Inglenook Rubicon 2006 Front Label
Inglenook Rubicon 2006 Front Label

Inglenook Rubicon 2006

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  • WS90
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750ML / 14.5% ABV
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4.6 10 Ratings
750ML / 14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

2006 has proven to be an excellent vintage for Cabernet at Rubicon Estate. Despite heavy rain that occurred in the spring, budbreak occurred just slightly later than normal with no vine damage at all. Fruit set occurred under optimum conditions. Fortunately, summer temperatures peaked early, in mid-July, helping to reduce the vigor and setting the stage for a measured, gradual development of the fruit. In fact, even as September drew to an end, temperatures remained mild well into October, which allowed us to delay picking even longer. Because nature never forced our hand, the grapes had several extra weeks to mature. The resulting fruit displayed uniform ripeness without the high sugar levels that happen in really hot years.

Winemaking Notes

We took a gentle approach to the winemaking, allowing the must to cold soak for a period of four days prior to the onset of fermentation. Once the cap had risen, both punch-downs and pump-overs were made to optimize extraction. The majority of the musts were left on the skins for as long as 24 days to complete dryness. A portion of these macerations were gently warmed to 88 degrees Fahrenheit after fermentation to fully extract and complex the abundant tannin and anthocyanin (color). The result was impressively round and complex wines right out of the fermentor. The new wines were moved to 80% new French Oak barrels for 22 months.

Tasting Notes

Our 2006 Rubicon reflects the extended growing conditions of the vintage, displaying an elegant lusciousness of flavor as well as a long, round finish. The harmonious character of the vintage is augmented by the more classic impression of weight and fresh precision of the fruit. It is a vintage that offers much complexity and will repay aging, but is already balanced and integrated.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
The new Rubicon, which is almost all Cabernet Sauvignon, brings to mind the 2003 and 2004. It doesn’t have the sheer force of 2002 or 2005, but it’s certainly a classic Rutherford wine, and has a good future. Bone dry, it shows herb-infused flavors of blackberries, cocoa, spices and smoky sandalwood, and yes, the tannins are dusty. Drinkable now, with a good decant, and should develop in the bottle over the next 6–8 years.
WS 90
Wine Spectator
Supple, graceful and harmonious, with a mix of ripe, fleshy espresso bean, mocha, dried currant and dusty berry fruit that's focused and persistent, ending with firm yet integrated tannins. Best from 2011 through 2016. 3,863 cases made.
W&S 90
Wine & Spirits
Francis Ford Coppola's reassembly of Gustave Niebaum's Inglenook estate produces some of Napa Valley’s finest cabernets. This 2006 has yet to show at the level of recent vintages: It's still tight and floral, with a bitterness to the tannin that brings to mind Mexican chocolate. With age, the opulence of the fruit and oak may become more prominent; for now, it needs a rich cut of prime rib to balance the tannin.
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Inglenook

Inglenook

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Inglenook, California
Inglenook Chateau in Spring Winery Image
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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Rutherford Wine

Napa Valley, California

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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 garner substantial attention 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.

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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 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.

Tasting Notes for Bordeaux Blends

Bordeaux Blends are dry, red wines and generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, black cherry plum, graphite, cedar and violet. 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.

Perfect Food Pairings for Bordeaux Blends

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 Secrets for Bordeaux Blends

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

LFW104022_2006 Item# 104022

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