open and enjoy it with tomorrow night's dinner after a few hours open in the bottle, for sure but we think this wine could also hang out in your cellar for another 7-10 years, no problem.
Retrospective Tasting Notes June 2012The nose on the 2009 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is rich and very dense with pronounced notes of blackberry, roasted meats, black truffles, and rich cocoa.Â On the palate, this wine has a very rich, dark fruit-driven entry. Hints of espresso and cassis lead into a very long, smooth finish. The richness of flavor is balanced by just enough tannin structure to keep it fresh and clean. This Cabernet is very drinkable now but will gain complexity and depth for at least 7-10 years.
Retrospective Tasting Notes June 2012The 2009 Panek Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon may be our favorite of any Cabernet we have made to date. The nose on this wine simply explodes from the glass with barbequed meats, rich spices, licorice and sweet smoke. On the palate, it has tremendous depth and length but no sense of cloying thickness. There is also an exciting graphite edge to it as well as sweet notes of black cherries, mint and cloves. We love drinking this wine now and expect that it will continue to develop complexity and drink beautifully for 10-12 years or more.
Retrospective Tasting Notes June 2012 Ever the comedian, Jeff's initial description of this wine during our recent tasting was "the bomb diggity yo!" But in all seriousness, this Cab does taste amazing right now. Full of espresso and clove richness, with the sweet undertones of just-ripe blackberry, this wine is a great testament to the blending power of Cab Franc. 2008 was the first year that we included a bit of Cabernet Franc in our Napa Cab and we were converts from this vintage on. Best thing about this little blending addition: a bit of Cab Franc makes the wine age like a champ! This one will last for 10 years+ but we're sure you'd enjoy it tonight as well.
Retrospective Tasting Notes June 2012We have always loved this wine's smooth tannins and gently acidic flavors of black raspberry and Rainier cherry, but the beautifully perfumed nose is what really blew us away this time around. Bergamot, warm cinnamon and sweet white pepper were the dominant aromas that grabbed our attention from the first pour to the last sip. This is one of our wines that does not need much attention before you enjoy it. It is great right out of the bottle but will drink well all night long. Drink now, next year, or five years from now we're sure you'll enjoy it either way.
Retrospective Tasting Notes June 2012The 2007 Emerald Pool still makes us think "Cote-Rotie" every time we drink it. The hint of menthol we always loved in this wine is showing itself a bit more now, but it still shows bold fruit and refreshing acidity. This one has always been a bit of an exciting ringer among our Syrahs. While it's hard to say exactly what its aging curve will be, since it surprises us each time we open it, we feel confident saying that it will drink beautifully tomorrow or for many years to come.
Retrospective Tasting Notes June 2012Our inaugural Cabernet for Rudius! As many of you know the fruit for this wine came from a site on Howell Mountain. And we have always loved the way this wine so perfectly shows its mountain character. Bold, dark fruit; strong, round tannins; incredible length and concentration. This time around that exciting power still showed, though the tannins came through a bit stronger than before. We always knew this Cab would have a bit more grip as it aged but this is the first time it has been apparent. We still love this wine, but we will aim to enjoy our last few bottles (yes, we really do have that little left in our cellar!) over the next 12 months.
Retrospective Tasting Notes June 2012Red fruits still dominate this Syrah, but they have dropped off a bit since the last time we tasted it. Bottle age has heightened slight hints of dried lavender and sweet herbs de provence, which make the wine a bit milder, though the mineral-rich finish is still as nice as ever. As with all our Rhones, we would suggest decanting the West Block or opening it several hours ahead. Either way, we love this wine now and expect that it will drink beautifully for you for another 2-3 years.
Retrospective Tasting Notes June 2012Spirit Rock has maintained its perfectly balanced acidity and rich smoky character. True to his roots, Jeff says the flavors here remind him of everyone's barbeque favorite, burnt ends. This one was still a pretty tight after being open for only an hour, but as it started to open up and show its true dense, meaty side, it proved it still has a ton of spunk left. We will certainly be drinking this for the next 2-5 years, with a good bit of decanting, of course.
Retrospective Tasting Notes June 2012Years of patient cellaring have paid off! This Syrah has finally settled into its 100% new oak regime. Intense flavors of cassis and minerals are balanced by a strong tannin structure and brightening acidity. While this is still the most aggressive of our Syrahs, it has really fleshed out and now impresses us with its depth of fruit and lengthy finish. This wine is amazing after 2-3 hours in the decanter, but we even though we are opening a few bottles here and there to enjoy with friends, we are making sure to keep a few hidden away. 5-10 years from now, we are sure this one will still blow us away.
Retrospective Tasting Notes June 2012This Russian River Syrah is a bit more high tone than the 05, with notes of red raspberry and rose petal. But even with several hours open on the table, we still felt as though it was holding back a little. As with all our early wines, the whole cluster fermentation means they age and evolve more slowly, and this one is no exception. We would suggest holding this Syrah for two more years and drinking it over the following five years. We have no doubt it will stack up beautifully against the 05 with a bit more time in the cellar.
Retrospective Tasting Notes Special NoteWe did not open this wine for our retrospective tasting this year. We have so few bottles left that we tend to save them for special occasions. But considering the vibrancy of this wine the last time we tasted (about 10 months ago) and the potential for longevity that comes thanks to the whole cluster fermentation, we can't see any reason to rush with this one. You should be able to enjoy it for at least another 3-6 years.
Retrospective Tasting Notes June 2012The first vintage (and first Syrah) from Rudius is an exciting achievement from seven vintages ago and an amazing bit of nostalgia! We were impressed to smell sweet bits of forest floor and cherry preserves still jumping out of this wine. The tannins from the whole cluster fermentation perfectly balance the still fruit-forward nature of this beautiful Syrah. We weren't sure what to expect since we hadn't had a bottle of the 2005 in quite awhile, but we are confident after drinking over the course of an evening that you will enjoy this wine just as much as we did tomorrow or anytime over the next 5 years.
Retrospective Tasting Notes Special NoteWe did not open this wine for our retrospective tasting this year. There's very little of it left in our cellar so we are incredibly protective of our last few bottles. We absolutely love it every time we try it so are going to be greedy and keep it all to ourselves. And you should too, if you want to drink some in 10 years with us!