1998 Rudd "Jericho Canyon Vineyard" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend

SKU #992989 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The unfiltered/unfined 1998 Jericho Canyon Vineyard (2,850 cases) spent 16 months in French oak. A sensational effort, it is one of the stars of this challenging vintage. The opaque black/plum color is accompanied by aromas and flavors reminiscent of a blend of Cheval Blanc and La Mission-Haut-Brion from an overripe vintage. Notes of plums, cassis, blackberries, espresso, Asian spices, licorice, cedar, and tapenade make an appearance in both the aromas and flavors. Extremely full-bodied, with sweet tannin, an opulent/voluptuous texture, full body, brilliant purity, and low acidity, this wine represents a synthesis in style between an exotic right bank Bordeaux and a California Cabernet. Having achieved 14.2% alcohol naturally, it is a blend of 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, and 10% Cabernet Franc from a vineyard in northern Napa Valley (the Rudd estate vineyards have not yet come into production).  (12/2000)

91 points Wine Spectator

 A bold, rich and creamy-textured wine, with coffee, currant, black cherry, herb, olive and cedar. Deftly balanced, long and intricate on the finish. New from the owner of the former Girard winery.  (7/2001)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Ruby-red. Wild plum, truffle, tar and a floral nuance on the nose. At once lush and high-pitched, with concentrated but rather tightly wrapped black fruit, coffee and herbal flavors. Not especially fleshy, but not green; has considerable charm for a wine from the '98 vintage. Finishes with big but even tannins that showed a slight dryness with aeration, and very good length.  (6/2001)

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Price: $89.99

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Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the M├ędoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.