Inglenook Rubicon 2004
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 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.
Wine & Spirits - "This comes from the historic Inglenook estate, a sweet spot in the Rutherford bench that has been farmed organically since Gustave Niebaum planted vines here in the 1880s. Winemaker Scott McLeod is now in his 20th year at Rubicon, working with Francis Ford Coppola and his family who have been busy resurrecting the property since 1975. Rubicon is a selection of the more concentrated fruit from the estate, dark in tone with what McLeod describes as a violet character. The ’04, from a hot vintage and a relatively early harvest, is marked by the baritone depths small berries and low yields can give. The wine feels compressed, its power magnificent. In addition to whatever trademark combination of flavor and structure it has that places it clearly as Rubicon, it also has that distinctive Rutherford dust character, like pollen dusting a black cherry. One of the true greats from Napa Valley. "
Connoisseurs' Guide - "Intense, keenly defined curranty fruit is framed with balanced elements of sweet oak, loam and dusty earth in the very inviting aromas, and the wine's deep and decidedly concentrated, ripe- currant flavors similarly show a fine infusion of enriching oak and sweet spice. An extremely sophisticated wine and a fairly classic rendition of Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon, this latest Rubicon is presently toughened by varietally appropriate tannins, and it is destined for very good things and a long period of improvement over the next decade and more."
Wine Enthusiast - "At its best Rubicon stuns with power and richness. In lesser vintages (which are usually hotter ones) the wine, which is largely Cabernet Sauvignon, can be raisiny. While 2004 was a warm year, diligent viticulture paid off, resulting in an opulent wine with the purest expression of crushed cherries and blackberries, and oak-inspired hints of nougat and caramel. Fairly aggressive in tannins now, it should begin to open by 2008 and drink well for a decade. "
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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 grated 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.
Customer ReviewsSign In to Add Your Review5 }div>5 out of 5 stars
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2 ratings, 2 with reviewsmartha trevino - San Antonio, TX57/16/2008I actually liked this wine more than the Opus One I tried later on that day in Napa. What I liked most about it, is the first time it hits your tongue, it's pure pleasure, complete excitement and smoothness. I should have gotten more than 1 bottleJoseph Rubio - Downey, CA51/1/2009A very unique wine and the best I sampled so far in Napa Valley. The aromas are wonderful and the subtle notes of cherry make this wine my absolute favorite.
Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.
- 5 Stars: