2004 Rubicon Estate "Rubicon" Rutherford Bordeaux Blend

SKU #1037605 96 points Wine & Spirits

 *Top 100 Wines of 2008* From the historic Inglenook Estate, a sweet spot in the Rutherford bench that has been farmed organically since Gustav 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 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.  (6/2008)

94 points Connoisseurs Guide

 **Two Stars** 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.  (4/2008)

93 points 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.  (12/2007)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The flagship wine from this estate, the 2004 Rubicon exhibits a dense ruby/purple color as well as an attractive earthy, oaky bouquet with underbrush, black cherry, and currant notes in the background. Medium to full-bodied, chunky, deep, and rustic, this is a spicy, earthy red to drink now or cellar for 12-15 years. (RP)  (12/2007)

Wine Spectator

 Dense and chewy, with dried currant, anise and earthy, loamy flavors that coat the palate, gaining depth and nuance. Spicy cherry and berry fruit builds depth and richness on the finish. Needs lots of air. (JL)  (11/2007)

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Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the M├ędoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
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Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.