Sometimes there is a block, a single row of vines, or even just a few barrels that produce wines of distinctive and exceptional personality and heritage. We’ve crafted three limited bottlings that showcase the very best of our estate vineyard — Heritage Selection Pinot Noir, Heritage Selection Merlot, and the elegant Heritage Selection Chardonnay.
The word heritage is not something the Bundschu family throws around lightly. The Heritage distinction was chosen for these selections because they represent and demonstrate the unique heritage of our family and vineyard. A few years ago, Jeff Bundschu and Executive Winemaker Keith Emerson agreed that some of these small lots were so special they just had to separate a few barrels from the rest and bottle them on their own as Heritage Selections.
The old vines selected for the Heritage Selection Pinot and Chardonnay are so different from any others on Rhinefarm because of their age and clone. Heritage Selection Pinot Noir is made from some of the oldest vines on the property and the Chardonnay is crafted from some of the oldest Chardonnay vines in California. The Merlot block, which has proven over the decades to have the perfect soil, slope and characteristics became an obvious choice to make a wine that is intensely and quintessentially Rhinefarm.
In each case, these sites are farmed with the utmost level of care and attention to ensure the highest level of quality. Every detail is carefully watched, many passes through the vineyard are required, trimming and leaf pulling is done with such precision, resembling the art of bonsai, to bring the vine to a place of viticultural Zen. And that’s just in the vineyard — the fruit is then hand-picked and optically sorted. In the cellar, these lots are gently produced by hand, aged in the finest oak, and generally treated like gold. The fruits of our labor are the Heritage Selection wines, which showcase the combination of the finest attributes of Rhinefarm and the Bundschu Family’s unrelenting commitment to forging the future of fine wine.
Robert Parker, Jr. gave the 2013 Heritage Selection Merlot 97 points in his Wine Advocate:
“The 2013 Merlot Heritage Selection does indeed remind me of some of the great vintages of Petrus in the 1960s and early 1970s. That wine became more delicate and finesse-styled and lost some of its overwhelming power and richness, but if you are looking for the richer style, Gundlach Bundschu’s 2013 Estate Vineyard Merlot is remarkable. This wine offers up notes of graphite, black cherry liqueur, chocolate and espresso. It is full-bodied, multidimensional, and profound. This is a wine to drink over the next 25+ years and likely will be irresistible during that entire window of opportunity.” – 97 points
These wines are available exclusively by allocation. To be notified of future allocations sign up for our mailing list below: