Mission Codename Once in a lifetime
“There is something incredibly singular and evocative about the character of the Mixed Blacks that is not just delicious, but compelling, conjuring a real sense of unique vineyard personality… wines that not only satiate but can transport… a hedonistic cascade of fruit followed by enough aromas and nuances to please the most demanding intellectual.” – Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
You are one of the lucky ones reading this.
As in, one of the few people reading this right now, with an opportunity to score a double-94-point, ultra-rare wine rarely seen in the wild. A wine normally reserved for the Rudd mailing list. A wine with a historic pedigree, one kept in hushed circles for winery-direct sales or served at premier local restaurants. And surely NEVER offered at a discount. Especially an unimaginable 60% plus off.
In a sea of wines that often follow a certain stylistic playbook, some wines make such a jarring impression, leaving us gobsmacked. Speechless. Utterly imprinted in our brain as a “core memory” of sorts.
This is one of them. And you won’t find it via any other wine purveyor.
Philanthropist Leslie Rudd was no stranger to exceptional wines, as the late owner/founder of Oakville’s Rudd Estate, Dean & Deluca, Oakville Grocery, and the legendary Press restaurant in St. Helena.
Remember last week’s Hayne Petite Sirah? That historic vineyard shares a border with another similarly epic vineyard that boasts some extremely old Zinfandel along with other varieties, interspersed in the old school ‘mixed blacks’ notion that dates back centuries. This quintessential field blend synergizes the best of a special location - a mélange of Zin, Petite Sirah, Mourvèdre, Carignan, and Grenache.
Rudd took on this legacy institution at the turn of this century. For the formidable task of reviving the winery and vineyards, visionaries like David Ramey and Paul Draper of Ridge Vineyards were summoned, making for arguably the most ambitious undertaking in Napa Valley’s modern times. There simply is no other property, or wine, this unique in these parts. The proof is in the glass…
Sweet, borderline-jammy fruit with sufficient savory undertones to intrigue all senses. Ripe blackberry, boysenberry, black pepper, cassis, and dark spices all collide on the multitextured palate, at times soft yet with chalky, dusty tannins forming the backbone. An incredibly long finish with layers upon layers of personality, and resultant complexity round out this one-of-a-kind beacon of heritage. A treat to enjoy young but built like a fortress to cellar for a decade or longer.
An ecstatic Robert Parker once endorsed: “one of Napa Valley’s most distinctive, singular offerings is The Edge Hill Mixed Blacks” and the rest is history.
A toast to the spirit of Civil War General Erasmus Keyes for founding Edge Hill in the 19th century, and another toast to Leslie Rudd, for reviving a Napa Valley institution to new heights it deserves.
Precious few bottles exist. Only a few hundred cases are made each year. Somehow, we got enough for an offer, but it will not last. Consider yourself warned…
94 Points – Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
“Purchased from the Martinis in 1999 by Leslie Rudd, owner of Rudd Estate, Edge Hill’s history dates back to 1867. Located in St. Helena on the edge of the Mayacamas mountains, I’m told the original winery, vineyards and grounds are being diligently restored by Rudd, which in itself is an exciting story. More to the point, tasting these wines for the first time, and without having seen the property or vineyards, there is something incredibly singular and evocative about the character of the Mixed Blacks that is not just delicious, but compelling, conjuring a real sense of unique vineyard personality. Readers who are drawn to wines that not only satiate but can transport are going to love these relative newcomers. Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2015 Mixed Blacks—a blend of 59% Zinfandel, 28% Petite Sirah, 11% Mourvèdre, 1% Carignan and 1% Grenache—opens with black and red cherry preserves notes with a compelling undercurrent of hoisin, Sichuan pepper, rose hip tea, raspberry leaves, fungi and forest floor. Medium to full-bodied, it fills the palate with the juicy red and black fruit flavors plus provocative, savory accents, supported by firm yet approachable, chewy tannins and plenty of freshness, finishing long and spicy. 257 cases were made. Drink 2017-2027.”
94 Points – Antonio Galloni’s Vinous
“The 2015 Edge Hill Mixed Blacks is a very pretty, expressive mix-blacks red from Leslie Rudd’s Edge Hill property in St. Helena. Succulent red cherry, plum, mint, lavender and rose petal give this expressive Zinfandel-based wine much of its personality and nuance. The blend is 59% Zinfandel, 28% Petite Sirah, 11% Mourvèdre, 1% Carignan and 1% Grenache, with the Zinfandel coming through quite prominently, especially on the finish, where a host of floral, savory and tobacco notes gain in their presence over time. Drink 2018-2032.”
A gorgeous deep deep ruby with concentric circles of gradation from mulberry to magenta
Sweet, borderline-jammy fruit with sufficient savory undertones to intrigue all senses
Ripe blackberry, boysenberry, black pepper, cassis, and dark spices all collide on the multitextured palate
Soft yet with chalky, dusty tannins forming the backbone, an incredibly long finish rounds out this one-of-a-kind beacon of heritage
Layers upon layers of personality and resultant complexity, a treat to enjoy young but built like a fortress to cellar for a decade-plus
What the Winery Says
2015 'Mixed Blacks' Napa Valley Zinfandel Blend
- Anthony Weytjens
- 59% Zinfandel, 28% Petite Sirah, 11% Mourvèdre, 1% Grenache, 1% Carignan
- St. Helena, Napa Valley
- Edge Hill Estate
- Harvest dates
- September 1-25, 2015
- 15 months
- 78% new French oak
- 10 barrels