Inglenook Rubicon 2003
Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
All Rubicon Estate vineyards are harvested by hand in the early morning. The grapes arrive at the winery in small bins and the fruit is hand-sorted before crushing. A second sorting of the must removes any remaining leaves or pieces of broken stems. The must is allowed to ‘cold soak' for three to five days prior to the onset of natural fermentation. Depending on the age of the vineyard and quality of the tannins, macerations may vary from one to three weeks. Rubicon is fermented in wooden Taransaud open-top tankswhich hold the natural warmth of the fermentation longer into the maceration. This allows the new wine to stabilize color and increase the mouthfeel of the new wine. Both traditional punch-downs (early stages of fermentation) and pump-overs are used, resulting in ultra-dense, coating and supple tannins.
Rubicon is characterized by aromas of black sour cherries and violets. These flavors are confirmed on the palate with the addition of black currant, wild berries and sweet vanilla from aging in 100% new French oak barrels. There is an immediate sense of concentration on the mid palate with a luxurious and dense texture. While this wine is approachable now, it will develop further complexity with cellaring, easily fifteen to twenty-five years or more. This is one for the cellar.
Wine & Spirits - "Rubicon is the top wine from Gustave Niebaum's classic Inglenook Vineyard in the benchlands of the Mayacamas at Rutherford, managed for decades by his nephew, John Daniel, and ultimately reassembled in its current form by Francis Ford Coppola. The 2003 is rich in luscious tannins, with a deep cherry essence, a dynamic flavor with the herbal edge of a great Rutherford cabernet. It's plush and delicious, a fine performance in the uneven weather conditions of 2003."
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "Bright ruby-red. Aromas of plum, currant, spice box, mocha and tobacco leaf are distinctly Old World. Ripe, creamy and rich, with a pliant texture and expressive flavors of currant, sweet plum and tobacco. Finishes ripely tannic, spicy and long, with hints of fresh herbs and chocolate. A lovely 2003, and a great success for this winery."
In 1879, Finnish explorer and adventurer Gustave Niebaum searched the Napa Valley with the goal of establishing a wine estate to rival the finest chateau of France. For decades his wines won acclaim and remain some of the most admired in American wine history's classic period. By the mid-1960's, his property was divided, and estate-wine production ceased.
A decade later, Francis Ford Coppola purchased 1,500 acres of this historic property and revived Captain Niebaum's fine winemaking tradition. In 1995, Niebaum-Coppola acquired the remainder of the property and restored the Inglenook Estate to its original dimensions. View all Inglenook Wines
About Napa ValleyView a map of Napa Valley wineries
It's hard not to think of Napa Valley when thinking of California wines. The region is, after all, the one that brought world recognition to California wine making. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux Blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Notable FactsWithin the Napa Valley lie smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two is St.-Helena and finally, just granted an AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap and Mount Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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