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Inglenook Rubicon 2004

Bordeaux Red Blends from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
  • W&S96
  • CG94
  • WE93
0% ABV
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4.6 4 Ratings
0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

All Rubicon Estate vineyards are harvested by hand in the early morning. The grapesarrive at the winery in small bins and the fruit is hand-sorted before crushing. A secondsorting of the must removes any remaining leaves or pieces of broken stems. The must isallowed 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 varyfrom one to three weeks. Rubicon is fermented in wooden Taransaud open-top tankswhich hold the natural warmth of the fermentation longer into the maceration. Thisallows 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 flavorsare confirmed on the palate with the addition of black currant, wild berries and sweetvanilla from aging in 100% new French oak barrels. There is an immediate sense ofconcentration on the mid palate with a luxurious and dense texture. While this wineis approachable now, it will develop further complexity with cellaring, easily fifteen totwenty-five years or more. This is one for the cellar.

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 96
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.
CG 94
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.
WE 93
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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Inglenook

Inglenook

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Inglenook, Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
2004 Rubicon
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.

Rutherford

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The Rutherford sub-region of Napa Valley centers on the town of Rutherford and covers some of Napa Valley’s finest vineyard real estate, spanning from the Mayacamas in the west, to the Vaca Mountains on the other side of the valley.

Inside of the Rutherford AVA, bordering the Mayacamas, is a stretch of uplands called the Rutherford Bench. (These bench lands technically run the length of Oakville as well). Mountain runoff creates deep, well-drained, alluvial soils on the bench, giving vine roots plenty of reason to permeate deep into the ground. The result is wine with great structure and complexity.

Rutherford Cabernet Sauvingons and Bordeaux Blends are recognized widely for their enticing fragrances of dusty earth and dried herbs, broad and juicy mid-palates and lush and fine-grained tannins. The sub-appellation claims some of the valley’s most prized vineyards today, namely Caymus, Rubicon and Beckstoffer Georges III.

It is also home to Napa’s most influential and historic personalities. Thomas Rutherford, responsible for the appellation's name, made serious investments here in grape growing and wine production between the years of 1850 to 1880. Gustave Niebaum purchased a large swath of land and completed his winery in 1887, calling it “Inglenook.” Today this remains the oldest bonded winery in California. Georges Latour founded Beaulieu Vineyard in 1900, making it the oldest continuous winery in the state. Latour also hired the famous enologist, André Tchelistcheff, a man credited for single-handedly defining the modern Napa winemaking style.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

SSA94690_2004 Item# 94690

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