To offer this debut vintage of Leslie's Blend comes with a bittersweet but happy heart. Leslie Rudd, founder of Rudd Estate, was an enormous part of my life as both mentor and confidant. Seldom do days go by when I don’t think about his sage advice, witty humor and long conversations we had through the 12+ years we were in each other’s lives. This just-released 2016 Estate Red comes from Leslie's Mt. Veeder vineyard which rests between 800-1600 feet in elevation. It was a long, deliberate road for the Rudd team to get to this point in offering an Estate Red from this site. While the White varietals wowed us from the very beginning, the red varietals took their time to mature. But thanks to their in-house vineyard and winemaking team led by Frederick Ammons, their patience and perseverance has paid off. This 2016 Cabernet-driven Red also includes Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Merlot and a touch of Malbec. It was aged for 22 months in French oak and it is gorgeous. "It has a fantastically profound nose of black currant cordial, plum preserves and mulberries with hints of mocha, aniseed, dried bay leaves, tilled soil and oolong tea. Full-bodied, the palate is laden with loads of black fruit and savory layers, featuring a rock-solid frame of ripe, fine-grained tannins and bold freshness, finishing with epic length and depth. Still very youthful, give it another couple of years in bottle and drink it over the next 40 years+." 98+ Points, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate. Thanks to my relationship with Leslie and his daughter, Samantha, we are the sole retailers of this wine. 295 cases were produced.