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Inglenook Rubicon 2005
Made from 98% Cabernet Sauvignon, with no Merlot or Cabernet Franc for the first time, the ’05 Rubicon tastes bigger and more impenetrable than any previous vintage. It’s thick and heavy at this time, with furry tannins and undeniably ripe flavors of blackberries, black currants, cherries, violets, chocolate and cedar, and a tang of melted minerals. Desperately needs time in the cellar. Nowhere near ready for at least four years, and that may be conservative. Tasted three times, and better each time, a seriously good sign, and potentially a perfect wine.
Its altogether compelling aromas of concentrated cassis, careful oak and distinctive "Rutherford dust" spice immediately signal that something special is going on here, and this head-turning wine more than follows through on its promise with genuinely layered, exceptionally deep flavors whose immense and incisive varietal fruit is met by a broad range of complexing spice, oak and loam elements. Big, balanced and appropriately tannic, this year's Rubicon is years away from reaching its full potential and is very much meant for the cellar.
Unquestionably the finest wine I have ever tasted from this estate owned by well-known movie director Francis Ford-Coppola, the dense ruby/purple-colored 2005 Rubicon possesses wonderfully sweet cassis and black cherry fruit interwoven with dusty, loamy soil, licorice, and spice box notes. Opulent and full-bodied with abundant but sweet, velvety tannins, this 2005 is just beginning to develop its secondary nuances, and should evolve for 2-3 decades. Kudos, this is a superb achievement!
Supple-textured, ripe, rich and fleshy, with spice, currant, black cherry and wild berry fruit that's well-proportioned, drinking easily already. Firms up nicely on the finish, where the tannins have just the right touch of grip. Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. Best from 2009 through 2016. 5,580 cases made.
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.
The Napa Valley and Cabernet Sauvignon are so intrinsically linked that it is difficult to discuss one without thinking of the other. Although Cabernet has many important outposts throughout the wine world, nowhere else has it achieved such success (and, at the highest end, commanded such lofty prices) than in Napa. Here, it is responsible for bold, opulent, and dark-fruited wines with grippy tannins and a healthy dose of alcohol. The best examples can age for decades. Each of Napa’s smaller sub-AVAs imparts a different character to Cabernet, such as Rutherford’s famous dust or Stags Leap District's tart cherry flavors.