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Inglenook Rubicon 2004

Bordeaux Red Blends from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
  • W&S96
  • CG94
  • WE93
0% ABV
  • JS97
  • W&S93
  • RP95
  • W&S95
  • JS95
  • WS93
  • RP90
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4.6 4 Ratings
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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, , California
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.


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Associated with luxury, celebration, and romance, Champagne is home to the world’s most prized sparkling wine. In order to be labeled ‘Champagne’ within the EU and many New World countries, a wine must originate in this northeastern region of France and adhere to strict quality standards. Made up of the three towns Reims, Épernay, and Aÿ, it was here that the traditional method of sparkling wine production was both invented and perfected, birthing a winemaking technique as well as a flavor profile that is now emulated worldwide. Well-drained limestone chalk soil defines much of the region, lending a mineral component to the wines. The climate here is marginal—ample acidity is a requirement for sparkling wine, so overripe grapes are to be avoided. Weather differences from year to year create significant variation between vintages, and in order to maintain a consistent house style, non-vintage cuvées are produced annually from a blend of several years.

With nearly negligible exceptions, three varieties are permitted for use in Champagne: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. These can be blended together or bottled varietally, depending on the final style of wine desired. Chardonnay, the only white variety, contributes freshness, delicacy, and elegance, as well as bright and lively acidity and notes of citrus, orchard fruit, and white flowers. Pinot Noir and its relative Pinot Meunier provide the backbone to many blends, adding structure, body, and supple red fruit flavors. Wines with a large proportion of Pinot Meunier will be ready to drink earlier, while Pinot Noir contributes to longevity. Whether it is white or rosé, most Champagne is made from a blend of red and white grapes—and uniquely, rosé is often produce by blending together red and white wine. A Champagne made exclusively from Chardonnay will be labeled as ‘blanc de blancs,’ while one comprised of only red grapes are called ‘blanc de noirs.’

SSA94690_2004 Item# 94690

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