Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Rubicon Estates 2006 CASK Cabernet Sauvignon

Rubicon Estates epitomizes the history of Napa Valley. This is one of the most historic wineries not only in Napa Valley but in California as well. The property was first established as a vineyard in 1871 by William Watson who names the farm Inglenook, a Scottish expression meaning “cozy corner.”

Finnish born Gustave Niebaum made his fortune in the Alaskan fur trade but had dreams of producing world class wine that would compete with the great wines of Europe. In 1880 the young independently wealthy Niebaum purchased the 78 acre Inglenook land plus an additional 124 acres nearby to start his dream. Niebaum spared no expense to make this a world class wine estate, planting the best varietals and designing the winery as the engineering marvel of the age, including the beautiful Inglenook Chateau completed in 1887. The winery faced hard times after Niebaum passed away in 1908, but resumed three years later, only having to close wine production in 1919 with passage of Prohibition.

After over a decade of only selling grapes, Inglenook resumed wine production and sales in 1933 when Prohibition was repealed. By now the winery was under the management of Niebaum’s grandnephew John Daniel, Jr. Daniel continued with the same determination as his granduncle in making this a world class winery. However, in 1964 he had to sell the brand and most of the vineyards to Allied Grape Growers, later becoming part of Heublein.

The next stage of the Inglenook estate began in 1975 when filmmaker Francis Coppola purchased the estate including the Niebaum residence, renaming the property Niebaum-Coppola Estate Winery. Like Niebaum and Daniels before him, Coppola was determined to make this a world class winery again.

It took Coppola over twenty years to reunite all of the original vineyards and by 2002 winemaking returned to the Chateau with the opening of the Rubicon Winery. By 2006 he retires the name Niebaum-Coppola Estate Winery and opens the exclusive Rubicon Estate.

The CASK Cabernet Sauvignon was first established with the 1995 vintage and pays homage to the highly stylized Cabernet Sauvignon produced by Inglenook during the John Daniel Jr. era. Rubicon CASK Cabernet epitomizes the kind of Rutherford wine that inspires and stimulates debate among connoisseurs. Using only Estate-grown fruit, CASK Cabernet employs a traditional barrel aging regimen, spending 28 months in 500-L American oak puncheons.

The 2006 CASK Cabernet Sauvignon is produced from grapes grown exclusively in two estate vineyards, Chateau and Cohn, both 100% organically certified. The grapes from these vineyards are renowned for producing Cabs with great depth, rich color and prominent berry aromas. The California Wine Examiner Tasting Panel loved this wine. The aromas and flavors delivered luscious red and dark cherry, blackberry, plum, cocoa, leather and tobacco. The tannin structure was very well balanced making it drinkable now. The finish was not as long as we have seen on other fine Rutherford Cabs but we expect that this will age beautifully and that finish should improve with time. The structure, tannins, fruits and acidity indicate great ageability. This is the special wine to serve with a roasted or grilled beef meal. The suggested price is $75.

For more information:  Rubicon Estates

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