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 tanks
which 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.