The 2005 Oakville Estate Proprietary Red turned out to be a final blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Malbec, Merlot, and Petit Verdot. There are around 2,300+ cases of this wine, which has a deep ruby/purple color and a beautifully sweet nose of blueberry and blackberry fruit intermixed with some burning embers, spring flowers, cedar, and subtle wood. It is full-bodied and dense, with hints of espresso roast and chocolate in the mouth. Precise, pure, and rich, it is a beauty that I think will age for at least two or more decades.
A totally new viticultural and wine-making team is in place at Rudd, including viticultural manager, Bill Vyenielo, as well as superstars David Abreu and Michel Rolland. The new winemaker in addition to Rebekah Wineburg is Pat Sullivan. I think all of this reflects the meticulous perfectionism of proprietor Leslie Rudd, who wants to push this winery, with its fabulous source of vineyards (including the home estate right across the street from Screaming Eagle and down the slope from Dalla Valle), into the superstar stratum of Napa.