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Flat front label of wineFront shot of wine bottle

Inglenook Rubicon (375ML half-bottle) 2012

Bordeaux Red Blends from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
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14.5% ABV
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Captivating and complex, the 2012 Rubicon boasts very pronounced dark fruit with aromas of currants, black cherries, blackberries, cinnamon, floral notes and the freshness of thyme and other sweet herbs. The palate shows great volumeand nicely integrated flavors, fine grained tannins and subtle oak that works beautifully with the fruit. There is softness and delicacy with layered complexity that is constantly evolving. The finish is long and expressive.

Blend: 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 1% Merlot

Critical Acclaim

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RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Rubicon, which used to be a proprietary blend and had a somewhat rustic, Italian personality, has now been put under the Inglenook Vineyard designation. Where the Cabernet Sauvignon was a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 12% Cabernet Franc and 3% Merlot, the Rubicon has abandoned any Italian varietals in favor of a blend of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Merlot. I think it’s safe to say this is potentially the best Rubicon made to date. It’s not to denigrate other vintages, but there is a finesse and elegance combined with great richness and an avoidance of any rusticity that plagued some of the other vintages – which is to be admired. At three times the price, it’s not three times the wine of the Cask Cabernet Sauvignon. It possesses a dense purple color, beautiful, sweet crème de cassis notes with a floral underpinning. I don’t see any of the Rutherford dust, per se, but there is an undertone of earthiness. The wine is full-bodied, rich, potentially complex and certainly capable of lasting 20 to 30 or more years. This is a great young Rubicon that will have its peak in 5-7 years and last 25-30.
JS 95
James Suckling
The aromas of tar, spice, black currant, blueberry and cedar follow through to a full body with ultra-polished tannins and pointed flavors. Exceptional balance and finesse. Better in 2019 but already gorgeous.
W&S 95
Wine & Spirits
Philippe Bascuales worked for two decades with Paul Pontallier at Château Margaux before coming to Inglenook in 2011 (since Pontallier passed away this past spring, Bascuales has returned to Château Margaux, and is now directing both the Bordeaux property and this Rutherford estate). The pace at which he has transformed the wines is nothing less than astonishing, as if the force of this great Napa Valley site had been waiting to be unleashed. It’s not that the wines were troubled in recent vintages; more that they followed the contemporary Napa Valley story of quality being the pinnacle achievement. The 2008, for example, was “sweet, firm and juicy,” with tannins that cushioned the fruit, earning 93 points when I tasted it for the magazine. Bascaules has begun to bring back the voice of the property, a collection of vineyards in the western benchlands of Rutherford, reassembled by Francis Ford Coppola in the pattern of Gustave Niebaum’s original estate. This is the kind of land that made Napa Valley famous. And this is the kind of wine I want to drink. It has the freshness of ripe cabernet sauvignon, with none of the darker, dimpled tones of hyperripe fruit, presenting a delicate red berry scent and the gracious refinement of Rutherford tannins. Some of our tasters reacted to the new oak on the wine, the touch of creaminess French oak brings to the texture, even as they admitted that it was handled with restraint and that the wine showed some tension. The oak is not an issue for me, as the youthful fruit sings through any vessel used to age it, with the message of great vintages to come.
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Inglenook

Inglenook

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Inglenook, 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.

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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 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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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.

SWS396324_2012 Item# 151753