In a dry and relatively warm vintage, the 2013 Mt. Veeder Susan's Blanc benefited from its unique site. The Rudd Mt. Veeder estate vineyard ranges in altitude from 1300 to 1600 feet. This altitude places it above the valley inversion layer, tempering the diurnal extremes, and the vineyard’s south-east exposure allows morning sunshine without the drying heat of the afternoon. In addition, a unique microclimate is present with a ridge top forest growing just above the Semillon and Sauvignon Gris blocks. The altitude, exposure and microclimate all combine to allow paced and even ripening of white varieties while maintaining aromatic and textural freshness, yielding wines of expression and ageability.
The 2012 growing season was nearly perfect. A year with very little rainfall combined with a return to average summertime temperatures resulted in even ripening and generous amounts of high quality fruit. Three heat waves during September and October helped propel the grapes to achieve excellent ripeness while maintaining beautiful structure and concentration. An Indian summer blessed us throughout the fall – perfect weather to finish up the harvest season.
"The 2012 Susan’s Blanc is characterized by fresh, floral-honey aromas with an exotic spice note. The white-peach characteristics of the Semillon become evident with a rich, almost creamy texture. The wine has a long evolution, maintaining a moderate acidity with a multilayered finish reminiscent of pears and almond blossoms. With beautifully integrated texture, complex nose and elegant persistence, the 2012 Susan’s Blanc promises to be a sophisticated white wine that will continue to reveal its aromatic nuances with age." -Frederick Ammons, Winegrower
Since the moment Leslie laid eyes on the Mt. Veeder vineyard, he waited secretly in anticipation for the day he would bottle a special wine in honor of his wife, Susan. Susan’s Blanc is predominantly Semillon with Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Gris, and pays tribute to a love for great Bordeaux whites, such as Château Haut-Brion Blanc. To ensure this gift played out perfectly, Leslie tapped Jean-Bernard Delmas, Haut-Brion’s recently retired Estate Manager and Winemaker, to advise in planting the vineyard. The second vintage of this wine, Rudd will only produce and release Susan’s Blanc in vintages where the conditions are ideal, helping to create a wine mirroring a white Graves.
"The 2010 Susan’s Blanc has a beautiful deep straw color and a richness you can see in the glass.. A bright nose of lime, acacia and honey leads to a rich and supple palate. Semillon provides the richness that is balanced by the generous acidity provided by the high elevation Sauvignon Blanc. The honeycomb and bright floral is enhanced by the slight vanilla and baking spice. A long and intense finish confirms the age worthiness of this wine. Drinking well now but will improve over 15 years." -Drew Hendricks, MS
"The 2010 Susan’s Blanc possesses striking texture and elegance in its round, caressing fruit and lovely overall balance. This is a generous, beautifully balanced white. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2014." -Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate #198, Dec 2011
Building upon the success of our Sauvignon Blanc, we are introducing a second white wine from our Mt. Veeder vineyard. It is unlike any other Napa Valley white wine. We apply the same winemaking principle to this wine as we do to our flagship Estate Red – that is, we select the best fruit from our best white varietals and blend them in such a way to create the best wine our land is capable of producing. We have made the commitment to offer this wine only in years when the growing conditions are ideal.
"Rudd’s newest baby, the 2009 Susan’s Blanc from a Mt. Veeder vineyard planted at 1,600 feet...This powerful, rich, concentrated white requires some aeration to release its aromas of beeswax, lemon custard and honeyed citrus. The oak component is pushed to the background by the wine’s power, multilayered texture and full-bodied, fresh, lively finish. This beauty should age well given the history of well-made Semillons from California." -Robert Parker, Wine Advocate #192, Dec 2010, 95 Pts