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Inglenook Rubicon 2008

Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
  • WE95
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14.8% ABV
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14.8% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Elegantly textured and rich in flavor, 2008 Rubicon delivers pronounced black cherry and cassis impressions with aromas of blueberries, dark chocolate, licorice and spice. A fresh, ripe fruit entry and full-bodied palate with velvety tannins that linger into the finish.

Blend: 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot, 3% Merlot

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WE 95
Wine Enthusiast
Even though 2008 was not the greatest Cabernet vintage, Rubicon has produced one of the most delicious bottlings of the year. Mainly Cabernet Sauvignon, with a little Cab Franc, Petit Verdot and Merlot for complexity, it's so delicious now, you might want to finish off the bottle. Soft and velvety, it appeals with blackberry and cherry pie filling flavors, and the oak appliqué is perfect. Combines the ripeness of this central Napa Valley vineyard with impeccable winemaker taste, resulting in a gorgeous wine. Will develop through this decade.
CG 95
Connoisseurs' Guide
Deep, rich, ripe and focused, this wine charms from the outset with aromas that are spot on for varietal precision and smell of the complex, layered best of the West Rutherford Bench. Its combination of currant and black cherry notes with hints of root beer and sweet loam are followed on the palate by a supple entry, balancing acidity and by the solid framing of long-grained, polished tannins. Like its aromatic character, its flavors are writ large and writ precisely, and while no one is going to mistake it for a quiet, nuanced wine, so too will no one find anything but deep and lovely character here.
W&S 93
Wine & Spirits
This is a fine vintage of Rubicon, the top wine from Francis Ford Coppola's estate, a re-integration of Gustave Niebaum's Inglenook vineyard in the western benchlands of Rutherford. It’s tight, sweet, firm and juicy, the cushion of Rutherford tannins mellowing the tension within the layers of fruit and wood. Scents of spice, sage and tangy red cherries brighten the finish. For seared duck magret.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
Rough-hewn, dense and chewy, with a complex earthy edge to the dried berry, sage, underbrush and cedar flavors. Full-bodied and well-proportioned, ending with a loamy earth aftertaste. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Merlot. Drink now through 2019.
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Inglenook

Inglenook

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Inglenook, Napa Valley, California
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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.

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production as well as tourism, the Napa Valley was responsible for bringing worldwide recognition to California winemaking. In the 1960s, a few key wine families settled the area and hedged their bets on the valley's world-class winemaking potential—and they were right.

The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980s, when producers scooped up vineyard lands and planted vines throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, and today Napa is home to hundreds of producers ranging from boutique to corporate. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Napa whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that claim specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil. Farthest south and coolest from the influence of the San Pablo Bay is Carneros, followed by Coombsville to its northeast and then Yountville, Oakville and Rutherford. Above those are the warm St. Helena and the valley's newest and hottest AVA, Calistoga. These areas follow the valley floor and are known generally for creating rich, dense, complex and smooth reds with good aging potential. The mountain sub appellations, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs, include Stags Leap District, Atlas Peak, Chiles Valley (farther east), Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain District and Diamond Mountain District. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from a lot of time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

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 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 lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally 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 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.

SWS145169_2008 Item# 115838