Edge Hill2003 Mixed Blacks Field Blend, Estate
(St. Helena ~ Napa Valley)
Rudd Estate winemaker Charles Thomas threw everything into this wine – another brand from owner Les Rudd – from what used to be the Louis M. Martini estate west of downtown St. Helena. Apparently Thomas, who heads up all of Rudd’s vineyards, knew what he was doing.
The wine is a bit tight right now but there’s gorgeous blackberries emanating from the glass. On the mouth, it’s big and brooding with firm tannins. Nonetheless, there is a silkiness along with the power. But you’ve got to hold onto this one for at least three years and then see it change over the next quarter-century.
On the techie side, native yeast was employed after the grapes were picked in mid-October at an average of 25.4 Brix. The final product comes in at a listed – and big – 15.8 percent alcohol. The wine was neither fined, nor filtered. Only 25 percent new French barrels were used, while the remainder saw 2-year-old wood for 15 months. The vineyard is farmed biodynamically. Only 100 cases were produced, which accounts in part, for the steep price.
Reviewed July 23, 2006 by Alan Goldfarb.
Winery: Edge Hill
Alan Goldfarb has been writing about and reviewing wine for 17 years. His reviews have been published in the St. Helena Star, San Jose Mercury, San Francisco Examiner, Decanter, and Wine Enthusiast, among others. Not once has he used a point system, star system, or an iconic symbol to quantify a wine. What counts in Mr. Goldfarb’s criteria when judging a wine is: how it tastes in the glass; is it well-constructed; its food compatibility; and presence of redeeming regional attributes.