Wine Last Sold on: September 1, 2011
von Strasser Winery
2008 'Rudy' Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
|Region:||California: Napa Valley|
|Total Allocation:||TOP SECRET - Limited|
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The Winery Says:
About This Wine:
Think of this wine as our entry-level Cabernet Sauvignon. Just don’t think of it as a typical entry-level Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine is so much more. For those wine drinkers that have never sampled our award-winning Mountain Cabernet, this is the perfect wine by which to get to know us.
This approachable wine is blend of our five single vineyards all within the Napa Valley. The wine offers a softer, refined style that is framed its fruit forward nature. Right out of the bottle, the fragrant nose is pleasing and inviting. Layered with dark fruit of blueberry and blackberry, the wine leads to fig, cassis and pie spice. Finishes off with supple tannins to enjoy now or up to 10 years.
About The Winery:
The von Strasser Story – With a family connection to Eric de Rothschild, Rudy wrote a letter asking to do an internship at Chateau Lafite-Rothschild. Each year the Chateau had been hiring an intern from the French winemaking program at Montpellier. Thinking that two minds are better than one, Mr. Rothschild invited Rudy to work for the 1985 harvest as their first American intern. (The result was so successful, that each year since the Chateau has chosen a new Davis graduate to work as an intern at the winery.) Rudy returned to Napa Valley in the spring of 1986 and was hired as the enologist at Trefethen Winery and Vineyards. In 1988, he became the assistant winemaker in charge of production at Newton Vineyards in St. Helena.
Shortly after their marriage in 1989, Rudy and Rita von Strasser set out looking for a vineyard property to make their home. Having already developed a deep passion and talent for producing Cabernet Sauvignon, Rudy was committed that the property must be in a microclimate blessed with the ability to grow and produce the finest red wines in Napa Valley; wines worthy to carry the von Strasser family name. Serendipitously, the old Roddis Estate Winery on Diamond Mountain had just been put on the market, and in the spring of 1990, the von Strasser label was born.
The history of the property reads like a who’s who of early California Cabernet History. After being denied a permit to turn his estate into a golf course, William Bounsall decided to subdivide his property, and in 1968 sold 1/3 of his property to Albert Brounstein. Canadian born, Al pioneered the modern decade of winemaking in this AVA by planting Cabernet Sauvignon in three distinct vineyard sites and bottling each separately under the name Diamond Creek Vineyards. The next year, 1969, Bounsall himself decided to get into the grape business and planted 2 acres to Cabernet Sauvignon with bud-wood from the famous Martha’s Vineyard. In 1978, Bill Roddis bought the Bounsall ranch and started Roddis Cellars. The wines were made by Andre Tcheistcheff, and in their days where considered by many to be the biggest wines made in the Napa Valley. In 1985, the winery was sold to the Gilby family (British gin), who used it as a corporate retreat. The vineyards, now totaling about 7 acres, were leased to Pine Ridge Winery, who bottled the grapes separately as their “Diamond Mountain” Cabernet Sauvignon. In 1990, Rudy and Rita von Strasser bought the property and began the fulfilling task of renovating and modernizing the estate and the vineyards to make the property one of the gems of Diamond Mountain.
The building that houses the winery is an historic barn that was built in the late 1880’s. Through careful planning it has been remodeled into a modern winemaking facility while retaining its working-ranch charm. To take full advantage of the hillside location and to better control the variables of winemaking, the von Strassers added caves to their property. Dug into the virgin hills, these caves retain an ideal climate for barrel aging, and average temperature of 55 degrees and an average humidity of 80%.
Varietal Make-up: 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Malbec, 5% Petit Verdot, 2% Zinfandel, 1% Merlot
Appellation: Napa Valley
Cooperage: 100% French Oak, 30% New Barrels
Production: Very Limited
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WORLD CABERNET DAY:
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Mission Codename: A Girl’s Best Friend
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: For World Cabernet Day (that’s today only, folks!), send Agent Red back to von Strasser Winery, and become one of only two wine merchants in the country to be showcasing their stellar new ”Rudy” Cabernet Sauvignon, a wine that is so superb that it stuns us with its low price. Secure a large allocation for Cabernet lover’s around the world.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: von Strasser Winery
Wine Subject: 2008 Rudy Cabernet Sauvignon – Napa Valley
Winemaker: Rudy von Strasser
Backgrounder: Best known for its exceptional red wines, von Strasser Winery sits stop Napa Valley’s high-elevation, on Diamond Mountain. von Strasser Cabs are revered for their elegance and exceptional quality. Our Moles in the Wine Press are hinting that von Strasser may be about to receive an exceptionally high score for one of their reds, but we can’t confirm that at this time. Needless to say von Strasser wines are in hot demand, now – and that demand will only increase.
Winery Backgrounder: von Strasser winery is located in the Diamond District AVA (American Viticultural Area) at the northern tip of the Napa Valley. The higher elevation of the region sees more direct sunlight and less cooling that the rest of the valley, leading to the production of some of the most concentrated and delicious Cabernet Sauvignon in the entire Napa Valley.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Beautiful cherry red, with concentrated color from the slightly darker core of the wine, out to its glinting edges. After a hearty swirl, wine-stained tears start high up the glass, and then slowly run down to the surface below.
Smell – Fragrant and full, with red flower petals, briar patch, red cherry juice, black cherry and cassis. As the wine breaths, additional aromas of cherry candy, soft spice and a hint of cedar emerge.
Feel – Soft and silky on the tip of the tongue, this wine gently grips in at the mid-palate, revealing fine, integrated tannins. Bright and gently spiced, the wine gradually takes on a soft, mineral-rich dryness.
Taste – Balanced red and black fruit, leading with black cherry, blackberry, red plum and earthy raspberry. These are followed, after some sipping and swirling, by dried rose petals, soft brown spice, subtle cigar box and a hint of Herbes de Provence.
Finish – Long and rich, with a layer of flavor that coats the tongue. As the bold fruit tails off, spice and cedar emerge, to mingle with a soft minerality that eventually dries the palate.
Conclusion – It may be a fraction of the price, but this wine really reminds us of the high-dollar Cabs that we have come to expect from this superb winery. Rudy von Strasser proves that he is a master of Napa Valley Cabernet. His 2008 Rudy Cabernet Sauvignon is a stunning wine that reminds us, very much, of Rudy’s higher-dollar Cabs. So, what’s the secret of this glinting gem of a wine? We could tell you, but, you know….
This is a Cabernet for those that love balance, elegance, approachability and fun. Rudy von Strasser’s focus on mountain Cab brings great benefit to this wine. It is aromatic, loaded with fruit, pleasing to the palate and very food friendly. Be sure to take advantage of this exclusive offer, because once this limited-production diamond of a wine is gone, well, we don’t want to see you cry.
Pair with a tender Filet Mignon, or enjoy it all on its own. Drinking beautifully now, this wine will cellar a few bottles for several more years – if you can resist drinking it.
Wine Spies Winery Check:
The gorgeous location of the steeply sloping von Strasser vineyards, high atop Diamond Mountain, can be seen in this satellite photo.