2009 Rodde Family Vineyards Napa County Chardonnay
Mission Codename: Go tell Aunt Rodde
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Respond to reports that Rodde Family Vineyards Chardonnay is worthy of our Operatives exacting tastes. If the wine is as good as reports have led us to believe, procure an ample allocation for our Operatives.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Rodde Family Vineyards
Wine Subject: 2009 Chardonnay Napa County
Winemaker: Scott Rodde
Backgrounder: Chardonnay is arguably the greatest of all white grape varietals, showing its influence in the legendary sparkling wines of Champagne, the great whites of Burgundy and of course its expression as’the’ white wine of California. Chardonnay represents over 50% of the planted white grapes in California with nearly 100,000 acres planted. With such a great number of wines made from this grape, it stands to reason that finding wines of immense quality would be hard, but look no further. Today’s selection from Rodde Family Vineyards is a richly delicious wine with plenty of character.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Bright yellow golden hues, from edge to core. When swirled, the wine settles quickly, leaving behind tall columns of chubby tears that streak down the glass.
Smell – Bursting with tropical fruit, led by pineapple, lychee and soft guava. As the wine warms, slightly, it begins to reveal citrus, white peach, pear and mixed white flower petals.
Feel – Voluptuous, soft and velvet smooth on entry. The wine glides across the mid-palate and then settles onto the rear palate. There, it introduces a softly spreading dryness the gradually reaches the tip of the tongue, lips and cheeks.
Taste – Bright, delicious and complex with layers of fruit, flowers and a touch of minerals. Bright pineapple, citrus and dried apricot are out in front. These are followed by white peach, creamed honey, white flowers, very subtle white spice, flint and soft sweetwood.
Finish – Long and very flavorful, with sweet fruit yielding to tart fruit, flowers, subtlest spice and flint. Gradually, a flinty dryness spreads all around the palate, making your lips pucker in anticipation of another flavor-filled sip.
Conclusion – Today’s 2009 Rodde Family Vineyards Chardonnay is an intriguing, delicious and very approachable wine. Soft and round, initially, the wine has a slowly-changing feel that adds real intrigue on the palate. Aromas are lush and rich, giving clues to the bright fruit to come on the palate. Flavors are big, but balanced. For all of its complexity, this is still a very approachable wine. With a balanced flavors and a bright acidity, today’s Rodde Chardonnay is an easy pairing companion for your Springtime dining. We’ll also hold a few bottles back for solo Summer sipping! Stock up, dear Operative, if you love fantastic, balanced, delicious Chardonnay!
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Scott Rodde, Propietor and Winemaker
WINE EDUCATION: 30 plus Years of living and working in the Napa Valley
CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: President of Peter Michael Winery since 1983
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Neo-Classical Laissez-Faire, without compromise
WINEMAKER QUOTE: ”Let the grapes tell the story”
FIRST COMMERCIAL WINE RELEASE: 2008 Rodde Chardonnay
AGENT RED: Greetings Scott. We are thrilled to be showing your 2009 Rodde Napa Chardonnay today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
SCOTT RODDE: Thank you very much for showcasing our wines today.
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
SCOTT: No specific experience. I’ve always had a broad passion for wine since I was first introduced to it many many years ago.
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
SCOTT: Helen Turley, Mark Aubert, Luc Morlet
RED: Who do you make wine for?
SCOTT: My family RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
SCOTT: I love this wine. Only 95 cases produced. It’s a field selection of Montrachet clone chardonnay from our proprietary 3/4 of an acre, pre prohibition era vineyard. The grapes were harvested by hand in September 2009, pressed, fermented and then aged on the lees in neutral French oak for 10 months. It’s a considerably concentrated wine, exhibiting yellow peach, pineapple and pear on the nose, followed by Jasmine, ginger and honeysuckle on the palate.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
SCOTT: There are a few standout dishes at my son’s restaurant, Oenotri, in Napa, that I love to drink this particular wine with. I especially enjoy their local Halibut Crudo with chive blossoms, citrus segments and lemon agramato.
RED: In your opinion, what makes the Napa so special?
SCOTT: The vast amounts of different micro climates and soils throughout the valley, from its floor to its hillsides and its mountain tops.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?
SCOTT: Wine is to be enjoyed with food, family and friends.
RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
SCOTT: Drink our wine. Eat at Oenotri and join their great Italian wine club called ‘GOCCINO’!
RED: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!