2004 Rudd Oakville Estate Proprietary Red
The 2004 Rudd Oakville Estate Proprietary Red is the fifth vintage from our benchland vineyard at the corner of Oakville Crossroad and Silverado Trail. This vineyard is planted in rocky, red volcanic soils at the foot of the Vaca Mountains using high density planting and low vigor rootstock to encourage the vines to produce smaller, highly concentrated berries.
The 2004 growing season started early and warm, and finished early and warm. Bud-break began a week early during a three-week warm spell in early March. A second warm spell in late April propelled the vines two weeks ahead by bloom in early May. A freak hailstorm on June 8 caused about 1% damage to the fruit. To ensure the absolute best fruit and wine quality, our vineyard crew meticulously combed through the entire vineyard over the next several weeks, picking out every damaged berry, one at a time. As the season progressed, the warmer days were balanced out by slightly cooler than normal nights, helping to retain acidity in the berries and dark pigments in the grape skins. Harvest began with Malbec on Aug. 24 and 30, followed by Merlot and Cabernet Franc between Sept. 1 and 4 and then Petit Verdot on Sept. 7. The Cabernet Sauvignon held on past two heat spikes before being harvested between Sept. 8 and 20. Even with the heat, the bloom-to-harvest intervals, or “hang time”, were identical to 2002. After 4-6 weeks of fermentation and skin contact, the wine went to barrels for nineteen months. It was racked every three months, and bottled unfined and unfiltered in June 2006.
This 2004 Rudd Oakville Estate Proprietary Red has ripe black fruit and chocolate aromas and concentrated flavors, with a rich mid-palate and a long, lush finish.